Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere
To increase customer loyalty, Nespresso launches a subscription offer
Sep13

To increase customer loyalty, Nespresso launches a subscription offer

Three years ago, Nespresso launched the Prodigio, a connected appliance. The latter, under the guise of a few “gadget” features, actually controlled your coffee consumption and prepared the automation of orders. Since this marketer’s dream did not come true, Nespresso opted for a more user-friendly solution and has just launched a subscription-based package. What has changed? Not much. In today’s article, we...

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PayLead: A new wave of loyalty in the world of banking
Jun07

PayLead: A new wave of loyalty in the world of banking

PayLead is redefining banking loyalty by offering consumers the opportunity to be compensated in proportion to their purchases from their business partners. In this article, we return to the initiative launched by Charles de Gastines and Jacquelin Becheau La Fonta nearly three years ago. Summary Presentation of the company Genesis and history The fields of application How does it work? The future and key figures Presentation of the...

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Customer satisfaction : Bpost Bank makes basic marketing mistakes
Feb13

Customer satisfaction : Bpost Bank makes basic marketing mistakes

Admittedly, interest rates are at their lowest. Certainly, the savings of Belgians have never been so high. Indeed, the banking sector is under pressure. And yes, bpost is not doing well. But is it really enough to explain that Bpost Bank, the Belgian postal bank 50% owned by Bpost and 50% owned by BNP Paribas, is making such gross marketing errors by unilaterally and in the shadows deciding to make its customers pay their cash...

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Should customer satisfaction always be a priority?
Aug16

Should customer satisfaction always be a priority?

Should customer satisfaction always be a priority? Not when satisfying customers has a negative impact on your profitability. That’s what an Amazon’s customer, Nir Nissim, recently discovered when he was banned from the e-commerce platform because he had made too many returns. His escalation to Jeff Bezos eventually allowed him to be brought back in the big family of Amazon customers. Yet, this kind of experience is likely...

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Retailer “la Halle” discovers hidden costs of loyalty cards
Apr11

Retailer “la Halle” discovers hidden costs of loyalty cards

Loyalty cards and advantages for customers are costly. I explained many years ago that loyalty should not be “bought” because he destroys so much value and, above all, so much profits. Moreover “buying” your customers’ loyalty is a short-term strategy. It’s not based on deep-rooted customer satisfaction. Just on mere financial benefits. What is really funny is to see how firms react when they...

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The next hand-written you’ll get may have been produced by those robots
Feb19

The next hand-written you’ll get may have been produced by those robots

Is there anything better for customer satisfaction than getting a personal hand-written note? The pleasure of getting one will soon fade away once the secret to thousands of mass produced hand-written notes gets revealed. Why do personal hand-written notes so much drive customer satisfaction ? Every customer wants to be different. Who would like to be treated like everyone else? Getting a hand-written from a company leverages the...

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Online market research reveals the #1 factor to reduce showrooming
Feb07

Online market research reveals the #1 factor to reduce showrooming

Showrooming is a massive problem for brick-and-mortar retailers. Customers visit stores but eventually make their purchases online. Operating a brick-and-mortar point of sale becomes more and more difficult. A scientific research reveals the #1 thing retailers should do to avoid showrooming. And it’s not about price. Showrooming in context and phygitalisation  Showrooming is a symptom of the tug-of-war between the offline and...

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Zalando free-returns policy drives customer loyalty up
Jan29

Zalando free-returns policy drives customer loyalty up

Online retailer Zalando has announced revenues of €4.5b in 2017, up 23% from the year before. Despite a slight decrease of its Ebit (from 5.9% to 4.7%-4.9%), profits before taxes will be over €200m. This is a very solid result for a company that needed huge economies of scale to be profitable. The logistics and supply-chain costs are indeed a major cost center and the free-returns no-hassle policy of Zalando cost them huge amounts of...

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Customer satisfaction : courtesy ensures everlasting emotions
Sep28

Customer satisfaction : courtesy ensures everlasting emotions

I happen to be very often on business trips to meet clients. One recurrent problem when you travel alone is to find a place for dinner where you’ll feel welcome although you are alone. I was in Amsterdam for a few days (and nights) and had that problem once again. I discovered a small Indonesian restaurant a few meters away from the restaurant. I felt so welcome at restaurant Sama Sebo that I decided to come back 3 days in a...

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Customer satisfaction is all about expectations : a real example
Sep18

Customer satisfaction is all about expectations : a real example

My good friend (and former customer) Patrick Mascart is in the photo/video business and has also become an expert in aerial photo and video services. Through his agency he has worked for prestigious clients like the European Commission and many other large organizations. The other day he posted on Facebook the transcript of a phone call he just received. You’ll learn a lot about customer satisfaction. Read further. The story...

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3 key principles to follow for your good customer satisfaction surveys
Aug21

3 key principles to follow for your good customer satisfaction surveys

I hear companies claiming they have x% or y% of customer satisfaction, proudly claiming Net Promoter Score (NPS) of so much and that many returning customers. While these figures seem great at first sight, this doesn’t tell us much. Read further to understand why satisfaction and loyalty scores must be interpreted carefully. We will once again use the example of the Belfius bank to illustrate this article. You will in particular...

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How Big Data will influence the future of advertising
Jul25

How Big Data will influence the future of advertising

“What is the impact of Big Data on online advertising” is the question I was asked to answer on the occasion of an EGTA ((European Group of Television Advertising) workshop that took place on 29 and 30 June 2017 in Brussels (my thanks to Yuri Loburets for his kind invitation to speak). Rather than repeating the same clichés about Big Data again and again I chose to put advertising and Big Data back in a historical...

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Moncler and DKV don’t care about customer complaints
Jun23

Moncler and DKV don’t care about customer complaints

Who said big companies are customer-centric and focused on customer satisfaction ? Besides firms which tweak their satisfaction surveys to obtain better results (see the example of Belfius), others simply seem to ignore the basic principles that ensure satisfied customers. Handling complaints is one of them. Moncler : how to NOT handle a complain You all know Moncler. It’s one of the most successful high-end leisure fashion...

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The single most loyal customer American Airlines wanted to get rid of
Jun08

The single most loyal customer American Airlines wanted to get rid of

Some customers are better than others and need to be very well taken care off. But not Steve Rothstein. For American Airlines this customer was the one to get rid of and American Airlines did spend a lot of efforts to kick that customer out after he had flown 10,000 flights in first class with the airline. Discover this amazing story below. Probably the single most loyal customer Rothstein bought a lifetime AAirpass in 1987 for...

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CRM : most strategies are outdated. Is yours too ?
Jun06

CRM : most strategies are outdated. Is yours too ?

In a keynote speech at the 2017 EMAC conference in Groningen, Michael Haenlein pointed the irrelevance of current CRM (Customer Relationship Management) strategies. Firms still believe that they can keep customers forever, nurturing them and growing their customer base forever. This is obviously not true. Comparing CRM strategies with marriage, Hänlein had this wonderful word about CRM managers : “people try to date today by...

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Branding : Vuitton collaborates with Jeff Koons for new line of bags and accessories.
May22

Branding : Vuitton collaborates with Jeff Koons for new line of bags and accessories.

In the field of luxury goods, innovation is sometimes lacking. Marketeers spend a lot of money on creative advertising campaigns, innovative stores and display windows (see those examples of Vuitton display windows : here and there), refined interactions with customers and higher service quality. But what about the products themselves ? The most sought after Hermes handbags have remained the same for decades ; the look of Vuitton...

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Customer loyalty : 3 sets of KPI’s that should become your priorities
May17

Customer loyalty : 3 sets of KPI’s that should become your priorities

My good friend Christian Barbaray published an article (in French) where he listed the KPI’s that firms most commonly monitor. He split them in 3 categories (“global”, “asquisition”, “loyalty”) and concluded that firms on average monitor 11 KPI’s. What I find interesting is not so much the number of KPI’s they follow but rather the type of KPI’s they follow. While some of...

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Ford builds trust and satisfaction with the Ford video check
Apr10

Ford builds trust and satisfaction with the Ford video check

Ford is currently rolling out a new digital tool that will help build trust and enhance customer satisfaction : the Ford video check. We tested it and it’s just amazing. Read further to see how Ford is transforming the car maintenance experience into a trust building experience that will eventually improve customer loyalty. Car maintenance and repair : a matter of trust If you have already brought your car for repair, you know...

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Good news for customers’ satisfaction : robots will replace humans
Mar16

Good news for customers’ satisfaction : robots will replace humans

We have some good news for you : robots are about to replace humans. People are finally going to be able to focus on what they do best : having relationships with other humans. Artificial intelligence evrywhere : what is left for real people Artificial intelligence is already everywhere. Some people find this alarming. Other find it great. One thing is sure : artificiel intelligence is getting every day more clever. Look for instance...

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Retail : Garconne et Cherubin offers “Pay-What-You-Want” option
Feb10

Retail : Garconne et Cherubin offers “Pay-What-You-Want” option

“Pay What You Want” is a concept that allows customers to gain control back over the prices they pay. This technique is rather old and academic research dating back to 2009 showed the benefits of that approach. A few concrete examples were noticed here and there, but this marketing strategy remained rare. Firms remain reluctant to let customers decide and fear that this freedom may be misued by customers. In this context...

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More debt leads to lower customer satisfaction
Feb06

More debt leads to lower customer satisfaction

It is well known that firms in the US use mainly external financing (debt) to finance growth. It actually is believed to account for 80% of financing. Yet, this external financing puts pressure on the firms and studies have revealed the adverse consequences it represents : less investment in advertising and R&D less full-time employees, lower wages, more part-time employees inferior product and service quality With so many...

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Measuring emotions for a better customer experience management
Jan30

Measuring emotions for a better customer experience management

Can we measure customer experience ? This is a topic we already discussed here and the answer was no. Let me come with a new proposal that was addressed by Sensum during the CPDP 2017 conference : can our body reactions be a reliable measure of customer experience (or at least part of it). Please read further to discover more about this very exciting insights into how measuring reliably emotions can help us better understand customer...

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How data vulnerability affects firms’ performance and how to remedy it
Jan23

How data vulnerability affects firms’ performance and how to remedy it

Everyone talks about privacy. But what is it really ? A recent article in French economical journal “La Tribune” built upon two recent BCG reports (here and there) on data protection and privacy to question firms’ practices around data privacy 62% of French people surveyed by BCG said companies don’t respect the private character of their data. Yet, what is privacy ? Most people will claim they know but once...

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Customer satisfaction, customer experience and big data
Jan04

Customer satisfaction, customer experience and big data

Improving customer experience is priority #1 of top executives for the next 12 months (Lemon and Verhoef 2016). At the same time Big Data is on every serious company’s agenda. How can Big Data contribute to creating a customer experience that will ensure customer retention ? This is the topic of today’s article where we will question the usefulness of Big Data in today’s digital sphere (yes ! we’ll dare doing...

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What are the latest conclusions of academics on customer satisfaction and customer experience ?
Dec21

What are the latest conclusions of academics on customer satisfaction and customer experience ?

In the Journal of Marketing special issue ” Mapping the Boundaries of Marketing: What Needs to Be Known”, Lemon & Verhoef (2016) deliver 5 very useful conclusions on the state of customer experience and satisfaction research. These 5 conclusions, taken from the very latest top research in the field of marketing, are useful for practitioners and lead us to formulate 5 sets of recommendations. Start with service quality...

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Artificial Intelligence : why we need respectful algorithms
Nov16

Artificial Intelligence : why we need respectful algorithms

Developments of artificial intelligence are a source of concern for several reasons. First of all AI threatens jobs, privacy and our perceived freedom. Second, 99,99% of the population doesn’t really understand what AI is and where it originates. In today’s post I’d like to raise the case of respectful Artificial Intelligence and explain why we need the way we conceive “intelligent” algorithms. Why do we...

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Banks are laying off : only because of digitalisation ?
Oct05

Banks are laying off : only because of digitalisation ?

ING : 3500 jobs cut. Axa : 650 jobs cut. BNP Paribas Fortis : 1000 jobs cut. As the Financial Times pointed out, some 100,000 jobs will be cut in the banking sector in 2016. Read again. One hundred thousands. That’s a lot. The reason which is given is that digitalisation have made jobs redundant. And I very much agree with the fact that digitalisation has dramatically changed the business landscape and has forced companies to...

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Hospitality : this postcard leverages customer satisfaction
Apr13

Hospitality : this postcard leverages customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction are increasingly expressed online. Capturing this information remains instrumental for most sectors, especially for hotels and restaurants. Bad word-of-mouth can destroy reputation and cut revenues. In the hospitality sectors the norm is usually to have satisfaction surveys distributed to customers. 25 Hours hotels chose a different way. As Bruno Marti, Chief Branding Officer, explains : “In...

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Add a human touch to your marketing strategy
Feb24

Add a human touch to your marketing strategy

Marketing strategies are increasingly ruled by algorithms, IT-based decision systems which leave less and less space for human qualities to make the difference. We just wrote an article about recommendation algorithms and artificial intelligence in the business sphere that you may want to read to understand how it affects the customer experience. If you are in an industry which uses those technologies, you might well consider the...

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RAGE 2015 study : customers more dissatisfied than ever with complaint handling
Jan27

RAGE 2015 study : customers more dissatisfied than ever with complaint handling

The 2015 edition of the RAGE study is out … and guess what ? Post-complaint satisfaction has never been so low and firms seem to keep doing the wrong things about complaint handling. Complaint handling practices are obviously wrong in most firms and as the results below show, particular attention should be given to the quality of the interaction between the customer and the employee. Customer satisfaction is essential.   TOP3...

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Payment reminders : how not to lose your loyal customers
Jan06

Payment reminders : how not to lose your loyal customers

Sometimes a small detail can ruin your customer’s satisfaction and end up the relationship. The danger is especially high when you have to send a payment reminder. Whatever the reasons, such a message is likely to trigger strong emotions. Two possible situations, equally dangerous for your business If the customer feels he is right, he may feel betrayed and you’ll lose credibility. If the customer knows he’s wrong, this will only...

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Can we measure satisfaction in our bodies ?
Nov09

Can we measure satisfaction in our bodies ?

I’ve been studying customer satisfaction, dissatisfaction, loyalty for more than a decade. Both my academic and business experiences have taught me one thing : there’s no one-size-fits-all magical recipe to satisfy people. There are almost as many ways to satisfy clients as there are clients. That’s why the quest for efficiency in satisfaction can be considered illusory. Relying on satisfaction surveys is often inaccurate (despite the...

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Volkswagen scandal : will customers really care?
Sep28

Volkswagen scandal : will customers really care?

In the Volkswagen cheating scandal, every single day seems to bring new information. From ca. 500k vehicles in the US, figures climbed to more than 1m potentially affected vehicles in Europe. As of today Seat vehicles are also under scrutiny and it can be expected that Skoda will soon be the next “victim”. After all, why would the problems be limited to one or two brands while the 4-cylinder engines are shared among all...

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How to ruin customer satisfaction in one sentence
Sep21

How to ruin customer satisfaction in one sentence

Sometimes, satisfying and keeping your customers can depend on very little details. Here’s a personal story of a recent interaction with Coolblue, an e-tailer whose excellent customer satisfaction practices have been discussed several times here. What this story will tell you, is that past performances can’t predict future customer retention. One mistake can be enough to ruin a valuable customer’s loyalty. Coolblue:...

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87% customer loyalty : the magic recipe to make billions
Jun08

87% customer loyalty : the magic recipe to make billions

In the last years, I’ve been very cautious in explaining to our clients how to increase customer loyalty. When I was giving conferences 10 years ago the equation was still “easy” to solve: more customer satisfaction led to increased loyalty. This equation doesn’t hold anymore. Yet one company achieves an incredible loyalty rate and drives billions out of it : Apple. Apple achieves what is probably the highest...

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How Hootsuite leveraged customer dissatisfaction to improve its product
Mar04

How Hootsuite leveraged customer dissatisfaction to improve its product

You all know Twitter, right ? Most of us do use it. But some of us have more than one Twitter account. I manage three actually : my own one @pnschwab where I deal mostly with scientific marketing research and personal thoughts, @IntoTheMinds for our marketing agency in Brussels, and @BestPopUpStores which we launched last year together with our online project on remarkable pop-up shops. When you have three twitter accounts the problem...

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