“Sales at U.S. retailers unexpectedly advanced in April, helping ease concern of a sustained pullback in consumer spending that would stifle the economy. The 0.1 percent gain followed a 0.5 percent decrease in March, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Retail purchases climbed by the most in four months minus receipts from service stations, where cheaper gasoline prices depressed the dollar value of sales.” [Source: Bloomberg]
The automation of online order fulfillment can sometimes make customers feel like a number on an invoice rather than an individual. To combat this impersonal impression, several specialty retailers now take the time to enclose handwritten notes with orders.
Kathie Hahn, owner of Delran, N.J.-based retailer My Safe Bird Store, includes handwritten notes with every order. “It goes to show that you care about your customers and I think it’s important to establish a relationship with your customers rather than them just treating them like someone who orders on a piece of paper,” she explains.
Each note includes Hahn’s name and the name of the person who pulled their order. The message in the note varies depending on the customer and the situation, but Hahn makes a point to address each note to the customer’s name. When customers post on Facebook about getting a new bird, for instance, the note might congratulate them on their new bird. “If it’s a customer that we haven’t …
This Mother’s Day Americans will spend an estimated $2.3 billion on flowers alone, and with nearly 3 in 10 Americans expected to purchase their Mother’s Day gifts on the Web, online flower delivery services are staffing up in anticipation of one of the busiest days of the year. The competition is fierce for companies hoping to capture their own piece of the holiday spending — and customer service plays an integral role in not only winning and servicing sales this Sunday but turning those one-time transactions into repeat customers.
“When it comes to peak season, our volume more than quadruples,” Bibi Brown, vice president of customer experience at 1-800-Flowers.com, told Happy Customer in an interview. “We expand to handle that volume and we know that customers are very impatient.”
The 1-800-Flowers.com social media customer service team staffs up to 30 agents to service orders during the company’s peak season, which Brown defined as Valentine’s Day through …
“Mercedes-Benz USA CEO Steve Cannon says customer service will be ‘the next major battlefield for all luxury manufacturers’ and will be Cannon’s main priority over the next five years. ‘That is going to be my legacy,’ he said. Cannon said products from luxury-car makers ‘keep getting better, and the game is going to be fought and won with customer experience.’ ” [Source: Automotive News]
“It’s rare to find a leader who elevates the experience for employees and customers to such a degree that other brands benchmark against his or her company. [...] Every action [Virgin Group founder Sir Richard] Branson takes and every word he speaks—whether the cameras are on or off—reflect his commitment to creating an exceptional experience for both his customers and employees. Here are 7 lessons that any leader can and should adopt if they hope to build a successful company.” [Source: Forbes]