July 12, 2019 /
Comments Off on The iconic brand doing a Blockbuster

The iconic brand doing a Blockbuster

An iconic Australian department store (DJ’s) is doing its best Blockbuster impersonation.

They are reducing two Sydney flagship stores to 1, and eliminating 6 floors.

Profits have been declining every year for 15 years (lightening reaction times).

Online sales rose 46.8 per cent and now account for 7.7 per cent of total sales.

But they call it a “retail recession”. 15 years is not a retail recession. More like a crusty brand recession.

The wonderful DJ’s service was legendary, but the legend is built around invisible staff and awful service.

Service counts more than ever in physical stores but it’s the place they cut.

They had/have a chance to fix it if they become an iconic.com.au but they are probably cooked.

They saw their purpose as a multi-brand landlord, but they should have considered themselves to be a multi- brand marketplace.

This would have enabled them to pivot to online.

When service and purpose clash it’s like waves crashing on an outgoing tide.

July 12, 2019 /
Comments Off on Reading the customer’s mind, when they can’t

Reading the customer’s mind, when they can’t

If the customer doesn’t know why they made a decision, how are you supposed to help them make it?

There are three factors at play:

1) the rational brain (which isn’t really used that much)

2) emotional drivers (moods and feelings)

3) contextual drivers (we aren’t always the same person).

So how are we supposed to be empathetic? Somehow cruising down the Amalfi coast with gold chain dangling is relevant. The trick – don’t judge others based on your current contextual situation.

July 11, 2019 /
Comments Off on The forgotten aspect of customer service

The forgotten aspect of customer service

What’s the forgotten aspect of customer service?

One advantage of running a Mystery Shopping company is that I get to see great detail what works and what doesn’t work in customer service

The following graph tracks client data for Satisfaction and Knowledge.

We changed the enquiry every month. Satisfaction and the level of knowledge track almost exactly.

I’m all for training people on the importance of human connection, but if staff don’t have the knowledge, then you miss the starting gate altogether.

Can I have a lettuce wrap burger?

Will these shoes get damaged in the rain?

Can you suggest ……

If you want to make a big improvement to your customer satisfaction, arm your staff with knowledge, after which you can sweat the small stuff.

Satisfaction and knowledge graph

About Steven: Steven uses Purpose as a tool to unlock the conflict between Stakeholders, Customers and Staff.

His specialty is Customer Service, which he views through the lense of purpose. He uses purpose to connect customers and staff in a way that keeps stakeholders happy.

Steven has written a book on customer service measurement called Mystery Shopping Mastery and has been a well-established speaker for over 10 years.

You can book Steven at stevendipietro.com

July 02, 2019 /
Comments Off on Surveys don’t tell the whole picture

Surveys don’t tell the whole picture

I was just completing a report for a new banking client and noticed two measurements heading in opposite directions. Their mystery shopping scores were low, but their customer satisfaction from exit surveys was high.

So what’s going on?

This highlights the problem with reliance on one measurement. The customers are woo’d by the nice branch, and super polite staff who are expert and reiterating what the client asked for.

They also get a nice farewell. But here’s the problem. The staff are not doing the things that make the sale.

Two critical aspects of a home loan are to:

1) determine the customer’s needs (so they staff don’t go into boring sales spiels), and

2) follow-up after the sale (a big driver of making a sale) Both scored poorly.

The branch is polite and presents a professional environment. So the customer walks out thinking the service was “nice” but buys nothing. This is common, and it’s dangerous if you just listen to customers.

June 25, 2019 /
Comments Off on How to get staff to give a damn

How to get staff to give a damn

How do you get an 18-year-old cashier to care.?

How do you get a labourer on a construction site to care?

How do you get a CEO to care?

How do you get your kids to care?

All jobs have implications. Everything you do, no matter mundane has consequences.

Know the consequences

Either you know the consequences of your actions, or you don’t.

A little smile or a growl to a customer will influence them. A small reckless action by a construction worker may unwittingly kill a workmate. An immoral decision by a CEO may knowingly bankrupt an employee.

But that’s not the whole picture.

What also matters is whether you care.

You may care about the consequences on the other person, or you may not.

 The upshot is that everyone needs to know their actions matter, whether or not on purpose. Purpose is not a precondition to consequences.

June 20, 2019 /
Comments Off on Are you right there?

Are you right there?

That’s a typical Australian welcome to a retail store.

“Are you right there is right up there with loose and useless statements.

It can be said with attitude or easily received with attitude.

Right in what sense? This could mean anything.

What about another one?

“Yell out if you need anything.

You just can’t say that and walk away.

It’s the easiest way to pretend to connect and then go about your whatever you are doing tasks that don’t involve the customer.

And one other favourite.

“Can I help you?”

Well… I don’t know, can you? You don’t even know what I want.

You are assuming I am hopeless and need help?

Are you there to do everything I need? Will you hold my shopping bags while I browse?

I know that many of these words are taken to have their own meaning.

They are a form of welcome, but they are loose.

Every shopper will understand it’s a form of welcome, but they will process the exact words differently.

What is the purpose of a greeting in retail?

Really.

Why do you greet people?

Is it to be polite? Yes.

Is it to offer help? Yes.

So why not say that?

Why not say….

“Good morning, I’m Steven and I’m here to help whenever you want

or

“Welcome to our store. I hope you find what you are looking for. Would you like some help now, or would you like me to check in later?”

or

“Nice to see you. I’m here to help with whatever you need in store

or

“Welcome. I’m here to point out things you may miss while browsing, just yell out”

The words matter.  They need a purpose.


About Steven: Steven uses Purpose as a tool to unlock the conflict between Stakeholders, Customers and Staff.

His specialty is Customer Service, which he views through the lense of purpose. He uses purpose to connect customers and staff in a way that keeps stakeholders happy.

Steven has written a book on customer service measurement called Mystery Shopping Mastery and has been a well-established speaker for over 10 years.

You can book Steven at stevendipietro.com

June 12, 2019 /
Comments Off on 1 Star reviews are no reason to panic

1 Star reviews are no reason to panic

Osteria Francescana was voted the best restaurant in the world for 2018. If you look at the Trip Advisor reviews, you will see 86 people thought it was terrible. That’s 3.8% of the reviewers.

Emirates is considered one of the best airlines in the world, but 2,619 people thought it was terrible (5.2% of reviewers).2 more terrible reviews came in after I did the video

Tiffany & Co Maddison Avenue had 61 one star reviews on Google out of 1,796 reviews (3.4% of reviewers).

So what’s going on? It’s obvious, but not simple.

If 3.4% of people think you’re terrible, then 96.7% of people think you’re not.

These brands stir strong feelings. Despite these being some iconic great brands, you can’t please all the people all the time. That’s obvious.

Public feedback knocks on your door and feels like public shame. It’s tempting to ignore.

It could just be that 3 in 100 people don’t connect with the brand. It could be that customers (in their own heads) have created a different narrative.

After all, Brand Marketing tries to position the brand in the consumer’s mind, but it’s ultimately the consumer who processes its meaning. Just because you position a brand a certain way doesn’t mean consumers will receive it that way in their head. So for some customers it may just be brand expectation.

You may position Tiffany as the go to luxury brand, but 3% of people may be expecting rainbows and butterflies when they walk in. They may somehow feel underwhelmed. You can’t control that and nor should you ignore it. Some people walking onto an Emirates plane may be expecting business class type seats in economy.

I often see brands freak out over a negative review. Someone from head office will contact the offending store asking them to explain the subjective review left by a single customer. This could be the only contact a store has with head office about anything in months. The store gets in a spiral, and morale just drops. 

“They only care about catching us out on the bad things”

So what do you do with this information? Get global and local.

Get local and global

Individual reviews need to be reviewed at the store level. If an individual site receives a terrible review, then it’s incumbent on the store to find out why, and take corrective action if it’s at all possible.

Corporate should be looking at trends over time to see if there is a systemic deterioration (e.g. the quality from the new food supplier has dropped). Corporate should also be looking at trends by store to ensure the stores are taking corrective action. But corporate should not be freaking out about individual poor scores.

More importantly, no-one should be crazily think the sky is falling down when 97% of people don’t think you are terrible.

We’ve just launches a social media monitor to allow organisations to track the trends by store over time and also to track whether stores are actively dealing with poor scores. We still see people struggling to deal with the distinction of when to dive in and when not.

It’s quite clear. Stores should dive into the individual results, and head office should dive into trends.

June 07, 2019 /
Comments Off on Organisational wisdom

Organisational wisdom

Don’t be confused. Information is not wisdom.

I’ve heard a lot of people say things like “wisdom is everywhere” – thanks to the internet.

But wisdom is not information.

The dictionary definition of wisdom says you need three things for wisdom.

1) Information

2) Good judgement

3) Experience.

Having information without experience, or experience without good judgement doesn’t mean you have wisdom.

The same applies in business as in life. In organisations we seek information above all else, and we promote the people with good judgement. 

But there’s a reason why the CEO isn’t the just the smartest, the most experienced, or the best decision maker.

Organisations need people with all-round wisdom. It’s not just the CEO’s who should be wise.

A worker on a production line can have a great deal of wisdom about the factory.

A salesperson could have a lot of wisdom about what sells to a particular customer who walks in.

A mechanic could have a lot of wisdom regarding workshop safety.

We all know it when we see it, but I hope this post helps define it.

The world sorely needs wisdom.

May 10, 2019 /
Comments Off on The purpose of surveys is not to measure service

The purpose of surveys is not to measure service

What’s the purpose of customer surveys?

If you think it’s to measure customer service you may want to re-consider.

Surveys measure what the customer thinks they thought.

Those thoughts can be wrong, and more importantly, they don’t measure what makes you money.

Customers are so easily swayed by a nice employee and nice environment. They may even be loyal to your product and give you unadulterated high scores.
But…..

  1. Was the promotion on display?
  2. Did the staff member go through a needs analysis?
  3. Did the staff member physically put the product in the customer’s hand?
  4. Did the staff member try to close a sale?
  5. Did the staff member try to up-sell?
  6. Did the staff member mention the loyalty program?
  7. Did the staff member take the customer’s details?
  8. Did the staff member follow up after the enquiry? (e.g. in car dealerships)

All these points are core drivers of profit and INVISIBLE to the customer. You will surely have your own list of profitable events in your company which are invisible to the customer, yet they’ll give you rave reviews even if you don’t do the activities.

May 07, 2019 /
Comments Off on How to up-sell 800% – with purpose

How to up-sell 800% – with purpose

Being in the Mystery Shopping business, I often get asked some good examples of great sales. Here’s one of my own where a cab driver up -sold me 800%

Now available on youtube and podcast – subscribe here.

Video

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