In the hospitality space, customer experience is everything. And in 2019 the increasing standard of living, high disposable income and a hunger for perfection has given the luxury hotel industry a list of high expectations to be met. Read more

BARE International was born from the need for mystery customer research at the national and global level. Today, we set the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide.

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BARE International shares an article highlighting how Business Intelligence is shaping the future of Customer Experience in Retail. 

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Is your organization meeting its customer service objectives? No matter the industry you’re in, successful businesses need the right tools to operate properly. BARE International’s mystery evaluators provide an unbiased perspective of how well an organization is truly performing on the front line.

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In a world where your competitors are only a click away, customer loyalty really is the new marketing. Read more

best mystery shopping companies

‘Rapid technological advances have created opportunities for smaller companies to serve customers around the world and effectively compete with larger companies for new customers. These smaller companies are rapidly going global, deploying a variety of technology-enabled solutions such as automated call centers, customer service bots, and digital marketing intelligence.‘ BARE shares an article by Michael Evans for Forbes on “Build A 5-Star Customer Experience With Artificial Intelligence.”

 

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‘For most of us, a lunch break is an opportunity to grab some food and get away from our desks for a little while.‘ BARE shares an excerpt by John Fitzsimons for Love Money on “How to Get Richers on Your Lunch Break.”

 

 

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‘Over the past few months I’ve chatted with people from a lot of companies who say their 2019 goal is to become more customer-centric.‘ BARE shares an article by Fabrice Martin for CMS Wire on “Become a Customer Experience Champion (and Create a Team of Champions Too).”

‘In each of those conversations, I emphasize that the most impactful change is creating an environment where all employees, regardless of title, see the customer as their North Star. To catalyze this transformation, customer experience (CX) champions should analyze feedback with empathy, operationalize insights throughout their organizations and foster constant communication about their most important stakeholder: the customer.

THE PARALLELS BETWEEN EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Studies show that empathy is a key driver of customer loyalty. Gartner has even gone so far as to suggest that excluding empathy from a CX program is a recipe for failure.

To best express empathy, companies should actively listen to their customers and make an effort to recognize both their implicit and explicit needs. Take Boxed, for example: The online wholesale retailer removed the “pink tax” from women’s products to show, on a personal level, that it cares about any social inequalities its customers may face.

Similarly, Ritz Carlton employees can spend up to $2,000 per day per guest to improve guest experiences, no questions asked. Because they don’t have to deal with red tape, they’re able to create exceptional experiences to demonstrate on the spot that they not only understand but value guest feedback. Acknowledging guests’ emotions and reacting in ways that validate their feelings increases the chances that the guests will stay at Ritz Carlton hotels again.

Investing in empathy is worth the cost — and that’s especially true for a high-end company like Ritz Carlton, whose customers spend an average of a quarter of a million dollars with the company over the course of their lifetimes.

At the heart of the interactions between a company’s employees and its customers is a human connection. And while it may seem counterintuitive, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) will play a crucial role in empowering brands in many industries to make that human connection and express empathy at every turn. With AI-powered systems, organizations can analyze customer feedback across multiple communication channels granularly, allowing them to quantify otherwise qualitative feedback at scale. Then, based on a robust analysis of feedback, employees can determine which changes to make and how to best execute them.

AMPLIFY THE CUSTOMER VOICE

CX champions have to be collaborative problem solvers, willing to get their hands dirty and work with employees at all levels and teams in every department to make necessary changes. By operationalizing customer insights, they can disperse valuable customer information throughout the company.

Adobe, for example, has created a system wherein employees from any department can listen to recorded customer calls. That helps Adobe employees make informed decisions within their business units by giving them insight into the customer journey and illuminating how users interact with the brand’s products.

Similarly, at Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos famously insists on reserving a seat for the customer at every meeting. His bold allotment of physical space for the customer voice encourages all employees, regardless of department, to both listen to and assess customer feedback as if it were coming from any other stakeholder.

CX champions can take practices like those of Adobe and Amazon a step further by providing access to aggregated customer sentiment and effort data. Whether sharing that information within structured meetings, across company communication channels, or both, distributing insights will empower employees at every level to turn customer feedback into informed decisions.

DEMONSTRATE VALUE TO THE C-SUITE AND BEYOND

Part of a CX champion’s responsibility is to consistently demonstrate why the customer voice is so important and how decisions informed by feedback impact the business as a whole. Just as customer insights should not be siloed within the CX team, neither should the results of CX initiatives. Employees can track the business value of all improvements their team has catalyzed and share them with key stakeholders to illuminate the impact of the program. Highly tailored, data-driven presentations for those responsible for allocating the CX team’s budget will go a long way toward earning passionate supporters.

It is especially important for global organizations to demonstrate the value of the CX program across the company. 

With new messaging platforms like Slack and AI-enhanced streaming video solutions, CX champions can foster consistent communication within the company to explain initiatives designed to address customer complaints and highlight the results. When other members of the organization see the magnitude of customer experience data and how specifically it is analyzed, categorized and transformed into actionable insights, it not only bolsters credibility but also encourages people throughout the company to become customer enthusiasts.

Customer-centricity begins with a deep understanding of common feedback and the thoughtful implementation of changes that address customer sentiment, effort and emotion. CX champions can then foster interdepartmental collaboration and communication to build excitement around customer feedback and demonstrate the power of customer feedback within their organization.

With an ethos fixated on the customer, and the technology to turn big data into impactful decisions, companies will see increases in brand loyalty and profitability.’

Today, BARE International sets the industry standard as one of the largest independent providers of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

‘This is the time most of us reflect on the past year’s business, and — if we haven’t already — firm up our plans and goals for the next 12 months. And of course, customer relationships should be high on the list of things on which to reflect.‘ BARE shares an article by Michael Hess for MoneyWatch (CBS) on 10 Customer Service Resolutions for the New Year.

‘Here, in no particular order, are the 10 most important commitments you and your staff should make to your customers, and to yourselves:

1. Be nice: Seemingly so easy yet, apparently for many companies, so hard. The simple quality of being nice to people makes them more receptive to any interaction, and makes all other elements of service easier and more effective.

2. Be accessible, respond quickly: Whether it’s getting a real person on the phone quickly and easily, or getting a prompt and complete reply to an email or other inquiry, responsiveness and access are among the most critical determinants of customer satisfaction. In fact, according to the people who measure this stuff, accessibility and responsiveness are two of the four most common traits of the very highest-rated customer service businesses.

3. Give the benefit of the doubt: Always err on the side of the customer. Many companies, particularly when they are in “gray area” situations, fall back on policies and misguided self-protection. If you’re not sure who’s “right,” whenever possible let it be your customer.

4. Don’t lose your cool: Don’t ever argue or be defensive with people — there will always be difficult, unreasonable and angry customers, but very few of them are out to get you or your company. We all know that emotion just triggers more emotion, and it’s your job as a service professional to stay above it and manage the tone of the conversation. Don’t treat customer service as a competition. Odds are if you are doing things right, you won’t be dealing with as many confrontational people to begin with.

5. Be generous: Whether it’s with your time, tangibles or just in spirit, generosity is a quality that usually pays you back. If you can do something for someone, do it with pleasure. If you can do more, do that too. Go the extra mile.

6. Get to the point: Always get from A to B as quickly as possible. If you already know the likely outcome of a conversation, get to itsooner than later, without making the customer jump through hoops. Eliminate all steps, questions, processes and policies that aren’t absolutely necessary. You, too, have presumably been a person needing service, so you know exactly what it means to want to scream, “can we get to the part where you help me now?” Don’t make your customers feel that way.

7. Find the “happiest” solution: At the end of the day, all people really want is to be happy, and that’s what customer service is generally about. So while you can’t please everyone every time, always think in terms of what you can do to make the customer happier when she’s finished dealing with you than when she started. There is usually a way.

8. Smile: Whether in person, on the phone or even when writing an email, if you’re smiling chances are you’ll say or write things in a way that’s more likely to be well-received. I’m not suggesting walking around 24/7 with a creepy grin on your face — that just scares people. But a real smile, one that suggests you’re happy to help, always makes its way through to the customer. If you’re not happy to help, you’re in the wrong line of work.

9. Listen: Of course, that’s an important quality in all areas of life and business, except that many companies hear their customers without listening to them. Hearing only requires an ear (and maybe a headset); listening requires a brain — and ideally a heart. Understand what they really want and need, and you’re more likely to serve them well.

10. Empathize: This is what it all boils down to — always. Genuine empathy is where all great customer service starts and ends. If you and your employees don’t have it, you can never — and I mean never — excel at taking care of people.

If you really need a reminder of what it’s all about, keep a pair of someone else’s shoes next to your desk and put yourself in them once in a while. Seriously.

If you think you and your business are already hitting on all cylinders, congrats and keep up the incredible work. But much more likely, you’re in the “always room for improvement” category. You might be operating at peak performance in some of these areas but not in others, or maybe you’re generally great but always want to set a higher bar for your business.

Either way, take an honest look at how you fare in each of these areas. And it should go without saying that your review should include actually learning what your customers think, as well as your equally important employees.

Today, BARE International sets the industry standard as one of the largest independent providers of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. BARE’s customer experience research can provide you with critical data to make meaningful business decisions. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here


CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH & INSIGHTS BY BARE INTERNATIONAL

Your business challenges are unique. Our proven success across industry categories stems from asking the right questions to help you address the challenges you face everyday. Each solution we offer is customized to meet your needs, providing actionable feedback to help you make critical business decisions. We treat you the way you want to treat your own customers, providing a dedicated project team to give you the attention you deserve and an infrastructure spanning the globe to provide the resources you need to understand your customers’ experiences.

  • Customized Research Solutions
  • Immediate, Actionable Feedback
  • Dedicated Project Team
  • Family-Owned, Global Capabilities

Get in touch today to receive a complimentary evaluation of your business. We look forward to working with you.

Mystery shopping is becoming more and more popular as the preferred method of customer experience research. While there are many companies performing these services, not all work the same. Read more