As a business, your online reputation is incredibly precious. As more consumers rely on online research, your brand’s reputation can make or break your business.

In 2019, online reputation management (ORM) is not only applicable to every business with an online presence; ignoring it can cost you customers and money. Are you paying attention?

YOUR REPUTATION ALREADY EXISTS

Whether you like it or not, if your business is online, your reputation is also. With more than 90% of consumers now looking at online reviews before they buy from a company, you have the potential to gain, or lose that 90% based on what your consumers can find…

  • On Google: When someone needs to find information on a business/product, they search online. If you don’t have this information available through your own site, you risk having your competition, negative reviews or false information ranking at the top of the search results instead of your own accurate information.
  • On Social Media: The same goes for your social media presence. With over 2 billion users across all of the major social networks, there’s a pretty good chance someone is talking about you. Without an online presence in social media, there is no one to respond to these comments or answer questions that people might have. Without responses to these mentions and queries, the loyalty of customers is being lost. This is why you need reputation management.

MANAGING YOUR REPUTATION

Reputation management is the process of taking your online reputation back into your own hands. By investing in Online Reputation Management, you’ll create an active online standing to help boost your brand’s legitimacy and credibility.

As you’ll see in the infographic below, courtesy of WebpageFX, online reviews and reputation management is crucial to a business’ long-term well-being.

 Infograph Image Courtesy of WebpageFX

ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT FROM BARE INTERNATIONAL

As you can see by the above infographic, consumers will not patronize a business that they don’t trust. To ensure that your company is benefiting from a current online standing, taking back control is the first step.

With BARE’s Online Reputation Management services, you can view all reviews by real customers across multiple review and social media platforms including YelpGoogleTripAdvisor, and more. What’s more, you’ll be able to strengthen relationships with your customers and monitor feedback, allowing the resolution of issues quickly for unhappy customers.

Social Media Reviews are aggregated into your dashboard with the rest of your program, allowing a seamless view of how different outlets in your business work together to provide your customer’s experience.

If you want your business to be successful in today’s world, you simply can’t ignore online reputation management. Contact a customer research expert at BARE International today for a complimentary evaluation.

 

Quirk’s Media writes, ‘There are many different ways to measure and gauge customer and user experience. Companies that specialize in CX and UX use a range of tools and methodologies – from more traditional methods like surveys to more tech-based techniques like eye-tracking and biometrics – to give insight into how to your users and customers interact with your brand, products and services and provide ways to improve those experiences.’

About BARE International

BARE International sets the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. Founded in 1987, BARE International is a family-owned business with global capabilities. BARE is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia with ten offices around the world. On any given day, BARE International is doing business for clients in more than 150 countries, completing more than 50,000 evaluations/audits each month. To learn more about BARE International’s customer experience research services and their dedicated field force of evaluators, visit http://www.bareinternational.eu

Congratulations to BARE International for earning Elite Company status from Mystery Shopping Professionals Association Americas. This will be the fifth consecutive year BARE has earned this prestigious title.

Bare International is honored to be a five-time recipient of Elite company status, as designated by MSPA Americas.

MSPA Americas (MSPA) is the trade association representing the customer experience industry, established to provide timely, actionable and impactful resources for shaping the future of business communities. The MSPA Elite program is an awards program designed to recognize the leading companies who are shouldering the advancement of the customer experience industry.

Mike Bare, President, Jason Bare, Global Vice President, and Guy Caron, Vice President of the Americas were in attendance to accept the award at the Annual CXE3 Event in Cleveland, Ohio.

“We are always creating new, innovative ways to help our clients succeed,” says Mike. “Change is constant, and we pride ourselves on being able to adapt, grow and lead the way into the future.”

“Innovation, excellence, and passion are the pillars on which we base our business upon,” adds Guy.

New services offerings were introduced throughout 2018, allowing BARE to provide insights for companies that better reflected the current climate of urgency and the importance of online reputation.

“This past year, we focused on providing services that gathered the kind of data our client partners needed in order to make forward-thinking decisions,” Guy continues. “One of the most popular services was Online Reputation Monitoring which allows our client partners to view over 200 review platforms, live, in one dashboard.”

The demand for other BARE International service offerings, including Voice of Customer Video Insights and Digital Customer Journey Mapping, has only increased with the need to reach customers on a more personalized level, and more quickly and frequently.

“For over 30 years we’ve been committed to providing the best insights to our client partners,” says Jason. “We continue to do that by leading the development of the customer experience research industry, and we’re honored and able to do so as an active member of the MSPA.”

About BARE International

BARE International sets the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. Founded in 1987, BARE International is a family-owned business with global capabilities. BARE is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia with ten offices around the world. On any given day, BARE International is doing business for clients in more than 150 countries, completing more than 50,000 evaluations/audits each month. To learn more about BARE International’s customer experience research services and their dedicated field force of evaluators, visit http://www.bareinternational.com

‘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 byMystery 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.

‘Team members must be “people persons.” In the hospitality industry, we are always interacting, whether it’s with co-workers, guests, or vendors. If we cannot do our job with a spirit of hospitality, executing genuine guest service, we will fail our team and our guests.‘ BARE shares an article by Larry Stuart for Forbes on “Hiring The Spirit Of Hospitality.”

‘Herb Kelleher passed away a few weeks ago, and it is a significant loss to those of us who knew him. There was a magic about what he did as founder and CEO at Southwest Airlines. But he would be the first to tell you that what they have done there can be replicated anywhere. It starts at the top, with a leader who hires the right people people and then lets them be who they are.

The airline business is a service business. Herb knew to stress the “serve” part of that word in every day and every deed and every interaction with every customer. He needed to hire a smile and a sunny disposition, no matter how quirky they may have been otherwise. He wasn’t intimidated by their quirks. In fact, he embraced them. It’s been duly noted that he had a few quirks of his own.

Let’s face it. Everybody is not blessed with a sunny disposition, but Herb knew that a sunny disposition is a must for those who serve in the hospitality industry. Team members must be “people persons.” In the hospitality industry, we are always interacting, whether it’s with co-workers, guests, or vendors. If we cannot do our job with a spirit of hospitality, executing genuine guest service, we will fail our team and our guests. Someone who is personable will work with a whatever-it-takes, lay-down-my-life-for-others attitude. These are the people who willingly go the extra mile without thinking twice about what it will cost them.

So, how do you find those diamonds, those people who create a growing tribe of engaged customers?  We’ll spend a lot of time on this in this space over the next few weeks and months, but let’s begin with a couple of crucial building blocks of a successful service industry hire.

HIRE A SMILE

I’ve always said that you can buy someone’s back and hands, but you can’t buy their smile. Many will be willing to do the physical work, but they may not be passionate enough that it transfers to their presentation and execution. It’s easy to hire individuals who have it all on the outside but don’t have a clue how to serve their fellow man.

When hiring the spirit of hospitality, a natural, welcoming smile is a priority. Without it, your guest won’t feel welcomed, cared for, or appreciated. One man I know has his human resources personnel judge a potential team member’s smile on a scale of one to ten. If their smile doesn’t score an eight or higher, they’re automatically cut. A smile cannot be trained. It comes from the heart. If someone can’t smile, they need to look for a job someplace else—outside of the hospitality industry where smiling isn’t a necessity.

A smile can create a positive moment in the midst of tears, unhappiness or stress. It brings an individual’s personality to life. It adds a special sparkle. It’s a universal connection here on earth. A smile will, most of the time, attract another smile. Smiles are gifts that don’t cost anything to give and are valuable to receive, especially for the person who is having a challenging day. Smiles are a sign of encouragement and love. A smile is key requirement when hiring someone who will be serving others.

The bottom line: if people aren’t smiling during the interview then they are not likely to smile when they are in the pressure cooker of the moment and the crisis du jour that inevitably happens in the service business.

LOOK FOR HUMILITY

Serving others doesn’t always come naturally, nor does a servant’s heart develop overnight. It cannot easily be trained later in life. Just as the cliché says, it’s difficult to teach old dogs new tricks. It’s even more difficult to teach a person how to serve with the spirit of hospitality if they haven’t grown up in an environment where that was taught and nurtured from a young age. But it is possible for someone to develop the heart of a servant if they have a willingness to learn to put others first. Note that it takes a very special, compassionate, patient person to accept this not-so-easy task.

Finding someone who possesses humility is all about identifying individuals who are sincere, love themselves enough to love others, are willing to do whatever it takes to serve each other, and most importantly, will hold themselves accountable to use their God-given talents to the best of their ability. Skill sets, education, and goals can be learned through various training processes. But team members cannot always learn to have a spirit of hospitality. It’s always best to hire someone who naturally walks in it already.

You’ll note that these two traits are inherent. You can train somebody how to do a job and all of the technical aspects that go with it. You can’t change who they are. And, as Herb Kelleher showed us, you shouldn’t try to change them. Let them soar. You and your organization will soar right along with them.’

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.

‘Delivering an optimal customer experience is, without a doubt, one of the most critical aspects of building a successful business. It is what directly influences the relationship between customer and brand, and helps drive loyalty.‘ BARE shares an article by Diana Serrano for Customer Think on “Want to Build Positive Customer Experience? Start with Your Employees.

‘Many businesses are currently spending a majority of their time and resources on building a proper customer experience. This activity deserves to be a priority as it can lead to some truly unique connections.

However, before you can focus on a forward-facing customer experience, you have to look inward. Crafting an engaging employee experience (EX) must come first.

EX revolves around building a community, just like you would for customers, only it’s geared toward your workforce instead. Companies with great employee experience outperform the S&P 500 by as much as 122 percent. Today, an impressive 51 percent of business leaders say they have plans to create personalized employee experiences comparable — or better than — their consumer experiences. This illustrates that EX is the key for the future of business success.

THE PARALLELS BETWEEN EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Employee experience refers to the environment, events, and programs that you provide your workforce, as well as the internal outlook this generates. Once hired, is your average worker’s experience positive or negative? What processes influence that? These elements comprise EX.

There are many parallels between customer and employee experience. Both involve crafting an environment, community, and stream of events that shape the audience’s perception of a brand.

For CX, you want to boost reputation and influence the customer’s journey. You’re doing the same thing in EX, except there are no products or services you’re trying to sell. Therefore, the focus is less on marketing and more on building engagement within your internal teams. You want your personnel to trust in the company’s mission. Without employee buy-in, you cannot build customer experience.

Companies that actively engage employees will generate 2.5 times more revenue than their counterparts with low engagement levels.

Think of it this way: when your reps are selling, you want them to believe wholeheartedly in the product. For instance, if they are selling cleaning supplies, you want them to feel that the product literally outshines the competition, and will completely transform the user’s life in a whirlwind of fantastic cleanliness (or something like that). This does two things: it strengthens your salespeople’s pitches, and it also causes them to become more intensely connected with the brand. Their strong belief in the quality of the product comes across convincingly when making sales.

EX goes beyond product loyalty; it also boosts employee retention. Your workforce’s desire to stick around is driven by a belief that leadership cares and values their efforts.

The employee community delivers the company’s tailored value system. The stronger this community is, you can expect to see communication, collaboration and efficiency improve. This is similar to what happens for your customers after fine-tuning CX.

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

Beyond merely understanding what EX means for your brand, you must also consider what you can do to improve it. What are some methods for establishing an engaging experience program that resonates with your workforce?

Before we discuss the most influential elements of an employee experience, it’s important to point out that no two brands have the same footprint. The values, mission, and structure of your organization are unique. You should never try to copy exactly what the competition is doing.

When crafting the employee experience, look to the specific needs, desires and opportunities that your employees have and align with that. Remember, you’re creating this program specifically for them, so you want to relieve some of their pressures and improve their interactions with your company.

You’ll notice how similar this is to crafting a modern customer experience, which relies on personalization and more relevant campaigns.

1. DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

Nowadays, thanks to the mobile mindset, there’s a greater emphasis on digital, connected experiences through platforms like social media, instant messaging and work portals like Slack and Asana.

You should be asking yourself what kind of tools you are providing your employees. More importantly, how practical and convenient are those tools — do they make collaborating across teams easier? Can those tools be quickly and reliably accessed from anywhere?

The digital communications market has swapped from analog channels — like in-person meetings and phone conversations — to instant messaging, work-based social media, and collaboration platforms. The latter has seen an upswing in adoption, increasing at rates of 62 percent, 69 percent, and 70 percent respectively.

Communication is central to smooth operations within any company, so a proper mobile-friendly digital solution should be a high priority — if it isn’t already. Unfortunately, only 40 percent of the workforce claims to know their own company’s goals, strategies, and tactics.

2. INTERNAL MAINTENANCE

EX also pertains to internal processes and events that happen within your company. On-boarding for new hires, as well as training processes influence personnel’s outlook. Also, is the learning process ongoing, or does it have a more attainable endpoint?

Moreover, the average experience also includes interactions with the company culture. These interactions can consist of newsletters and information channels where people get proprietary information. Such experiences result in habits that your workforce picks up over time.

79 percent of employees at companies that are known for providing above average customer experiences are highly engaged in their job. Internal maintenance — providing strong, positive brand experiences for your workers — is paramount to building engagement.

3. LEADERSHIP INVOLVEMENT

How involved is the leadership within your organization? Do they lead by example?

Believe it or not, this has a profound impact on the employee experience. A workforce needs active support and guidance.

One component of building a proper system is to deliver regular insights to your workforce, through consistent content streams. This means a blog or online space only meant for your internal teams, not outside consumption. The blog can include informational videos and audio, articles, app-based content or even email newsletters sent via company networks.

Although 78 percent of company executives believe in the importance of digital and transformational leadership, only 5 percent have established strong digital leadership development programs.

4. FUN AND COMPETITION

Finally, we have the real entertaining portion of the employee experience. No one should be expected to work endlessly — after all, we are not machines. People need occasional breaks from monotony.

To boost the experience, why not introduce a friendly competition with some exciting prizes? Or, skip that and go straight for gamification — which makes the working environment more playful. 70 percent of the Forbes Global 2000 companies will deploy gamification strategies to help increase engagement, retention, and revenues.

There’s also the option to have company-sponsored activities like an employee field day or holiday parties.

Internal Satisfaction (EX) Positively Influences External Satisfaction (CX)

The most engaged employees are the ones ingrained in company culture; they are sharing insights, taking part in activities, and ultimately being very productive. When your workforce is engaged, overall collaboration improves across all channels — for partners, vendors, and customers.

Every CX project is a practice in organizational culture that starts with employees and stretches all the way to the top. What is the culture you are fostering for your personnel, the most important contributors to your business and brand? How are you giving back to them? Are you providing the tools and resources they need? Are you concerned with, and taking action to optimize their health –mental, physical and emotional?

The tools and space you provide for your workers are also encompassed in employee health. Did you know that employees who have a choice in when, where and how they work tend to have much higher levels of satisfaction? Higher satisfaction contributes in turn to more innovation and better performance.

A strong employee experience needs to be part your day to day. Once again, without proper EX, you cannot have a successful CX.’

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.

Jason Bare, Global Vice President for BARE International, has been chosen to sit on the Board of Directors for the Americas division of Mystery Shopping Professionals Association.

MSPA Americas (MSPA), the trade association representing the customer experience management and measurement industry, announced the 2019 Board of Directors in November.

MSPA represents the customer experience industry throughout the Americas, founded to strengthen the customer service industry and provide timely, actionable and impactful resources for shaping the future of business communities.

Jason Bare started working for BARE International, a premier global provider for customer experience research, in 2010 as a project manager. Over the past nine years, he grew from managing a few key local accounts to now working across industries around the world as the Global Vice President.

“I am especially passionate about ensuring we measure what is required and necessary for our clients,” states Jason. “We, at BARE International, look to our clients as valued partners, and we believe providing actionable data is integral to the growth and success in their business.”

As the Global Vice President, Jason oversees business development and client relations across 13 offices around the world. On any given day, BARE International is doing research for clients in more than 150 countries, completing more than 50,000 evaluations each month.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve on the Board of Directors this year,” says Jason. “I plan on staying on top of the industry trends, while delivering key insights from the ‘millennial’ perspective.”

While being an active MSPA member since 2010, Jason has served on several committees and traveled to speak internationally on the relationship between customer experience and business success.

“I believe that growing our community will provide great opportunities for mystery shoppers and businesses alike,” says Jason. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve and impact our community in a big way this year.”

Read the original press release here.

About BARE International 
BARE International sets the industry standard as the largest independent provider of customer experience research, data, and analytics for companies worldwide. Founded in 1987, BARE International is a family-owned business with global capabilities. BARE is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Fairfax, Virginia with ten offices around the world. To learn more about BARE International’s customer experience research services and their dedicated field force of evaluators, visit http://www.bareinternational.eu

‘Shoppers will go into the holiday season with high expectations this year. They’ll want great deals, custom offers, on-time delivery, and a little something for themselves—no matter what channel they’re using to work through their gift list.’ BARE shares an article by Danielle Savin for Digital Commerce 360 on 6 Steps to Elevate the Customer Experience this Holiday Season.

‘To meet shoppers’ rising expectations of easy and engaging shopping experiences, now’s the time to review and prepare your holiday messaging, personalization, mobile optimization, shipping strategy, and self-gifting offers. Follow these simple steps to deliver an engaging and rewarding customer experience during the holidays and beyond.

ALIGN AND TIME YOUR CUSTOMER MESSAGING FOR ALL CHANNELS.

To reach the 45% of shoppers who start making holiday purchases before November 1, you should communicate with your customers early and often. You can engage these early shoppers, as well as last-minute buyers, by promoting your upcoming offers well before Thanksgiving and continuing strong promotions through December and into early January.

Google now recommends that mobile pages load in five seconds or less.

Now’s also the time to check the alignment of your planned holiday messaging across all channels. Proper alignment can increase conversion rates by 200% or more while reducing cost per converted click. Well-aligned multichannel messaging that resonates and follows the customer, based on their behavior can increase “stickiness” and create a more engaging shopping experience. All of your messaging—email, social media, website copy, advertisements, and so on—need to be aligned with active campaigns.

PERSONALIZE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ LIFECYCLE MOMENTS

Personalizing product recommendations can yield more conversions and revenue than a non-personalized shopping experience, but the possibilities go beyond product recommendations. You should plan to personalize against lifecycle moments to reach individual customers at specific touch points along the path to purchase. For example, Customer X may need content to nurture them before they make a purchase, while Customer Y needs an extra incentive to complete end of purchase journey. This approach can amplify the impact of holiday email campaigns, which typically generate higher conversion ratesthan business-as-usual emails.

USE DYNAMIC SEGMENTATION TO BUILD OUT YOUR HOLIDAY MESSAGING

Many retailers have moved away from static segments to third-party tools that support dynamic or conditional segment targets. By setting up dynamic segmentation, which uses continuously updated customer data to automatically assign individual customers to segments based on their behavior, you can reach real-time segments, save resources on manual updates, and scale your segmentation efforts – all of which are advantages during the busy holiday season.

Here’s an example: combine static past purchase data with dynamic data (e.g. more frequent site visits) to build a prospect group that may be especially receptive to specific holiday offers.

FINE-TUNE THE MOBILE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE FOR NEXT YEAR

Holiday-season revenue from mobile increased 22% from 2016 to 2017, half the orders placed on Christmas Day 2017 came from smartphones, and mobile retail is expected to grow by 32% in 2018. Clearly, the convenience of mobile shopping appeals to many consumers, and a smooth mobile experience can increase your holiday traffic and revenue. However, consumers have increasingly high expectations for their mobile shopping experiences, and a poor experience can drive them away for good. Google found that shoppers who have a negative experience on a mobile site are 62% less likely to shop there again, regardless of the quality of the store’s campaigns.

It may be too late to optimize your mobile experience for the 2018 holiday season, but you can start developing your mobile strategy budget and expectations now for 2019. To give your mobile customers the best possible experience and encourage repeat visits, plan to optimize all elements of your shopping funnel, including an intuitive and easy browsing experience, enhanced search capabilities, and a low-friction checkout process. Optimize your product page load times for mobile as well, because customers expect them to load quickly. Google now recommends that mobile pages load in fiveseconds or less, far faster than the 15.3-second average.

REDUCE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SHIPPING STRESS

Your customers are probably worried about their gifts arriving on time. In 2017, 35% of consumers surveyed said package delays were their biggest source of holiday stress, far ahead of money as a stressor. Their concern is well-founded. Major carriers had already fallen behind on deliveries two weeks before Christmas in 2017, and shipping services have struggled to meet demand during the past several holiday seasons, with delivery delays making national headlines.

You can relieve some of your customers’ shipping worries, reduce complaints, and avoid excessive inquiries by over-communicating fulfillment windows to your customers. Display messaging on estimated shipping windows at the point of purchase and in confirmation notices to your customers via email, text, and/or Facebook Messenger.

Another way you can use shipping to enhance customer experience is by offering your customers a menu of expedited delivery options. There’s been a dramatic increase in the number of consumers who opt for same-day delivery,up from 17% in 2017 to 31% this year. By offering same- or next-day fulfillment (as well as reasonably priced or free expedited shipping) you can better compete with Amazon Prime and retailers that offer same-day delivery in selected markets, such as Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and Nordstrom. Same-day shipping options also encourage customer loyalty: 74% of customers surveyed by a national courier service said getting a purchase delivered the same day made them more likely to buy more from that merchant in the future.

ENCOURAGE YOUR CUSTOMERS TO TREAT THEMSELVES

Use your existing customer data, like historical purchases, purchase frequency, and recent site activity, to target self-gifting campaigns to your customers. The trend of self-gifting—consumers spending part of their holiday gift budget on items for themselves—is gaining popularity, especially among younger shoppers. More than seven in 10 shoppers surveyed for the National Retail Foundation’s 2017 Holiday Planning Playbook said they purchased items for themselves during the past holiday season. Popular self-gifting categories include electronics and winter apparel.

These elements—encouraging self-gifting, communication about shipping, improving the mobile experience, and aligning and optimizing messaging—can help you build a successful holiday season roadmap. And because consumer expectations for convenience and clear communication are always rising, continuously refining these elements will benefit your brand over the long-term, and beyond.’

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.

‘America’s big ‘holiday’ just passed: the Black Friday! For many Americans, Black Friday represents savings galore, for others, it’s a day to frantically avoid. Whether you are a fan of Black Friday or not, these facts may surprise you!’ BARE shares some interesting Black Friday Facts compiled by Farm Bureau Financial Services*.

THE AVERAGE BLACK FRIDAY PLANS TO SPEND $472

How much do you spend while out on Black Friday? For many, this is the biggest shopping day of the year. No matter what type of shopper you are – the average shopper is expected to spend $472 on that day.

SHOPPING AT BRICK AND MORTAR STORES IS DECLINING

In-store shopping on Black Friday in 2017 decreased 1 percent from 2016, according to Forbes. As online shopping and Cyber Monday continues to grow in popularity, this could be trend that we see in years to come.

STORE CREDIT CARD APPLICATIONS INCREASE AROUND BLACK FRIDAY

Many stores offer same-day discounts at sign-up, according to a survey by CreditCards.com. For some, offers of added discounts are too much to pass up. The most popular time for store credit card sign-ups is during the holidays, according to the Business Insider.

NEARLY HALF OF THANKSGIVING WEEKEND SHOPPERS PLAN TO SPEND MORE

This year, 46 percent of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers plan to spend more than they did the previous year.

ONLINE SALES HIT $5.03 BILLION

More and more people are choosing to shop online during Black Friday. In 2017, Black Friday online sales reached $5.03 billion, a 16.9 percent increase from 2016.

BLACK FRIDAY BOASTS BEST DEALS ON ELECTRONICS

If a new television or tablet is on your wish list this year, you may want to check out the Black Friday deals. Adobe’s recent predictions for the 2018 holiday season, anticipates Black Friday will have the best discounts on electronic favorites like tablets, televisions and computers.

40% OF ONLINE SHOPPERS MAKE PURCHASES FROM A SMARTPHONE

On Black Friday consumers are using smartphones more and more to make purchases. In 2017, a record 40 percent of online sales were made on mobile phones, which was an 11 percent increase from 2016.’

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, including all fact sources, here

* BARE International is not an affiliate or partner of Farm Bureau Financial Services.


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.