Tag Archives: customer service

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 

 

A Customer Service Infographic

9 Jan

Last week, we wrote about one aspect of customer service — the firm’s return policy — and its impact on consumer satisfaction.

Today, we are presenting a broad-based infographic on good customer service that was developed by  Exponential Solutions (The CUBE) Marketing. Thanks to Steve Hashman, one of the company founders, for providing the infographic.
 

 

Meet Pepper: The Humanoid Robot

15 Jul

As we have noted numerous times over the past few years, technology has been changing the face of business — for both small and large firms. So, are we ready for personalized robots taking our orders and payment at restaurants?

According to Maria LaMagna, reporting for MarketWatch:

“Soon, when restaurant-goers hear ‘May I take your order?’, those words may be coming from a robot. Some restaurants have started experimenting with human-like robots instead of human cashiers, allowing consumers to pay for their meals without interacting with another person. Although many restaurants have allowed digital ordering, either online, by kiosk, or on tablets at the table, the practice of using humanoid, or human-like robots, is still in its earliest stages, and it’s primarily happening in Asia so far. Experts say the robots could benefit restaurants and lead to wider adoption — if diners aren’t too freaked out by them.”

“Pizza Hut is the latest company to try a robot cashier, in a partnership with robotics company SoftBank Robotics and MasterCard, which has created the payment app. The application works only with MasterCard’s MasterPass, a digital wallet that allows payment by MasterCard cards, as well as credit, debit, or prepaid cards.”

“SoftBank’s robot is named Pepper. It has a face and can even respond to human customers with some emotional intelligence. For example, if a customer seems more tentative to interact with a robot, Pepper will be more reserved, whereas if a customer is more energetic, Pepper will be, too. It looks like an alien, with eyes and a touchscreen on its chest, and it’s the size of a small child.”

Here is a photo of Pepper from MasterCard. Below the photo, there is a fun YouTube video.
 

 

 

Getting Loyal Customers and Turning Them into Advocates

7 Mar

All companies are after loyal customers — those who keep coming back to visit with the firms and regularly repurchase from them. It’s a tough competitive battle to capture and retain such customers.

But, even more valuable than loyal customers (and harder to achieve) are loyal customers who also serve as brand advocates or evangelists. THESE people not only keep on buying from a specific firm; they also recommend their favorites to others — sometimes, as with social media, to many others.
 
Take a look at this infographic from Spendsetter (published by Retail TouchPoints).


 

Mary Pacifico-Valley: A Great Career in Auto Marketing

15 Jul

Mary Pacifico-Valley is the owner of Denver-based Rickenbaugh Automotive Group. Pacifico-Valley worked her way up the ranks to her present position, and her company is hugely successful:

“Rickenbaugh Cadillac Volvo in Denver, CO and Infiniti in Dacono treats the needs of each individual customer with paramount concern. We know that you have high expectations, and as a car dealer we enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards each and every time. Allow us to demonstrate our commitment to excellence! Our experienced sales staff is eager to share its knowledge and enthusiasm with you. We encourage you to browse our online inventory, schedule a test drive and investigate financing options. You can also request more information about a vehicle using our online form.”

 
Here is a motivating video on Pacifico-Valley’s career and her business philosophy.

 

Do Better in Dealing with Negative Online Reviews

19 May

Negative online reviews can have a devastating effect on businesses — unless they are handled properly.

Here are some suggestions from Konnecti, a company that helps clients build their online presence.
 

 

Great Service: Be Fast, Friendly, and Helpful

6 Apr

StellaService is a relatively new firm that measures the quality of customer service provided by online retailers.

According to the company:

Dedicated to helping consumers make more informed online shopping decisions, StellaService is the first and only independent provider of customer service ratings for online retailers. Using its proprietary, rigorous evaluation system, StellaService rates thousands of retailers each year across a broad array of criteria, including usability and online tools, shipping and returns, and customer support. To maintain its independence and objectivity, StellaService pays for all products it purchases and relies on its staff of trained, full-time customer experience analysts to test the companies it evaluates. Based in New York City, the company also publishes reports and other research to help companies worldwide improve their service operations.”

Here’s a short video about customer service and StellaService.

 

StellaService: Be Fast, Friendly and Helpful from StellaService on Vimeo.

 

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