• 23

    ICC/Decision Services Publishes Results of Rx-cellence Benchmark Study

    New York City —Independent grocers surpass national and regional chains in pharmacy performance
    according to a six-part survey of the nation’s top national, regional, independent and
    specialty grocers. Conducted by ICC/Decision Services and drawing on 100,000 data
    points, the STRONG study is a year-long analysis of how pharmacies rank in the key
    areas of Suggestive Selling, Technology, Rx-cellence, Outstanding customer service,
    Nutritional and Guide to social media. In the latest installment of the study (measuring
    Rx-cellence), “Independents showed the highest rate of service in all aspects of
    pharmacy interactions, including acknowledging customers in line, greeting them at
    the service counter, fielding questions, and even escorting customers to products,”
    according to Progressive Grocer, which published the results.

    According to David Rich, President & CEO of ICC/Decision Services: “These metrics bear
    out the adage that the best independent retailers can be ‘small enough to know you and
    big enough to serve you.’” But, Rich continues, there are readily available tools for larger
    grocers who want to see their pharmacies deliver improved service. Implementing a
    documented training program that is reviewed with new and current associates, as well
    as ongoing measurement of said practices can positively impact service, and as a result,
    deepen customer loyalty. “

    About ICC/Decision Services

    ICC/Decision Services is a privately held company headquartered in New York City
    serving customers around the world. Since 1979 we have offered hands-on experience
    designing and executing highly successful Customer Experience Management programs.
    Together our management team has more than a century of expertise developing
    creative solutions for some of the world’s leading retail brands such as Foot Locker,
    Coach, Forever 21, CVS, and Walmart. For more information: www.iccds.com

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  • 28

    Understanding Shopper Motivations and Marketing

    Marketing messaging tends to work best when it is closely matched to customer needs and wants. Emotional drivers that pull the shopper into the sale are often similar across your customer base.

    Having launched so many customer experience programs, we have the benefit of seeing this in action. Those companies that project a message that provides a real benefit to the shopper seem to do much better in terms of sales, repeat business and a host of other important metrics.

    The first step is figuring out what drives your shoppers to become customers. This is where a well-designed customer intercept program can work wonders. Find out why they bought, or why they didn’t, and you’ll be able to craft marketing programs that speak directly to those drivers.

    When your marketing team moves to craft new marketing messages they should be well briefed on the motivations that led to previous sales. In store messaging, layout, design and even online marketing messages can all be used to lead the shopper to become a customer.

    This reminds me of an old sales parable:

    A salesman is down in the dumps after missing his number for the month. His sales manager asked him why he had lost so many sales. The salesman said, “We had a great discount this month. It just goes to show you, that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” To which the manager says, “Son, here is some advice: Your job is not to lead them to water. It’s to make them thirsty.”

    Since we play in the customer experience world, we pay a lot of attention to various marketing efforts. I often talk about how marketing is a natural extension of customer experience intelligence.

    Take all the advertisements that appeared throughout the Super Bowl. We heard all about cold filtered, triple filters, freshness dating and even about exotic hops.

    Guess what?

    I don’t know what cold filtering is.

    I don’t know what triple filtering is.

    I had hoped that the beverages I purchase are fresh anyway.

    I’m not quite sure what a hop is.

    So we get to the crux of the matter: All this messaging was wasted on me. None of it will compel me to buy the products advertised.

    This leads us back to the sales parable. The best market in the world is a hungry market, or thirsty, as it were. Marketing seems to work best when it encompasses messaging that gets into the mind of the customer. What makes them tick? What is the emotion propelling the shopping process?

    When a retail business can tap into those emotions, the sale becomes a foregone conclusion.

    Sales and marketing should focus on turning shoppers into purchasers by creating the right situation to satisfy their desire.

    Next time you’re considering a new marketing piece, think about what you’re doing. Are you pulling the shopper by the reigns? Or are you offering a desert oasis?

    Don’t make them drink. Make them thirsty.

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  • 20

    The Future of Social Media in Mystery Shopping

    David Rich, President & CEO of ICC/Decision Services, will speak on October 18-20. The MSPA (Mystery Shopper Providers Association) will be conducting their 13th annual conference in Atlanta. The panel will discuss the future of social media in mystery shopping…

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  • 20

    ICC/Decision Services Study Finds Retailers Falling Short On Customer Experience Management

    ICC/Decision Services, an international Customer Experience Management firm based in New York City, recently concluded a survey across 381 chain retailers to determine the current state of measuring the customer experience. The study went across…

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  • 20

    Back- To-School Study: Shopping In-Store Is Cheaper And More Convenient Than Shopping Online

    As the $83.8 billion back-to-school shopping season kicks in, a new independent study reveals that while shopping online may save customers some time, a trip to the mall can pay off in savings as well as overall convenience… Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit. A iusto impedit odit molestiae voluptates nostrum esse soluta commodi mollitia quo. Voluptatum illo reiciendis praesentium rem labore fugit architecto est iusto.

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  • 20

    Information Rich, Execution Poor


    A solid mystery shopping program consists always of three components:

    – Objective measurements
    – Never a “gotcha” program
    – Action, not just reporting

    Often misunderstood and even more often not implemented correctly, mystery shopping are one of the most important tools you can use to measure, manage and improve the customer experience.

    A few things you may or may not know. Mystery shopping is the only objective way to measure the customer experience. Why is that important?


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  • 17

    Combining Mystery Shopping and Customer Feedback

    The best users of mystery shopping programs offer additional methods to capture data that can be used to make necessary improvements. The reason why these different strategies work together to create such a comprehensive program is because they offer a variety of perspectives that — when combined — give great insight into the total customer experience. For the most part, mystery shopping programs look at the customer experience from the viewpoint of the customer and that of the store staff.

    Mystery shopping
    focuses on staff performance — how well the company executes its operations and customer service objectives based on fact-based observations. Since shoppers are given detailed guidelines in advance on what to look for, mystery shoppers typically visit the store 1 – 4 times each month and focus on quality control, training and incentives. Additionally, Mystery Shoppers are recruited based on demographic profiles that closely match those of a company’s real customers.


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  • 13

    David Rich on Customer Intercepts [VIDEO]

    David Rich, president and CEO of ICCDS, explains Shopper Intercepts in a quick video

    Why do your customers not buy? Or why do they not buy more? Do you know?

    Customer Intercepts gives you the information you need to increase your conversion rates.

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  • 06

    What is Mystery Shopping? [VIDEO]

    David Rich, president and CEO of ICCDS, explains Mystery Shopping in a quick video.

    Where are the gaps in your brand promise to your customers? Do you know?

    Mystery shopping lets you know and gives you the tools to help correct the gaps.


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  • 05

    Human Sigma: Managing the Employee-Customer Encounter

    The groundbreaking methodology Six Sigma changed the face of manufacturing quality. Now, HumanSigma is poised to do the same for sales and service. In the face of widespread perceptions of abysmal customer service and disengaged employees — and all-too-real declining profit margins — the need for change is obvious. Human Sigma addresses this need with an exciting new method for managing customer-employee relations that increases both productivity and profitability. It incorporates cutting-edge research in the neurosciences and behavioral economics — including brain imaging research into customer’s emotional connections to the companies they love — with proven techniques for improving workforce performance and revenues generated from existing customers.

    This practical handbook appeals to senior leaders and line managers alike who are looking for a way to dramatically increase productivity, retain high value customers, and enhance organizational performance.

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