August 09, 2019 /
Comments Off on The best word-of-mouth is?

The best word-of-mouth is?

We all know that word of mouth is critically important. Word-of-mouth can come from several sources including friends, acquaintances, or even a random comment on a social media post or review site.

But one type of word of mouth is more powerful than the others.

At Service Integrity, we do a lot of studies looking at the power of a staff member recommendation.

Imagine you have to buy some garden mulch at the hardware store.  Some are dearer than others, but overall they look about the same.

All the manufacturers are competing for shelf space and flashy packaging, but you still don’t know what to buy.

Then a staff member comes along and you ask,

“Which would you recommend for….?”

This response has a huge impact on buying behaviour.
If you look at the example of our real world client, we found that:

  • the dearer product (competitor) was 1st recommended 64% of the time and has a 56% market share. We now know that recommendation drives market share.
  • the cheaper product (theirs) was only 1st recommended 31% of the time and has a 32% market share.
Recommendation and Market Share

These recommendations are more important than others because they are at the point of sale and provided by someone seen as a product expert.It’s at this point that a lot of brands fall over with their network management.

Keep in mind, whatever your business, your recommendation has a lot of weight.

I recently recommended a service to a friend who had lots of choices, and she took the one I recommended, not the one she researched. 

Don’t underestimate the power of your words, nor the words of the people selling your brand.

July 18, 2017 /
Comments Off on How customer service accidentally gets low priority

How customer service accidentally gets low priority

Everyone goes on about giving “great service”. But it still doesn’t have the profile of other job roles, especially at executive level.

Look at these job roles on Linkedin.

No mention of Customer Service. Scroll further.

Nope — further?

Nope — surely it’s in alphabetical order. Must be on the next screen right?

Again No.

Linkedin and so many other companies just don’t look at Customer Service or Customer Experience as a profession. Legal is, Arts and Design is, even Support is a role. But Customers? No room for them or the role.

Oh yeh sure, everyone serves the customer or someone who does right? Sure, but that’s a cop out which minimises the role by implying that “Oh yeh, everyone does a that (read — a bit of that)”. IF everyone does it, no one is responsible.

If you want staff to take service seriously, then make is a serious cross divisional role.

October 06, 2016 /
Comments Off on Episode #19 Customer Service is overrated

Episode #19 Customer Service is overrated

Guess what. Customer service is NOT necessarily the most important driver of sales.

That might sound strange coming from someone running a Mystery Shopping company, but I see it time and time again. Companies focusing on the wrong things.

Sure service is important, but it’s also important to ensure that:

1) your products are on the shelves
2) the promotions are correctly displayed, and
3) that the product is recommended.

Our research shows that on average there are 53 item categories missing in a single big box grocery store.

We’ve also found that on average there are 13 categories missing from the dairy section alone.

As for recommendations, we recently did a study for a manufacturer distributing in a hardware chain, and found that their product was first recommended 31% of the time. Sounds OK, except they only have one competitor.

For complex products, consumers will still lean heavily on the recommendation.

If the product is not there, or not recommended, you’ve lost before you start.

Ask the right questions and discover the truth.