Retail News

Bank “Retail-like” Strategies Enhance Customer Experience

Mar 03, 2011 by Confero Inc.

Once thought to be a declining delivery channel, the bank branch remains an integral part of the customer experience.  With troublesome financial institution performance in the limelight during the past years, customers use face to face branch visits as a means to develop trust with financial institution employees.


Employee Incentive and Rewards Ideas

Jul 28, 2011 by Confero Inc.

Our experience in employee recognition and on-the-spot rewards in different industries has opened our eyes to the creative ideas introduced by our clients and our client services team. 

This idea is one of our favorites. The Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority (RDUAA), a long time client, honors associates who score 100% on the mystery shops Confero conducts at the RDU airport. The airport authority changes the gift over time and tracks which employee receives which item, so that the award item is always fresh and


Please Hang Up So I Can Serve You!  Serving the Smartphone-Distracted Customer

Mar 28, 2012 by Confero Inc.

When you think about mobile devices and their impact on the in-person customer experience, have you considered that nearly 2 billion people will have Smartphones by 2017? If not, you should!

You should also consider how your employees serve these distracted customers.

  • Do your new accounts personnel approach waiting customers, only to find them with their heads down, texting away?
  • Do your servers wait for diners to look up from their cell phones?
  • Do your retail associates stand awkwardly while a distracted cell phone talker holds up the line?

From restaurants to banks to retail stores and beyond, busy associates encounter the same challenge - customers who multi -task with cell phone conversations, texting or using an Ipad. In response to this growing phenomenon, we wanted to take a closer look at the ways that distracted customers impact customer experience in these industries.


Mobile-crazed Diners

Rather than embracing mobile trends, some restaurants simply ask customers not to use their cell phones inside their locations. For example,


Making the Most of Customer Wait Times

Apr 29, 2012 by Confero Inc.

In 2009, our own Rob Barry, Confero Account Executive, spoke with the Wall Street Journal’s “The Numbers Guy” blogger Carl Bialik forhis Waiting Game article. Rob provided insight from his experience managing mystery shopping programs for grocery store clients. Technology is moving at a much faster pace than 2009, and customer waiting time is a topic worth revisiting. 

Customers Waiting in Line

Whether you manage a bank, restaurant, service or store, you know that it’s not realistic to reduce wait times for customers in every circumstance. If your company is one that prides itself on impressive and personalized service for every customer, wait times are inevitable. There are ways, however, to create more enjoyable waits for customers, and generate additional sales at the same time.

Developing customized mystery shopping programs across many industries has allowed us to see a variety of wait time strategies.  Through measurement of these strategies and our own observations, here are ways that some organizations convert tiresome wait times into positive customer experiences:

  • Automotive or food service companies arrange retail space so that customers view the employees working, whether it an associate who cooks a food order, or an employee who repairs or washes your vehicle.  This is a great way to show customers the quality behind your service while at the same time eliminating boring waits.
  • At some Chick Fil-a locations, employees stand near the drive thru entry point and key in orders with


Prepare Employees to Wow Empowered Customers in this Buyer’s Market

Apr 30, 2012 by Confero Inc.

The shift in the way that retail associates and customers interact in today’s store environment is dramatic.  Before, customers simply entered the store, interacted with a salesperson, found the right item, and paid for it at list price.

Now, because consumers capture competitive product details swiftly with the tap of a mobile device, they challenge store employees to provide popular products at the lowest price. Customers call the shots, while retail managers do their best to guide employees toward effective interaction with this sophisticated segment.

Elaine Buxton, President of Confero, recently spoke with Software Advice about this topic, in the  article “Empowering Associates to Assist the Educated Consumer.” She comments on the major challenges of arming employees


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