Is Retail Doomed?

Posted by Steve Whittington on Feb 13, 2019 4:03:46 PM

Empty retail store 

Today as I look at the overall retail and service landscape, I see organizations failing to meet
customer expectations. The list of storied brands shutting down locations is enormous. In 2017 alone, over 5,000 stores of major retailers were closed: Sears and Kmart closed 358 stores, JC Penney 138 stores, Macy’s 68 stores, Payless Shoes emerged from it’s Chapter 11 restructuring with almost 1,000 fewer stores, and the list goes on and on.

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Topics: customer centric, customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Journey, Retail, Blogs

Book coming soon!

Posted by Steve Whittington on Nov 13, 2018 8:26:34 PM

Thriving in the Customer Age Book CoversI would really appreciate your feedback!. After years of speaking about the customer journey and the metrics to measure it, I am writing the book that will make the entire methodology available to entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Title is: "Thriving in the Customer Age”

And here is the ask. Help me pick the best cover and let me know why you chose it. Click here to fill out a really short survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RQGHHRV

Creating a truly remarkable customer experience has long been known as the competitive advantage that can transform your business results. But how does a business consistently provide this high-quality experience? What are the steps? How is a customer experience initiative measured? How does it improve the bottom line?

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Topics: Customer metrics, Thriving in the customer age, Customer Journey, Blogs

Customer Journey Critique - To protect and smile

Posted by Steve Whittington on Sep 11, 2017 9:27:27 PM

Edmonton Police Service logoA little while ago I had to get a reference check for a non-profit board I serve on.  I audibly groaned at the thought, but it needed to be done.

My perception versus the reality of what occurred was night and day, in fact I could say I was delighted by the experience with the Edmonton Police Service.  Who says that?

Well I do, at least for this experience.  In keeping with my desire to review a business every month (I missed August) against the four stages of the Customer Journey, I thought why not review a public service? To kick-start the critique, this is my Net Promoter Score for the EPS background check:

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Topics: customer journey critique, Edmonton police service, Customer Journey, Blogs

Customer Journey 8 key metrics to measure

Posted by Steve Whittington on Jul 6, 2017 4:32:46 PM

4 Stages of the Customer JourneyMany will say a great customer journey is accomplished with great customer service at every touch point of that journey. Many experts say that creating a great customer experience is simple, you just need to genuinely care about your customer.  If it’s so simple, why are so many brands falling down?  Perhaps it is because they are not gathering the objective facts measuring their customer journey. Case in point: 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service but only 8% of people believe these same companies deliver superior customer service (source: Lee resources). This is a massive disconnect which I believe is occurring because the customer journey is not being measured and looked at as a whole.

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Topics: customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Journey

Customer Journey Critique - A cut above the rest

Posted by Steve Whittington on May 10, 2017 10:58:51 PM

In an effort to further study the Customer Journey, I have taken observations beyond the myopic environment of the brands I serve to the broader marketplace.  I am proposing a monthly review of a business where I will describe how the customer journey was for me and critique the four stages of the customer journey. If you need a reminder of  the four stages of the customer journey, it is outlined in this blog.

This week I am starting with a B2C service brand. To kick start the critique, this is my Net Promoter Score for the brand in question:

On a scale of 1- 10; 1 being the least likely and 10 being the most likely, how likely are you to recommend this brand to friends, family and colleagues?

9

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Topics: customer experience, customer journey critique, Customer Series, net promoter score, Customer Journey, Net Promoter System, Blogs

Codifying the Customer Journey

Posted by Graphic Intuitions on Apr 17, 2017 11:04:37 AM

Unless you have been living under a rock, all organizations know that focusing on customer experience is the single initiative that brands can do to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and create value. This need is not just for service or retail organization but all organizations, including fabrication, manufacturing even the non profit sector. An entire industry has developed around teaching customer service to organizations. The challenge for a lot of organizations has been measuring the entire customer experience with metrics that can be referred to and improved upon. The entire customer journey can now be measured, in fact as you will see in this talk it has been codified.

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Topics: customer experience, Speaking, Customer Journey

The four stages of the Customer Journey

Posted by Steve Whittington on Mar 29, 2017 10:57:58 PM
Customer Journey can be a loop

As I look at the retail and service landscape, I see organizations failing to meet customer expectations.  The reasons are many: the customer can now educate themselves better than what most in-store representatives can provide.  A retail store is limited by the brands they offer versus the brand that a customer may want. The store itself is inconvenient; you have to travel to a location on your own time, often off route. Layer on top of this average customer service at best and it is easy to understand why customers are trying to go direct to brand or heading to e-commerce in ever increasing numbers.  E-commerce as a channel for service is creating an issue in and of itself for brands. While booking services online is a convenience for the customer, fierce cost comparisons are driving prices down and customer service training and staffing tend to get cut to remain price competitive.

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Topics: customer experience, Customer Series, Customer Service, Customer Journey

The Net Promoter System and why you need it

Posted by Steve Whittington on Aug 26, 2016 7:16:12 AM

happy-customerImagine a world in which your customers are so excited after shopping at your organization that they rush out to tell their friends and family.  If this happened with every one of your customers you wouldn’t need to spend a dollar on advertising because all your advertising would be done for you. (Well, this is a little bit of an exaggeration but you get the point).

Sales would sky rocket; earnings would double; staff, stakeholders and obviously customers would all be happier. This is not a fantasy world, this can be achieved by managing a rating by customers from one simple question “ How likely are you to recommend?”   It is called the Net Promoter Score.

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Topics: customer loyalty, Customer Series, Customer Service, Customer Journey, Net Promoter System, the ultimate question

The Customer Journey

Posted by Steve Whittington on Oct 6, 2015 3:49:32 PM

As I look at the retail landscape I see retail failing to meet customer expectations.  The reasons are many: the customer can now educate themselves better than most in store representatives.  The retail store is limited by the brands they offer versus the brand that a customer may want. The store in of itself is inconvenient, you have to travel to a location on your own time often off route. Layer on top of this average customer service at best it is easy to understand why customers are trying to go direct to brand or  heading to e-commerce  in ever increasing numbers.

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Topics: customer behaviour, customer life cycle, Customer Series, Customer Service, customer focus, Customer Journey, Blogs

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