Welcome to the Monthly Mash, a mashup of tools, tales and tips on customer service and the customer experience from around the blogosphere.
VOLUME 37: November 2014
Thoughts on the Customer: The Sympathetic Holiday Shopper
If you read our December 11 blog post, you know that we recently conducted a survey of consumer attitudes on holiday shopping. One of the findings you might have noticed was that 86.8% of respondents said they have “felt sorry” for retail workers who work on holidays. This idea is supported by a recent survey from LoyaltyOne which found that 50% of consumers think that stores being open all day on Thanksgiving day is a bad idea.
It should be noted that both our question and LoyaltyOne’s only scratch the surface of this topic and also don’t (seem to) account for the difference in feelings people might have for industries that are generally expected to be open on holidays, like movie theaters and restaurants. However, the two data points do give an indication of overall sentiment.
In our survey, we collected some interesting anecdotal data as well through an open-ended question: “What do you dislike most about holiday shopping?” We received a wide array of responses to this question, and some of the strongest, most impassioned responses were around the commercialization of the holidays and making staff work on holidays.
Based on the above, I think it is safe to come to two conclusions: that staff working holidays is something a) most people have a negative opinion of and b) many people care about deeply.
So what should organizational leaders take away from this survey? My takeaway is that outside of the traditional holiday service industries, being open on national holidays likely has a bigger negative impact on one’s brand than might be evident. It very well could be a variation of the classic customer service dilemma: it is easy to see the cost savings from cutting customer service functions; it is less easy to see the long term economic impact of bad customer service.
Similarly, it is easy to see the additional revenue that comes from opening on a holiday; it’s harder to see what the long term impact to the brand is. Retailers might want to be some research of their own about whether or not opening on holidays is worth it in the long run.
The Month in Customer Service Blogging
A collection of the best posts about customer service and the customer experience we read this past month.
- The Secret to Delighting (And Keeping) Your Customers Well Beyond the Holidays – Sure you need to push during the holidays, but the Disney Institiute shows us how to keep our customers beyond that.
- Would Your Customers Work for Your Company? – Well, would they? Content and happy employees make content and happy customers.
- What the Hell is Customer Experience? – Edgy title. Necessary topic.
- Need To Cut Costs? Deliver A Better Customer Experience. – Need To Cut Costs? Deliver A Better #CustExp. Is this an oxymoron? Jon Picoult says no.
- One of the Secrets to Amazing Customer Service: Attitude – A lesson on how attitude is present in every customer encounter. Spoiler alert: Good attitude works better.
- Why You Need Social Media for Customer Support – Five benefits to offering social customer service.
- Customer Experience vs. Customer Engagement — A Distinction Without a Difference? – Is “customer engagement” just another #custexp term of the moment? An insightful look.
- 7 Reasons Brand and CX are Disconnected – Is your company deliveing on your brand promise? Here are 7 reasons why you might not be.
- The Longest Lasting Emotions in Customer Experience – Research shows when you make your customers sad, they remember for a long time. See what other customer emotions linger.
- Sell, Sell, Sell in the Contact Center With These Three Customer Care Metrics – Three ways to tactfully sell in the contact center.
- Professional People Skills: 6 Ways to Respond to Chronic Fault Finders – “Dealing with chronic fault finders can demoralize a team.” 6 ways to respond to them without using the term Bah Humbug.
- When Giving Customers A Little Extra is a Big Mistake – Seems a bit contradictory considering the season, but an important read.
- 5 Tips for Thanking your Customers – Unlike the article above, this is right on target for the season. But should be used all year ’round.
- 10 Simple Tips to Improve Customer Care In Just 1 Day – Take a one day customer care retreat and make some serious improvements.
Someone Was Listening
Sometimes the most popular post from the previous month; sometimes just the one I liked best.
This series of phone calls in Documentation and The Tale of Four Phone Calls might seem like it could be a “mystery shopper” script, but it is a real-life demonstration of how documentation can be a key player in saving your customers time and hassle.
Photo Credit: http://depositphotos.com/portfolio-2069237.html