During the National Retail Federation's Big Show last week, Forbes spoke with a cross section of retail CEOs (and one president) at the convention's annual evening soirees. Here's what's in store for Macy's, Bloomingdale's, The Container Store, HSN and Bliss Spa this year.
Most companies want to be customer centric. The biggest roadblock to achieving that goal is breaking down the silos that exist in most companies. Sometimes these are lines of business, divisions, departments or regions. It may be as simple as your organization structure and who reports to whom. If your company is looking to overcome this challenge, then this set of five questions to ask and answer is for you.
How can you make your customers love you? First you have to respect them. Jeanne Bliss, managing partner of Customer Bliss, offers up some tips to get started. They’re far from easy, she says, but they’re absolutely necessary. Be persistent to keep customers happily enamored ... er ... shopping with you. 1. Eliminate the customer obstacle course. If you asked customers, they’d say that the obstacle course for figuring out who to talk to and how and when to get service is over-complicated, conflicting and just plain out of whack. Simplify the roadmap for customers. Make it clear how they can do business with
Customers who don’t absolutely adore you are more detrimental to your business than those who belong to your competitors. The latter might give you a chance in the future, but the former have already tried you and found you lacking. If you don’t enthrall your customers--and make them believe you respect them--you’ll lose them. Following are three tips on how to start making your customers love you. 1. Stop customer hot potato. The rep who first speaks to the customer should “own” the customer. There’s nothing worse that sends a signal of disrespect faster than an impatient person on the other end of
Customers who don’t absolutely adore you are more detrimental to your business than those who belong to your competitors. The latter might give you a chance in the future, but the former have already tried you and found you lacking. If you don’t enthrall your customers--and make them believe you respect them--you’ll lose them. Below are three tips on how to start making your customers love you. 1. Stop customer ‘hot potato.’ The rep who first speaks to the customer should “own” the customer. There’s nothing that sends a poorer signal of disrespect faster than an underprepared rep trying to pass a customer off
It's a fact. Your customers are going to change their e-mail addresses. Encourage customers to keep you up to date in your regular communication with them. When you establish a give-and-take relationship with the customer, and let them know why the information is needed, they'll be more likely to keep you informed. —Austin Bliss, president, FreshAddress
It's unfortunate, but sometimes malicious individuals will try to blast any registration pages on your Web site with a bunch of bad e-mail addresses. Know what your average daily registration rate is and institute a maximum so that if registrations spike unexpectedly, you'll be able to catch the bad e-mail addresses before you use them. —Austin Bliss, president, FreshAddress
Goops and scrubs, loofahs and lipsticks. All presented in bright colorful layouts. Seductive copy (“it’s more than treats the eye”) makes you want to buy this stuff so you, too, can feel good. And then there’s BlissGirl. She may not be perfect, but this illustrated character sure has fun living the spa life and trying out all the latest products the beauty world has to offer. Founded just four years ago, BlissOut catalog has come a long way in such a short time, due in large part to the vision of Bliss spa founder, Marcia Kilgore, and the know-how and enthusiasm of the catalog’s