This will be the fifth consecutive year BARE has earned this prestigious title.

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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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BARE was founded in 1987 by Dale Bare and Michael Bare. At the time, Dale had her own public relations and marketing business and Mike was a regional director for a chain of Mexican restaurants.

Today, the company provides services for 4,500 clients in the following industries: financial, retail, automobile, health and wellness, housing, restaurant, mailing services, transportation, country club, hotel and resort and casino.‘ BARE shares an interview with CEO Dale Bare by Mystery Shopper Magazine.

MSM TALKS WITH DALE BARE, CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF BARE INTERNATIONAL:

MSM: We’re always curious about what motivates people, to the point, where they are willing to abandon successful business careers, to assume the risk of a new business venture. What were the circumstances that convinced both you and your partner, Michael Bare, that it was worth doing exactly that?

Dale:Mike had always been in the hospitality business and felt there was a great need for a company that could observe customer service, cash handling, cleanliness issues, etc. I had my own public relations business. Together we decided that it was worth a try – as there were not many mystery shop companies in existence at that time. Both Mike and I believe that you don’t know if something will work until you try it, so that is exactly what we did – with $12.00 worth of business cards.

MSM: From its inception in 1987, Bare International operated under the name of Restaurant and Hospitality Services (RHS) and focused primarily on the hospitality industry. In 1999, the company changed its name to Bare International (BARE) [and] opened its first overseas office in Antwerp, Belgium. How did the company evolve during this period and how did it happen to begin operating globally?

Dale: Yes, correct. We did begin as RHS and our entire focus was hospitality – restaurants, hotels, bars and then health clubs, spas and casinos. As for the overseas operation in Antwerp, we were approached by someone who had heard of us and was very interested in opening an office for us there. After some thought and preparation, again we went with our idea of “you don’t know if something will work until you try it” and opened the Antwerp office. The next two international offices were opened in China and India, and in both cases, by individuals who were shoppers for us.

MSM: Being bigger is not always better. What are some of the advantages and the disadvantages to being a global company?

Dale: Like anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages of any pursuit. The main advantage is that BARE is truly a global company and can assist most every potential client by being able to do work for them anywhere and everywhere. Many companies would prefer to hire one company to do all of their mystery shop work, rather than have different companies all over the world. In rough economic times, it is also helpful to us as a company to be able to continue to grow in areas that are economically sound, while perhaps another country is having economic problems. I am not sure I would use the word “disadvantage”, for some other factors. Perhaps the word “challenge” is better. And it is definitely a challenge to work with all of the different currencies, cultures, legalities, labor laws, etc. that you deal with internationally, but, both Mike and I would tell you, it has been an amazing educational experience.

MSM: Since that day in 1987, when you turned your vision into a reality, what have been your biggest challenges and most satisfying rewards along the way?

Dale: There have been many challenges but our mantra has always just been to get things done – make it happen. Opening offices, hiring and training people are all challenges, but the greatest rewards have been to know that we have helped our clients to better understand their businesses – the positives and the negatives. We have an amazing tenure of employees, so it makes us very happy to know that we have created a workplace that is appealing to people and they want to work for BARE.

MSM: Today, BARE enjoys a major presence in the mystery shopping industry. It seems to consistently appear on Inc. 5000’s “Fastest Growing Private Companies” list; the Company has five full-service offices covering the entire globe and actively does business in 100 different countries; and even has been recognized with an entry on Wikipedia.com. There must be days when you and Mike sit back and smile and say, “We did it!” Could you comment on this, please?

Dale: Yes, you are correct that BARE does have a major presence in the mystery shopping industry. As for Mike and I sitting back and saying “We did it!” Yes, we do say that and reinforce it all the time with our employees, because we could not have done it by ourselves. We know we are where we are because of the talent and dedication that supports us. Both of us are still 100% involved in the business, so we are always on the go…and always busy thinking about what’s next!

MSM: In what ways do you think mystery shopping will change over the upcoming years?

Dale: I think there will always be a need to observe customer service. As we have already seen over the years, the biggest change (and I think it will continue to be a change) is in the technological ways of reporting observations. Immediate responses will be the key to staying ahead of things. No longer the days of waiting for a report to be mailed to you and receiving it ten days after an evaluation!’

This article was first published January 2016. Since then, BARE has opened additional offices in the Philippines and Dubai, and celebrates 32 years this year of being a leader in customer experience research. 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.

BARE INTERNATIONAL sets the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide.

BEING A LEADER IN THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE INDUSTRY, WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE OUR PARTICIPATION IN THE RETAIL LEADERSHIP SUMMIT 2019.
This year’s theme is Customer Experience – Key to Mindshare & Marketshare, And we thought there couldn’t be a better time to participate.
If you’re coming too, please do call on +91 22 66897005 to align a 1v1 meeting so we could chat about how BARE International can contribute and help achieve Customer Experience Excellence in the Retail industry.

See you there!

‘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.