Tag Archives: customer expectations

How TripAdvisor Works

8 May

We often look at online customer reviews when deciding on our travel plans. And many travelers are active users of TripAdvisor, which:

“is the world’s largest travel site, enabling travelers to unleash the potential of every trip. TripAdvisor offers advice from millions of travelers, with 500 million reviews and opinions covering 7 million accommodations, restaurants, and attractions, and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features — checking more than 200 Web sites to help travelers find and book today’s lowest hotel prices. TripAdvisor-branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 390 million average unique monthly visitors in 49 markets worldwide. TripAdvisor: Know better. Book better. Go better.”

 
In this post, two videos are embedded: (1) How TripAdvisor reviews are compiled and vetted for source authenticity (to avoid phony reviews); and (2) The impact of online travel reviews on customer behavior.
 

 

 

What Will You Buy for Mom This Year?

4 May

According to the National Retail Federation, as reported by Ana Serafin Smith, Mother’s Day 2017 is expected to generate record revenues for retailers:

“Consumers say they will spend more than ever on Mother’s Day this year as they shower moms with everything from jewelry to special outings at favorite restaurants, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Mother’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average of $186.39 for the holiday, up from last year’s $172.22. With 85 percent of consumers surveyed celebrating the holiday, total spending is expected to reach $23.6 billion. That’s the highest number in the survey’s 14-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $21.4 billion.”

“According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $5 billion on jewelry (purchased by 36 percent of shoppers), $4.2 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch (56 percent), $2.6 billion on flowers (69 percent), $2.5 billion on gift cards (45 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (37 percent), $2 billion on consumer electronics (15 percent), and $1.9 billion on personal services such as a spa day (24 percent).”

 
  What do YOU plan to give mom this year? 🙂


 
Check out this video from the NRF.


 

Another Technological Innovation from Amazon

3 May

Not only is Amazon the leader in online retailing overall, it continues to develop innovative technology. Among its already popular innovations are the Kindle, Kindle Fire, TV Fire Stick, and Echo (Alexa).

Due to its getting more heavily involved in apparel retailing, Amazon has just patented a unique new technology-driven, custom-clothing process.

As Nick Wingfield reports for the New York Times:

“This year, Amazon will surpass Macy’s to become the largest seller of apparel in America, by several analysts’ estimates. It is looking at ways to keep expanding, too. Amazon is exploring the possibility of selling custom-fit clothing, tailored to the more precise measurements of customers, and it has considered acquiring clothing manufacturers to further expand its presence in the category.”

“If there are tipping points in retail — moments when shopping behavior swings decisively in one direction — there’s a strong case to be made that apparel is reaching one now, with broad implications for jobs, malls, and shopping districts.”

Also for the New York Times, Wingfield and Kelly Couturier describe Amazon’s customization effort:

“In April [2017], Amazon received an intriguing patent for an ‘on demand’ apparel manufacturing system, which can quickly fill online orders for suits, dresses and other garments. Here’s how it would work. (1) The process starts when customers submit online orders to the retailer for shirts and other articles of clothing, accessories, bedding, curtains, and towels. The patterns, printed onto rolls of fabric or other material, are arranged to reduce scrap.”

“(2) A “cut engine” then carves out the various pattern pieces, while cameras analyze them to make sure they aren’t being distorted in the process. (3) A robotic arm with a mechanical gripper places all the pieces into a tote on a conveyor belt. (4) The conveyor belt delivers the totes to a sewing station, where ‘an attendant and/or automated sewing machine’ stitches the item together. The items are then examined at a quality control station, packed up and shipped to customers.”

 

Click the image for many other figures that visually highlight Amazon’s customization process.

Source: Amazon 

 

Can Mark Wahlberg Help AT&T?

26 Apr

The competition among TV service, Internet, and cellphone service providers is more intense than ever — especially with the discount cellphone service pricing from T-Mobile and Sprint. Both AT&T and Verizon have seen this competition hit their bottom lines.

As a result, AT&T has just signed up celebrity Mark Wahlberg to headline video commercials that encompass all of the services that AT&T offers. Will this “all in one” campaign succeed?
 
 
Here is is a 90-second ad that AT&T uploaded to YouTube on April 24, 2017.


 
No matter how well the campaign does, Mark Wahlberg will do VERY well!!! 🙂


 

Another United PR Disaster: You Can’t Make This Up!

18 Apr

After its recent public relations nightmare, when it forcibly removed a passenger from a seat due to overbooking (overloading)  and dragged him from his seat, you would think that United Airlines would have learned its lesson. Social media and TV reports skewered United for its actions. Just this one video received more than 3.6 million views in a single week after the incident.
 

 
As a result of the continuing social media barrage — and after several PR missteps, United’s CEO finally issued a more consumer-oriented message to the public. As reported by Brandon Morse for THE BLAZE:

“United CEO Oscar Munoz has stated that in light of the recent deplaning debacle [on April 9, 2017], United Airlines will no longer use police to remove passengers from planes. In an interview with Good Morning America, Munoz stated that he felt ‘ashamed’ over how passenger David Dao was forcibly removed from the flight, and promised to review his company’s passenger removal policy. According to United spokesperson Maddie King, the passengers who witnessed the incident of flight 3411 will be reimbursed for the price of their ticket [if they sign a waiver against suing]. This news comes on the heels of the announcement that two more officers that were involved in the incident have been put on leave.”

From Fox News:

“That is not who our family at United is,” Munoz said. “This will never happen again on a United flight. That’s my promise.” In the future, law enforcement will not be involved in removing a “booked, paid, seated passenger,” Munoz said. “We can’t do that.”

So did CEO Munoz really mean what he said? You decide! On April 15, 2017, less than one week after the above incident, United removed two passengers on the way to their wedding. NPR’s Doreen McCallister reports that: “A couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding were removed from a United Airlines flight in Houston on Saturday. The incident happened nearly a week after a video showing a passenger being dragged off a Chicago-to-Louisville flight went viral. Michael Hohl and Amber Maxwell are scheduled to get married on Thursday.
 
Here’s a video clip from USA Today on this latest incident.
 

 
More!! The parodies of United Airlines are brutal. Here’s one example (recorded before the wedding couple incident).
 

 

A Multi-Faceted Look at Customer Perceptions of Companies

6 Apr

Temkin (a customer experience research and consulting company) regularly conducts a number of surveys on customer perceptions of companies based on polls of 10,000 U.S. consumers across a number of industries. For 2017, people were asked about 331 companies across 20 industries. These surveys are then placed into overall and industry rankings.

Click on the links to access specific rankings:

  • 2017 Temkin Experience Ratings — “The Temkin Experience Ratings are based on consumer feedback of their recent interactions with companies. We asked consumers to rate three components of the experience, Success, Effort, and Emotion, on a 7-point scale.”
  • 2016 Temkin Forgiveness Ratings — “The Temkin Forgiveness Ratings are based on consumer feedback on companies with which our survey respondents have recently interacted. We asked consumers how likely they would be to forgive the companies if those firms made a mistake.”
  • 2016 Temkin Trust Ratings — “The Temkin Trust Ratings are based on consumer feedback on companies with which our survey respondents have recently interacted. We asked consumers how much they trust those firms.”
  • 2016 Temkin Customer Service Ratings — “The Temkin Customer Service Ratings are based on feedback gathered from consumers regarding companies they’ve recently interacted with. We asked consumers to rate how satisfied they are with recent customer service experiences on a 7-point scale.”
  • 2016 Temkin Web Experience Ratings — “The Temkin Web Experience Ratings are based on consumer feedback on companies with which our survey respondents have recently interacted. We asked consumers how satisfied they are with the online interactions with those firms.”

These are the 20 industries encompassed in the Temkin ratings: Airlines, Auto Dealers, Banks, Computers & Tablets, Credit Cards, Fast Food, Health Plans, Hotels & Rooms, Insurance, Investments, Parcel Delivery, Rental Cars & Transport, Retailers, Software Firms, Streaming Media, Supermarkets, TV & Appliances, TV/Internet Service, Utilities, Wireless Carriers.
 
 

 

Ethical Selling: Not Necessarily an Oxymoron

4 Apr

Each year, Gallup conducts a survey on “Honesty/Ethics in Professions.” Here are the most recent results. As we can see, professionals in the health care professions are considered the most honest and ethical by Americans. On the other hand, car and insurance salespeople, advertising practitioners, and stockbrokers are rated quite low on these attributes. 
 

 

So what can these marketing professionals do to improve their standing among the public?

Consider these observations from Drew Hendricks, writing for Inc.:

“Sales itself is a fact of life; there’s something to sell to someone who wants to buy it; and salespeople are going to exist. Sales organizations need to ‘make a stand for ethical selling. Make sure it’s in your culture and communicate the importance and responsibility your salespeople and sales leadership have to represent the career of professional selling.’ Why do companies get an unhealthy sales culture? They’re pushing quota over quality, over long-term annual recurring revenue, and threatening those that aren’t ‘performing’ without understanding performance over time is powerful.”

“The most powerful conclusion one can take from the idea of ethical sales is to stand by key points: (1) Make thoughtful, careful research of a customer before even approaching them. (2) As Thorniley suggests, use ‘connected products, supported by predictive customer service [to anticipate] customer needs.’ (3) Think of the sales pipeline not as a one-stop process ending in a sale, but one that continually boosts customer happiness. (4) Don’t focus on closing; focus on making a sale that leaves the customer exhilarated and excited to have paid you.”

 

Click the image to read more from Hendricks.

CREDIT: Getty Images

 

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