Sustaining an audience is hard

Sustaining an audience is hard,” Bruce Springsteen once said. “It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time.” He was talking about his route to music stardom, yet his words are just as applicable to the world of customer experience.

Consistency may be one of the least inspirational topics for most managers. But it’s exceptionally powerful, especially at a time when retail channels are proliferating, and consumer choice and empowerment are increasing.

No matter which retail sector you are in, it is imperative to actively seek to “wow” your customers by providing unique and exceptional customer experiences and set your organization, brand, and/or franchise apart from the competition. EliteCXS offers a variety of measurement options to suit your needs. Our highly flexible and customizable solutions and reporting will focus in on the area’s most important to you. EliteCXS is here to help you on this journey with:

Consumers have so many options when it comes to making a purchase.  What sets your business apart?   How do you build and maintain brand loyalty?   Whether your business drives customers to brick and mortar locations or online shopping, you need to stay on top by providing a stellar customer journey.  EliteCXS will keep you up to date with trends, monitor your customer’s experience and help you measure the effectiveness of your operation.

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A Unique Perspective

EliteCXS offers a unique perspective to the retail experience. Our knowledge will help you to achieve and/or maintain ratings across social media and review sites for your brand or franchise group.

Our TrueVoiceCX solution helps you drive and populate positive reviews, maintain consistency across all listing sites, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking. EliteCXS’ web inquiry and telephone-based mystery shopping solutions are designed to ensure your brand standards are met through active measurement of the reservation, inquiry and online ordering processes. EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal sales process. Our web design team can perform analytics and check-ups to ensure your website is running at optimal performance.

Incorporating Covert Video

Using the latest in Covert Video Mystery Shopping technology, we send qualified evaluators to conduct visits at your establishments. Our editing team will refine the footage of one visit down to a interaction based video that shows each key staff interaction along with images of purchased items, facility conditions and receipts.

A typical retail environment poses many obstacles we have learned to overcome. Background noise, awkward angles, periods of inactivity, limited lighting and documenting purchased items all pose challenges for the evaluator and the editing team.

The value of adding video shops along with a written component of mystery shopping is key to fully understanding the data. Much of the rapport established by the store staff is difficult to document in words alone. Through covert video, you are allowed to see the mannerisms, body language, tone of voice and context of the interactions that take place. You can see first-hand how issues such as service recovery, integrity situations, upsell techniques and promotional campaigns are handled.

Interactions from a collection of videos can be compiled to create an Executive Highlight Reel of key successes and areas needing attention. The footage can be used for individual training purposes as well as for creating training modules for the staff and management. EliteCXS is here to help you improve your customer journey, one process at a time.

Big Box & Mass Merchandise

A retail space whose only challenge was keeping their prices competitive, must now battle internet options as well.   Customer incentive, the personal touch and a quick reaction to industry trends can keep the traffic flowing to your door. And, it’s getting more difficult for the nation’s retailers — from department stores to supermarkets — to keep their customers happy, according to the new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)

The retail sector scored a 75.8 on a 100-point scale, a slide of 1.2 percent from the previous year. This was the second year in a row that customer satisfaction with the retail experience dropped. Of the six categories covered by this survey, only gas stations rated higher — and that was due to lower fuel prices, the report said.

Why the decline? ACSI data shows that customer satisfaction peaked in the years following the Great Recession — a time when retailers and employees were trying hard to please customers with big discounts and better service. “We’ve had a bit of a honeymoon period over the last few years and that’s now over as higher prices are returning,” said ACSI’s managing director. “Customers have higher expectations now. They have a little more money in their pocket to spend and they’re going to be more discerning about the quality of that shopping experience.”

With a score of 76, down 3.9 percent, the country’s big-name retailers are now back down to satisfaction levels seen before the economic recovery. Not a single store in this category did better in the past year. Customers are generally pleased with the sales and promotions, and the variety and selection of merchandise. They’re not happy with the time it takes to get assistance and to checkout. Store layout and cleanliness also show room for improvement.

So many retailers these days sell the same variety of merchandise. They can market their low prices or offer good service. And as the ACSI managing director noted, there’s only so much you can do with price. “Differentiating on customer service and on the quality of the shopping experience is really what it’s all about,” he said “Do you have the inventory in the store? Is the store well laid out? Are the customer service personnel helpful and there, can you find them? That’s what it’s all about.”

Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e. overall hospitality, New project launch, Service levels, Staff interactions, Cleanliness, Reinforce brand standards, Check Out, Proper POP placement, Process adherence, Customer Service

C-Stores & Service Stations

The competitive landscape for convenience store and service station retailers has caused the industry to change dramatically.  Once value was the determining factor.  Now you must find other attributes and opportunities to set your brand apart.  The convenience store brands that outperform on critical differentiating attributes attract twice as much customer spending as those that do not.

One of the key factors in determining the likelihood of success and profits in your brand is customer satisfaction. When there is customer loyalty, the customer retention rate is high, and the business result follows. Any brand without a focus on customer satisfaction is at the mercy of the market. Without the actions to develop loyal customers, you open the door to your competitors satisfying their desires and your customer retention rate will decrease.

Ensuring a successful degree of customer delight and loyalty does not have to be a complicated process.  Before you look too far, it is always a good idea to examine your current practices. Sometimes, we get so caught up in data matrices that we forget about basic principles of customer service and employee training that are the foundation of convenience store success. Here are a few to keep in mind:

Know Your Customer

Convenience store customers are different from customers browsing in a retail store or going out to eat in a restaurant. Often, they know exactly what they want, and they expect your staff to be as focused as they are. When they come in with a question or a different need, they expect quick and professional service.

Practice Basic Etiquette

They’re simple, but often forgotten, words: “Please.” “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” “How can I help?” “I’m sorry.” All customers deserve to be treated with common courtesy, even when the business of their lives causes them to forget their own manners. You must train your staff on basic etiquette, and model it in your own behavior.

Problem Solving

Customers will have problems sometimes – that’s just a reality in this business. Often, customers are influenced more by how they’re treated when an issue arises than they are with the issue itself. Train employees on the basic problem-solving technique of “L.A.S.T,” which stands for Listen – Apologize – Solve – Thank.

Remember “Be Our GUEST”

This simple acronym encompasses the basic principles of customer service training for convenience store employees: G.U.E.S.T. It stands for:

Greeting: Start every customer interaction out on the right foot with a friendly greeting.

Understanding: Listen to your guests to understand what they need and respect their time.

Eye contact: When you make eye contact with guests, you’re sending a non-verbal cue that they’re important to you.

Speed of service: Even when the store gets very busy, guests must be served as quickly as possible. Quick thinking and prioritization keep the “convenience” in convenience store.

Thank: Keeping with the theme of practicing etiquette and basic principles of customer service, thank every customer on every visit.

Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

Overall hospitality, new project launch, service levels,  staff interactions, cleanliness, reinforce brand standards, check out, proper POP placement, process adherence, customer service, employee engagement, employee training.

Grocery & Supermarket

The U.S. grocery industry is undergoing its most significant transformation in modern history. This shift is putting a massive amount of pressure on established supermarkets and the CPG products sold on their shelves.

Without changes in the way they operate, these companies will fade into obscurity or bankruptcy within the next few years. Although this seems like a bold prediction, one only need to look at the recent past for proof; 18 major grocers have gone bankrupt in the United States since 2014. Traditional supermarkets face threats from increased competition as smaller brands enter the market, lower prices and online growth.

Providing customers with a delightful shopping experience means you get to turn a much larger number of visitors into loyal repeat customers. After all, people aren’t going to shop where they feel unwelcome or taken for granted. The most memorable customer experiences are the ones that create an emotional connection with customers. In fact, businesses that use emotional connections outperform their competitors by 85% in sales.

The quickest path to getting ahead of your competition, reducing threats and providing a better customer experience is engagement, engagement, engagement. You need to create customer interactions that produce engagement. Brands that consistently practice a customer-first mentality focusing on their convenience, their time, their mentality, their tendencies, their comfort, their perception, their limited attention span succeed even when faced with lower priced competition.

Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

– Overall hospitality – Staff Friendliness – Staff engagement in Aisles – Counter interactions – Produce interactions – Customer service interactions
– Cleanliness – Reinforce brand standards – Cashier interaction – Cash Handling

Speciality Retail

With internet shopping available without leaving home, the you, as a speciality retailer, need to keep in touch with what with what is going on inside your locations as seen through your customer’s eyes.  A truly exemplary experience will give your key demographic a reason to get off the internet and visit you for their retail needs.

In general, consumers like speciality retailers better than they do department and discount stores. “According to customers, staff at many speciality stores provide excellent service and outperform every other retail category,” according to the ACSI. “These employees often have an area of expertise and deeper knowledge of products, and customers find them most helpful and courteous.” Implementing and maintaining an ongoing customer delight program and employee engagement are key attributes to the development of long-term loyal customers and increased profitability.

Amazon is now the measuring stick by which all retailers have to view themselves. The online giant is omnipresent and never closes. It also has high-quality customer service and offers consumers a good experience. This creates a high bar for retailers to live up to, although the niche speciality players may be given some more leeway from customers as long as they offer the niche expertise. Amazon, in general, has pushed all other retailers to either get better or to risk falling way behind.

When you run a small retail shop, customer service is at the heart of every decision you make. There might be a lot of debate surrounding ‘the customer is always right philosophy,’ but there is no debate about this: You need to provide truly excellent customer service to keep shoppers coming back.

Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

– Overall hospitality – New project launch – Service levels  – Staff interactions – Cleanliness – Reinforce brand standards – Check Out – Proper POP placement
– Process adherence – Customer Service – Employee engagement – Employee training

Luxury Retail

Brand loyalty is paramount in this sector of the retail industry.  With higher costs come even higher expectations of quality and customer service. Elevating customer experience is a must when marketing luxury brands. Nothing builds your brand as effectively; nothing drives repeat purchases more quickly; nothing increases the value of your products and services more efficiently than the level of customer experience you provide.

It’s no secret that luxury brand buyers’ needs are quite different from those of traditional buyers. With more resources and generally less time available than the average consumer, competition for their money and attention is fierce. So how do you amp up your brand and make it stand out to the luxury customer? Cutting through all the noise in marketing and advertising nowadays means ditching the old school practice of simply promoting the characteristics and features of your product. Today’s luxury buyer is not sold on solely the benefits of what you are selling but on the overall brand experience; an experience that must be conveyed at every possible touchpoint whether digitally, on a customer service call or in person.

Think about the last experience you yourself had with a luxury brand. Maybe you stopped by the Louis Vuitton storefront on 5th Avenue last time you were in New York City. Or maybe you had to have your Lexus taken in for a tune up. Or even the last time you flew first class. How did you feel? You were still at a retail store with four walls, or a dealership with cars on the lot, or in a cabin on an airplane. But there was something more…The people there had smiles on their faces. They knew everything about the experience you were having. They helped you with something before you even knew you needed help. They surprised you with a bottle of water, or an espresso, or a glass of complimentary champagne. In short, you were treated like royalty. These are experiences that delight customers. They are the experiences that get shared with future customers. And they are they experiences that keep customers coming back for more.

And the math adds up. Because you have big margins on your products and services, luxury brands don’t need to worry as much about traditional customer service metrics, like average handling time. They know that the extra time spent helping their customer over the phone, in a chat window, over email, or on social media will be paid back many times over by a lifetime of brand loyalty.

When marketing to customers of a luxury brand, delivering an enjoyable customer experience is one of the most important things to consider. When selling a luxury item or service, you are well aware that you are selling an experience and convenience just as much as you are selling a good or service. This means that at any point, if the experience becomes less than luxury, the customer will walk away from your brand without hesitation. Because selling luxury means selling customer experience, initiating innovative opportunities for customer feedback is a must.

Customer feedback is your quick access guide to improving your customer experience. When customers provide you with their opinions on how you are doing, they are giving you valuable access into how to improve your company and sell more.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

– Overall hospitality – New project launch – Product knowledge – Staff interactions – Wow factors – Reinforce brand standards – Check Out – Proper POP placement

Pharmacy

With organizations such as Amazon emerging as disruptors in the health care space, pharmacies must look to set themselves apart from their competitors. In order to distinguish yourself, retail pharmacy businesses must continue to shine when it comes to engaging patient-centric services that drive satisfaction.

Increasing revenue by getting people in your door is one of the biggest challenges of any business. Getting people to come back again is an even bigger challenge which can only be solved by delivering extraordinary customer service that large chain pharmacies can’t provide. Want to know more about how you can deliver exceptional customer service and improve patient satisfaction?

  1. A Loyal customer is a treasure you should keep and hide from the world – According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. Some research says that it is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  2. They can stop being your clients in a heartbeat – Is not rocket science, nowadays clients easily switch their love brands. It is often caused by terrible customer service. Clients waiting for ages to get feedback or comment from a brand? Unacceptable! But it still happens. And gaining clients’ trust takes up to 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

“When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better. Your customer service organization should be designed to effectively communicate those issues.” – Kristin Smaby, “Being Human is Good Business”.

  1. It’s (all) about the money, too – It shouldn’t be surprising, but customer satisfaction is also reflected in your revenue. Customers’ opinion and feelings about the brand can affect, in both positive and negative way, the essential metrics – such as the number mentions and repeated transactions, and also customer lifetime value or customer churn. Happy customers won’t look at your competitors offers – they will happily interact with your brand again, make a purchase and recommend the product further. If you meet all of their requirements and answer their needs while delivering the best quality of your services, they will be fully satisfied. Not to mention your brand will increase sales revenue!
  2. Customer satisfaction is a factor that helps you stand out of the competition – Kate Zabriskie once said that “Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.” and we couldn’t agree more. Your competitive rivals are just waiting for you to make a wrong move. What is more, they can often play the role of an instigator. Being prepared for their provocations is not enough if you don’t know how to deal with the negative backlash. However, if you provide your customers with amazing customer service, you will gain arguments to convince those uncertain of your services.
  1. Great customer experience can take your brand places – The importance of customer satisfaction should never be neglected. You should consider it especially while planning your marketing and positioning campaigns. Satisfied customers are more likely to share your content across social media. They will also more keenly interact with your posts, leaving some delightful and admirable comments. Later you can use it as the source for case studies and success stories. Being an example of a company that provides a ravishing customer satisfaction? Every brand should aim for it.

Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

– Overall hospitality – New project launch – Service levels – Staff interactions – Cleanliness – Reinforce brand standards – Check Out – Proper POP placement – Process adherence – Customer Service – Employee engagement – Employee training

Wireless

In the wireless space, customer loyalty matters, because retaining a customer costs essentially nothing while luring a new one in involves incentives, paying off phone installment contracts, and sometimes offering lower pricing. That’s especially true in a mature wireless market. In the United States, cell-phone adoption has moved over 94%. That means nearly everyone who wants a wireless phone or smartphone already has one. For carriers, that means the only source of new customers in any significant amount is other carriers. It’s an industry where the competition for customers is fierce and loyal customers are especially valuable now that consumers can switch providers easily, without losing their number.

Demands are fierce for and customer experience at each touchpoint is even more a priority today than ever before. Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

– Overall hospitality – New project launch – Service levels – Staff interactions – Cleanliness – Reinforce brand standards – Check Out – Proper POP placement – Process adherence – Customer Service – Employee engagement – Employee training

Online Retailers

When it comes to clicks versus bricks, a new report shows customer satisfaction with online shopping is actually down from last year — while supermarket customers report an increase in satisfaction. But the war isn’t won yet. The internet remains the most satisfying place to shop, though online retailers showed “signs of strain” and dropped 1.2 percent to score an 82, according to the new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Retail Report. This suggests that “despite its place atop all retail industries, there are still improvements to be made,” the report noted.

In order to successfully address the growing and rapidly changing expectations of online shoppers, a strong customer experience agenda is a must. The customer experience journey should be looked at from a multistage view for understanding customer decision-making and retail experience by introducing a model that includes the pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase stages that comprise the customer journey over a continuous cycle of previous, current, and future customer experiences.

Our TrueVoiceCX solution will help you keep a finger on the pulse of your businesses’ lifeline by obtaining customer feedback, driving and populating positive reviews, maintaining consistency across all listing sites, social media engagement, real-time mobile customer chat and staying on top of your competition through competitive benchmarking.

EliteCXS’ onsite mystery shopping and video mystery shopping solutions are designed to drive higher customer delight levels and profitability through active measurement of front-line staff and their execution against the ideal level of customer experience, i.e.

Overall hospitality – New project launch – Service levels – Staff interactions – Cleanliness – Reinforce brand standards – Check Out – Proper POP placement – Process adherence – Customer Service – Employee engagement – Employee training

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