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7 Ways to get your store tech and staff ready for the holiday rush with Retail Pro POS

 

 

Holidays are fast approaching. With them the masses flock to your stores and website.

Every retailer’s goal is, of course, to capitalize on the increase in foot traffic and do whatever it takes to be in the black by New Year’s Eve.

The pressure is on – especially given the retail industry’s globally lackluster YTD performance.

But the happy increase in foot traffic to your stores and sales opportunities inevitably brings with it a not-so-favorable descent in chaos and disorder, even to the sharpest of managers.

Entropy at its finest.

But a little preparation goes a long way in combat against chaos. It’s in finetuning the details that you’ll find compounding efficiency gains, and a little sanity in the staff goes a long way toward keeping up good customer experiences.

So here’s a quick checklist of ways to get your store tech and staff armed and in shape for the holiday rush.

 

1. Think through your POS workflows

Tighten up your POS workflow for faster, more efficient checkout. Shave off critical seconds from each transaction by getting rid of unnecessary clicks and integrating steps you need for smoother returns with tracking for return reasons, easier customer and inventory lookup, and faster loyalty enrollment.

In Retail Pro POS, you can use HTML files to customize your workflows in the user interface to mirror the workflows your staff would use in real life. Tailor both the transaction workflow and pop up prompts for your staff to hit all the points on your customers engagement check list at checkout.

 See documentation: Customize workflows with HTML files | My Retail Pro 

 

2. Ramp up employee training for faster checkout experiences

Build up employee product knowledge so they can be quicker at looking up items by their alternate names or numbers at the POS.

Retail Pro Prism gives sales associates flexibility to look up inventory using not only the SKU but by description as well.

 

 

This will help associates save time and find the product in the system if a barcode is missing, rather than having everyone wait while another sales associate finds the product on the sales floor.

 Watch video: Advanced Item Lookup | My Retail Pro 

 

3. Train employees to collect customer emails

Incentivize your employees to collect emails for in-season and post-holiday deals. Now is the time to capitalize on the increased foot traffic to build connections with customers and invite them back for more after the holidays.

You can train your associates to a workflow that includes taking down a customer’s number in the integrated AppCard for Retail Pro loyalty and personalized marketing platform.

 

 

Because the technology is integrated, your staff won’t need to navigate between applications to enroll customers, saving time for your team and for everyone else in line.

 Watch video: POS flags setup | My Retail Pro 

 

4. Simplify inventory lookup on the sales floor

During the holidays the store fluctuates daily between chaos and order, so having a centralized inventory system that keeps detailed accounts of what is on the sales floor, in the back room, or in transit will help associates get customers what they need.

They can easily look up what the customer needs and place an order for them if the item isn’t in stock. You’ll save the sale and your customer will go home with one more person checked off on their holiday gift list.

 Watch video: Checking On-Hand Quantity | My Retail Pro 

 

5. Set up stations for self-serve inventory lookup and send sales

Set up a mobile POS station for self-serve or staff-assisted inventory lookup and send sale. If a customer needs something you don’t have in store, help them find and order it on your website or at a different location.

Send sale functionality in Retail Pro lets your sales associates send the sale (just like it sounds) to a nearby store that has what your customer needs in stock, so that item is put aside for them when they come to pick it up.

 Watch video: Creating and Fulfilling Send Sales | My Retail Pro 

 

6. Get your best staff on mobile POS for clienteling & line busting

Clienteling is extremely effective for engaging with customers in a way that leads to loyalty and a better overall experience with your brand.

Help customers find what they need faster and finish the transaction on the spot, without waiting in line. You can email receipts to decrease the need for ancillary mobile hardware like receipt printers.

And when checkout lines start to wrap around through the store, ramp up more points of sale on mobile to ring up transactions faster and get customers on their way before frustrations rise.

 Read blog: 9 tactics to borrow from luxury retail’s clienteling strategy to improve your omnichannel CX

 Get whitepaper: Is Mobile POS Right for Your Enterprise?

 

7. Track sales performance with KPI reporting

Use real-time KPI reports to stay on target and ramp up sales efforts when you’re falling behind. With Retail Pro Decisions, powered by the Targit BI and visual analytics platform, you can analyze your data from every angle based on KPIs important to your strategy.

And with Retail Pro Reports, you can pull the data you need to monitor performance on the go. With clear dashboards and easy filtering, you’ll have an on-the-minute update whenever you need it, so you can keep your finger on the pulse and make sure you’re hitting targets.

 Read blog: What are the Most Important KPIs for Retail?

 Get whitepaper: From KPIs to Profit 

Yes, there’s very little time left, and more to do than there are scheduled hours to do them. Focus on implementing a handful of optimizations that will help your team most to work more efficiently and ring in more sales.

They might not thank you for it, but your bottom line will.

 

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Not current on Software Assurance? Contact your Retail Pro Business Partner for a quote today, or email in to customercare@retailpro.com to get connected with your Business Partner.

 

 






The rise of voice-enabled commerce in ubiquitous retail

 

 

Shopping is an increasingly “invisible” activity, embedding itself seamlessly into new digital and physical channels, using ever-more natural gestures and simple conversations.

 Gesture recognition helps retailers gauge shoppers’ real interest 

For example, a mom goes for an afternoon walk with her child. She notices she could use some silicone straws for their water bottles, and asks Alexa to place the order.

As they walk to the park, Mom sees an ad for a pair of running shoes. She takes a picture on her phone, successfully searches the Web and finds the item for sale, and makes a purchase just before greeting her friends at the playground.

On the way home, she sees a local restaurant is having a farm-to-table event that evening, so she sends invites to her husband and another couple to meet there.

The idea that people can shop virtually all the time from any location with an Internet connection is referred to as ubiquitous shopping, and is seen especially in the rising use of voice-enabled commerce.

According to Accenture, 94% of retail executives believe ubiquitous shopping represents a complete transformation or significant change for the industry.

The survey found that while two-thirds (65%) of industry executives view online commerce as the driving characteristic of ubiquitous shopping, and over half (53%) cite mobile purchases as key. Just one third (33%) say new technology such as voice commerce is top of mind.

However, Accenture forecasts that the next big thing in shopping is voice recognition technology, and suggests that retail executives are under-estimating voice-enabled commerce.

In the U.S., one in every five households with a wireless internet connection is already using a smart speaker, making nearly 19 million homes ready for voice shopping.

 The first step to recognizing customers with AI 

However, last August, TheInformation.com reported that only 2% percent of people with Amazon-Alexa enabled devices made a purchase via voice and of those, “90% didn’t try it again.”

Still, the technology is there, ready and waiting. It may just be slightly ahead of its time.

Considering that today it's possible to jump into a Ford, have Alexa ask Starbucks to start an order, swing by the drive-thru, pick up and be back on the road, it seems as though that 2% will grow to a far greater number in a very short time.

 

 






3 Ways to reinforce your brand’s authenticity

 

 

Authentic brands project sincerity and approachability, and their stories resonate with customers.

Customers enjoy supporting businesses that have compelling histories, remain true to their roots and have a relatable brand message.

Shoppers buy more from authentic brands

Communications agency Cohn & Wolfe recently conducted its Authentic Brands study, in which it surveyed more than 15,000 consumers across 15 markets.

Consumers rated more than 1,400 brands on the three key attributes that comprise authenticity: reliability, respectfulness and reality.

 Read blog: 3 qualities of authentic retail shoppers value most

Globally, 91% of consumers said they'd recognize a brand for its authenticity by purchasing from, investing in or endorsing a purchase.

The number is less in the United States but is still an impressive 62% of respondents who say they'd be apt to purchase from a brand that they viewed as authentic.

Building your brand's authenticity is, therefore, an important strategy for cultivating and engaging customers. A few items on the to-do list would include alignment, commitment and storytelling.

 

Align your brand and messaging

Align your business slogan with the way you actually how you do business.

Dust off your company slogan. Consider how it impacts your current customers, what it says to them about your brand and the ways in which it evokes an image.

Then, think about whether those answers line up with your business strategy.

For example, Audi's slogan is "Truth in Engineering," which makes little sense. That begs the question, are there lies in engineering?

Compare that to Ford's "Go further," which is appealing to customers who want to be adventurous, do a little more, etc. In addition, the company has stated the slogan performs double-duty, acting as a motivator for employees as well.

A slogan is not a vision statement, but the two should complement each other.

For example, Ford's vision statement is: People working together as a lean, global enterprise to make people's lives better through automotive and mobility leadership.

The slogan ties into the vision by underscoring the company's resolve to "go further" for its employees and customers through exemplary leadership.

 

Commit to innovation

Your customers grow, change, move and evolve. To survive all that movement, your brand needs to keep up.

Understanding who your customers -- are as well as their goals -- is critical.

 Read blog: Digital innovation is not about technology. It’s about people. 

For instance, outdoor apparel company Patagonia was founded as a clothing and hardware shop for mountain climbers in 1973.

Today, Patagonia sells outdoor gear for a variety of hobbies and was instrumental in the development of a number of fabrics, notably Synchilla, which doesn't pill, and Capilene polyester, which withstands the heat of a dryer better than polypropylene.

In addition, the company uses its popularity to raise awareness around environmental issues and climate change and also provides an in-depth history -- including its trials and tribulations--on its website.

 

Tell your story

Like Patagonia, Yankee Candle's history builds a story that is complementary to its brand.

The company's founder was a broke teenager who melted crayons to create a Christmas candle for his mother.

A neighbor asked to buy it and thus began the company's first sales cycle.

That one-man business gradually exchanged the crayons for paraffin and the operation moved from a residential kitchen to a former paper mill and then to a 1,600 sq. ft. factory store in 1983 which remains the company headquarters.

That loyalty to its roots coupled with a heartwarming inception story appeals to customers and sets the brand apart from its competition.

 

Being authentic, sharing history and providing transparency helps brands retain customers and improve loyalty.

As Millennials become a driving retail force, taking this kind of conversational, inclusive approach with marketing will be much more effective than traditional advertising strategies.

 

 






Brick and mortar’s latest AI experiment: Smart shopping carts

 

 

Today, traditional retailers are competing not only against each other but also against e-commerce — as well as online companies that are opening brick and mortar outposts.

Compounding the pressure is the breakneck pace of technological change.

Customers have experienced self-checkout and the cashless store concept of Amazon Go, and now artificial intelligence attached to the old, familiar shopping cart could reshape the shopping experience.

 

Are smart carts worth it?

AI designed into the cart may be the next trend that will help customers be more efficient by scanning and identifying goods, suggesting products, storing shopping or "punch" lists and directing customers to items.

Stores profit from the AI-driven carts, because more efficient shoppers take less time in the store, so the more customers can be served in a given time period.

 Read blog: Your retail data determines AI effectiveness 

Smart carts from Caper tackle the job with barcode scanners and card swipers, mounted cameras that use image recognition and weight sensors.

The company additionally claims the tech has raised consumers' average basket size by 18 percent.

And that's not to mention the positive word-of-mouth marketing about "the store that has no register lines," because payment is completed cart-side by the customer.

Although currently customers must scan products before placing them in the cart, the company's goal is to depend solely on cameras and weight sensors in the carts to automatically recognize products when they're added.

So far, the technology is at two NYC chain stores, but its potential is far reaching.

 

Built in cross-selling

AI is particularly helpful for cross-selling: For example, at a home improvement retail specialty store, sheetrock is placed in the cart, and the screen asks if the shopper would like to add paint.

If so, it provides direction to the correct aisle — as well as displays on-screen any related products that are on sale in the store.

The ease of obtaining additional related products enhances the shopper's experience, and strengthens the retailer's bottom line.

While cross-selling is not always viewed favorably by shoppers who sometimes perceive associates as "pushy," incorporating this type of "gentle reminder" feature at a specialty retailer, such as a drug store, may be viewed as helpful — a purchase of cough syrup may lead to a reminder to buy cough drops and menthol rub.

According to Caper, the carts aren't much more expensive than new, traditional models.

And they are less costly than retrofitting a retailer with Amazon Go-type technology.

 Read blog: 2 years later, Amazon’s retail experiment is still unmatched 

They are also an excellent means of gathering shopper data, analyzing information such as product popularity and floor plans.

Just as a chatbot can be programmed to help an ecommerce retailer increase the size of a shoppers "basket," smart carts are another method of integrating AI into the customer experience.

 

 

 






How to lift retail revenue with product drops

 

 

Retailers are challenged with making their product selections more exciting, alluring and sexy than those of the competition.

Having that certain product or designer that is unique to a particular brand can make a retailer a shining star, at least for the season.

"Drop culture" is a trend that is propelling some retailers to the heights of fame and, sometimes, fortune.

 

Create urgency

Product drops are special releases that will only be available for a limited time.

Customers are excited to be a part of the "in" crowd, getting something exclusive early.

For retailers, the buzz that's created around these events promotes their brands even before the product is launched.

While it can be an opportunity to test new products quickly, product drops are really an event employed to encourage the competitive shopping mindset.

The product that’s dropped is special in some way: a limited edition, something new from a famous designer, a bleeding-edge fashion trend, etc. The value of a “drop” is therefore earned, not assigned.

 

Show scarcity

Today, many luxury products are devalued due to over-exposure in the market, which means that the most desirable items require a level of effort or cleverness to obtain.

For example, U.S. streetwear brand Anti Social Social Club (ASSC) partnered with product release app Frenzy (created by Canadian small business shopping platform Shopify ) on an event where fans had to check-in to a physical location at a designated time to buy a limited-edition sweatshirt online.

But figuring out the exact location of the drop required significant detective and riddle-solving skills. Those who solved the puzzler were automatically logged in, triggering the product to appear on-screen to purchase — but within a certain amount of time.

 

Sell them a spot in the in-crowd

Product drops take advantage of the basic human desire to be included. No one wants to miss out on being part of something special.

The excitement tends to prompt customers to make decisions faster and more impulsively than if they have time to think about the purchase.

Often, quantities are limited and therefore sell out, adding to the "limited edition" mystique.

Although more products often become available in the months following the first drop—and shoppers are well aware of that—the excitement of purchasing these items ahead of the pack is too alluring to ignore for many.

Product drops are a good way to stir up excitement especially during a lull in the shopping sales cycle — such as post-holiday.

By creating a "buzz," a retailer raises the desirability of a product, and the "lucky" purchasers can enjoy basking in the afterglow.






3 ways to invest more in shopper relationships with 160 characters or less

 

 

SMS messaging — texts — are great to get the word out to customers about special events, sales and discounts. Retailers large and small can benefit from the marketing strategy primarily used to drive sales and foot traffic.

The trouble is, the limited space for content mandates writers use extremely concise verbiage.

With a character count of around 160, it's difficult to create content that will strengthen customer relationships and drive business.

Conversations nurture relationships, and relationships can grow sales.

Texting is a great way to have conversations when your customers are not in the building or on your site, especially because 95% of Americans have cell phones.

However, to reach shoppers quickly and grab their attention enough to entice them into your store, content has to be engaging.

Your interesting offers, information, discounts and coupons were attractive enough for them to sign up to receive messages. Now it's time for them to take action.

Here are 3 tips for creating strategic content in 160 characters or less.

 

1: Determine your goal

If your texts are meant to encourage sales, they should be inviting, not demanding.

SMS texting can be rather intimate, one-to-one conversations. Let your sales team establish a position of a trusted advisor.

For example: "Hi Steve. Remember the Sky-Dweller that caught your eye? We're having a Rolex sale Saturday. Let me know if you’re interested – Leah @ Hughes Jewelry".

 

2: Offer help consistently

Texts from trusted advisors should maintain a fairly regular cadence: Not too frequent, but not "out of the blue" either. Be authentic; customers can detect insincerity a mile away.

Try basing the timing of texts on the number of times per month or week customers are actually purchasing.

For example: "Hi Renee, thanks for attending the install demo. Sound system installation is Thursday, 10/10. Sign up: xyz.com/nmk. Let me know if you have questions - Rob".

 

3: Include a call to action

While "Thank you for your business," is a polite ending, it's not the most effective use of 160 (or fewer) characters. Ending with a link or phone number shows you mean business.

For example: "Hi Fiona, the 20% discount on Natural Kat ends this week @KitsCorner. If you come in today, you’ll get a BOGO deal with this msg. Hope to see you later – Piper".

Remember, a customer can easily call you from a text message, because the SMS is generated from a cell number. So using precious character space to include a phone number may not be the best use of the space.

 

Texting after contact has been established with a prospect can help significantly improve conversion.

Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate 40% higher than those who are not sent any text messages, according to research by Velocify.

It is also a effective way to keep your brand top-of-mind and to build strong, lasting, customer relationships.






Brick-and-mortar reclaims its advantage via clienteling

 

 

A generation ago, people shopped by visiting a retailer, chatting with the salesclerk, browsing and building relationships. An associate would place a call to customers if a new shipment arrived with pieces that were "just perfect" for them.

It's that sense of a personal touch that is critical to the success of brick and mortar to this day.

 

Online retail’s forfeited advantage

Several years ago, online retailers had the advantage over brick and mortars as they could efficiently collect much more data about customers at every visit.

They knew what pages the shopper had visited, which items were of interest, and how many times they visited before they purchased items.

That amount of information would take far longer for a traditional retailer to collect, at that time.

Fast forward five years, and technology can now provide brick and mortars with deeper information than ever before.

Now brick and mortars have an advantage over their online competitors, as their stores morph into showrooms where shoppers can physically inspect products, and associates can make personal connections.

 

Building relationships in-store

Today's retailers employ clienteling strategies to build customer relationships based on data collected about their preferences, purchases, lifestyle and other behavior.

Within stores, retailers are equipping associates with customer information that lets them deliver personalized service.

Clienteling software can be used to compile customer data from different channels – from in-store purchases to online browsing history to items stored on wish lists.

The in-store shopping experience can then be tailored to fit each customer’s unique interests and desires.

Such anticipation of needs enhances the customers' in-store shopping experience and helps associates sell more effectively.

 

Staying top of mind

Clienteling data not only enhances the shopping experience for those in physical stores but is also used by associates to reach out to customers between visits.

Clienteling technology can be used to create alerts about any event that forms a customer connection.

Associates with access to customers' spouses' birthdates, for example, might place a well-timed call detailing the latest merchandise that would make a great gift.

And stock alerts can be correlated to specific customers, so contact can be made when a new shipment from a specific vendor arrives.

Such focused, one-to-one outreach is extraordinarily effective in attracting repeat customers and sales of high-margin, full-price items.

 

Machine learning drives personalized recommendations

Intelligent product recommendations aren't limited to preparing for a customer's future shopping excursions: They can also be used real-time when the customer is in the store.

Store associates can greet and engage with individual customers, anticipate their needs and function as a trusted advisor.

Software tools that incorporate machine learning transform mounds of customer data into insightful, targeted and personalized product recommendations. Machine learning digests every page view, every "like" and every purchase.

The result is increasingly smarter recommendations.

Clienteling solutions help retailers identify customers' needs efficiently and quickly, so the shopping experience is ultimately more rewarding.

Implementing clienteling tools provides retailers and their associates the necessary tools to build long-lasting, profitable and mutually beneficial relationships.






2 years later, Amazon’s retail experiment is still unmatched

 

 

Much has been written about the importance of providing customers a "frictionless" retail experience.

Providing wireless devices to associates has helped with "line busting," and advances in business analytics and operational intelligence have helped retailers predict sales trends more accurately.

But even the smoothest, most personalized experience still requires customers to slow down and pay at registers.

Except at Amazon Go.

 

The brick & mortar experiment

When Amazon opened its first brick and mortar store in Seattle in January 2017, retailers were skeptical the online behemoth could master the nuances of being a neighborhood shop.

Turns out, Amazon created a unique experience.

Rather than try to duplicate what was already entrenched in the neighborhood, it used what it already knew about shoppers — primarily, that they valued convenience and speed when shopping — and parlayed it into a successful, small grocery.

Amazon Go is equipped with technology that lets shoppers make purchases without visiting cashiers or using self-checkout stations.

Shoppers download the Amazon Go app, enter their credentials and receive a QR code, which offers access to the store.

Customers take their selections off the shelves and simply walk through the turnstile, products in-hand.

A few minutes after leaving the store, shoppers receive a notification from the app with their receipts.

 

An irreplicable experience?

Similar trials by retailers at self-service technology, however, have proven unsuccessful.

Among those issues:

  • Shrinkage: A study of 1 million transactions in the United Kingdom found losses incurred through self-service technology payment systems totaled 3.97 percent of stock, compared with just 1.47 percent traditionally.
  • Bugs: Not every item scans properly, causing delays and frustration.
  • Exceptions: Some items need a valid ID to purchase, which requires a cashier's intervention.

Faced with those types of challenges, it's no wonder that retailers are skeptical about implementing "Amazonian" shop-and-go strategies.

Some have removed self-service option altogether, eliminating the headache of shrinkage and hardware problems.

But some research suggests that offering multiple options for check out is really what customers want.

 

Amazon currently has locations in Seattle and Chicago with plans to expand in New York and San Francisco.

The company has leveraged technology to make these shoppers' lives easier.

It has taken away a good deal of friction for customers, while providing itself with reams of relevant data about its shoppers.

 






9 tactics to borrow from luxury retail’s clienteling strategy to improve your omnichannel CX

 

 

Clienteling is extremely effective for engaging with customers in a way that leads to loyalty and a better overall experience with your brand.

But outside of luxury and small retailers who have personal relationships built into their business model, clienteling is a tough tactic to pull off – especially when you throw multiple sales channels into the mix.

So how can mid-sized and chain store retailers incorporate some of the same concepts that make clienteling so effective into their customer engagement strategy?

Here are 9 ways to improve your omnichannel customer experience with clienteling tactics.

 

1: Need-based sales

Train your employees to listen for customers’ unspoken needs when they’re helping them on the sales floor. For example, if they’re looking for a home theater system, help them evaluate not only the speakers and acoustic panels, but also the wireless headphones that will recreate the experience when the baby is sleeping. Help your customer think through every detail of the occasion and get them everything that meets those needs.

2: Customer profiles

Mobile POS is your friend. It gives your sales associates quick access to a customer’s profile and shopping history so they can be better informed when making recommendations. Retail Pro POS is device-agnostic, which means your sales associates have secure access to the same powerful customer management tools, whether on small mobile devices or full-sized desktop computers.

3: Always say YES

Having an iPad or tablet accessible while engaging with customers on the sales floor means your sales associates can look up inventory at nearby store locations to see whether they have the particular size or color the customer wants. Then, complete the sale through that store with send sale capabilities in Retail Pro POS.

4: Digital lookbook

Retailers going for the clean, modern look of a lean inventory strategy can use inventory images in your mobile POS or on your website as an endless aisle lookbook to help your customer pick out and order items you don’t carry in store.

5: Now trending

Analyze the POS sales data in business intelligence and visual analytics software like Retail Pro Decisions to see micro and macro trends and take action to make the goods available to more customers. If your top shoppers are loving your newest products, extend the offer to the next tier of shoppers to bring them into your stores and spread the love!

6: Personalized service online

Use your customer data in Retail Pro to offer the same kind of personalized service on your website. Basket analyses help you see what products shoppers tend to purchase together so you can recommend similar pairings to shoppers buying only one item or the other.

7: Behavior-driven offers

For shoppers who have an account with you, use their purchase history as the basis for your recommendations. AppCard for Retail Pro integrates customers’ POS data to make it easier to personalize offers to them. Email marketing campaigns personalized with your customers’ actual shopping behavior make them more relevant and more likely end in conversion.

8: Customer nurture

Between visits to store or site, nurture shoppers by anticipating their next need and proactively contacting them via email or SMS. A customer’s purchase history in Retail Pro POS can inform the offers you make to them and helps you create personalized promotions through the AppCard for Retail Pro solution.

9: Unified experiences

A cohesive customer experience shows you know and understand shoppers’ wants, exposes them to new products they may benefit from, and makes it more convenient for them to get what they need from you. The best way to do that? Tie the purchasing journey and communications together across channels by integrating all your customer-facing tools on the Retail Pro POS platform.

 

Luxury retail sets high standards when it comes to giving shoppers a meaningful, customized customer experience. Retailers incorporating clienteling tactics into their own customer engagement strategy across channels can differentiate themselves by better, more personalized experiences at every touchpoint.

 

 






Customer survey results can be misleading

 

 

Many retailers ask customers for ratings on the service they received during a shopping trip.

Often, these requests to complete a survey are made from the associates themselves, and reinforced through a reminder on the receipt.

But exactly how valid are the results from these surveys?

At least one team of researchers say the answers aren't as truthful as retailers might hope.

 

Customers are biased in favor of employee security

This week, NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam talked on-air about a conversation he had with John Horton, a business school professor at New York University.

Horton and his colleagues had studied what the consequences were when people were asked to rate their service.

It turns out, there is bias inherent in such survey questions, because people are reluctant to give others a harsh rating: Fearing their answers may jeopardize employee jobs, respondents tend to rate service higher than it deserves.

So, even if a customer feels that an associate could have been friendlier, or more knowledgeable, he or she will give a three or four-star rating, rather than a more objective one or two-star rating.

Customers know that there are companies that will fire employees that have low ratings, and many don't want to be responsible for someone becoming unemployed simply if he or she was having "a bad day."

 

Use feedback for training

That does not mean, however, that customer feedback can never be trusted.

To obtain meaningful results, the survey must itself be constructed without bias.

Horton and his colleagues analyzed data from a large online platform with over a billion dollars in transactions.

They learned that when a rating platform informs users that the feedback is going to be private and that it won't be used to punish providers, users will provide more critical feedback.

The lesson is that even simple, one-question surveys can provide valuable feedback, as long as they don't appear to threaten the livelihood of individual who is being evaluated.

 Read blog: 3 CX improvements that drive revenue growth

If the survey makes it clear that the feedback is used for training purposes, participants will be honest.

And then future experiences might truly be worthy of a five-star rating.

 

 






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Countries

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Countries

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Customers

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Stores

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