Marketing, customer satisfaction and loyalty
Satisfied customers will follow you everywhere
Customer satisfaction: can it be measured based on facial emotions?
May06

Customer satisfaction: can it be measured based on facial emotions?

During a recent programme on a French television channel (BFMTV), Paul Hermelin, the big boss of Cap Gemini, described the fantastic current technologies that were impacting his group and mentioned a project that surprised me. With the help of Cap Gemini, a cruise-ship operator has allegedly set up a facial recognition system to measure the emotions of its customers on board the ship(s), to be able to determine their customers’...

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Net Promoter Score (NPS) : to include in all satisfaction surveys or not?
May03

Net Promoter Score (NPS) : to include in all satisfaction surveys or not?

How to design a customer satisfaction survey? An in particular, should a NPS (Net Promoter Score) question always be included in a satisfaction survey?  While we at IntoTheMinds highly recommend to do so, I had to to re-think my position last week when I saw a post on Linkedin that argued a NPS question in a Microsoft satisfaction survey was nonsense because people don’t actually speak or recommend operating systems. Let’s...

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Hospitality: why it’s important to answer online customer reviews
Apr15

Hospitality: why it’s important to answer online customer reviews

Social media is an unmissable way to connect customers and firms. It has also become a privileged channel to raise complaints and engage in positive and negative word-of-mouth. In today’s article we propose to analyse one aspect of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) which has been recently dealt with in a marketing research published in the Journal of Interactive Marketing by Jie Sheng (University of Bristol). This study...

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Ryanair: can provocation pay on the long-term?
Mar30

Ryanair: can provocation pay on the long-term?

It has been a long time (3 years to be exact) since I had travelled on Ryanair. Not having been particularly attracted by the customer experience I have avoided this company as much as possible, but last weekend it was the only one serving the city I had to go to. Departure on time; arrival on time; the contract was filled with all the inconveniences we know and to which I will not return. However, that is not the purpose of this...

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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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GDPR: what is consent and why it will impact customer satisfaction
Mar12

GDPR: what is consent and why it will impact customer satisfaction

I had a recent experience where one firm didn’t ask my consent and tried to nudge me into doing something that I was firmly opposed to. In today’s article I’d like to highlight the conditions for a valid consent. GDPR : how to collect a valid consent? There are 5 conditions to fulfil for having a valid consent : The customer’s act must be clear and affirmative Forget about policies that a customer implicitly...

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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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How to manage unprofitable customers in 3 steps
Feb14

How to manage unprofitable customers in 3 steps

Not all customers are alike. Some of them cost you money. Here are 3 simple rules to solve that problem. As you will see once again market research is instrumental to the solution. Identify unprofitable users and ensure they are not becoming clients The best way to avoid unprofitable customers is to actually not take them onboard. That’s where a good market research study helps. As part of your market research you will have to...

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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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An interesting example of nudge applied to public safety in Ísafjörður, Iceland
Oct09

An interesting example of nudge applied to public safety in Ísafjörður, Iceland

I’ve developed an interest for the study of nudges after reading the book by Dan Ariely. Nudges can be considered a sub-discipline of behavioral economics (founded by George Lowenstein) and already wrote about it on this blog (see one example here). To define a “nudge” using my own words, I’d say it’s a design that leads a person towards a particular action. That action should be beneficial for the...

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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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Customer satisfaction : are executives listening to their clients?
Jul10

Customer satisfaction : are executives listening to their clients?

In the field of customer satisfaction, few techniques are as powerful as talking with clients to understand what their problems are. Yet very few executives still have this sense of proximity with their customers. The bigger the organization the farther the top management. Do they read customer complaints ? Probably not. Do they talk to dissatisfied customers ? Probably not. Some organizations have symbolically added a “customer...

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How to use single-sign-on in retail to improve customer experience
Jul03

How to use single-sign-on in retail to improve customer experience

I recently gave a speech on identity management and GDPR at the Gigya Identified 2017 conference in London. There I had the opportunity to listen to another Julien Marlot who is the head of digital activities at Unibail. Unibail-Rodamco is Europe’s leading listed commercial property company specialized in shopping centers in European capital cities. Julien gave some very interesting insights about how Unibail-Rodamco uses...

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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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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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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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4 hints to avoid your customer satisfaction survey from failing
Apr20

4 hints to avoid your customer satisfaction survey from failing

In our latest article we discuss the Goodhart’s law and what it meant for customer satisfaction measurement. In short, if satisfaction scores become a company’s objectives, the likelihood is high that results will be biased. A very good article explains the origin of this bias (it’s called reflexivity) and even details other “laws” that point to the same effect : Goodhart’s Law is most succinct: “When a...

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How the Goodhart’s law makes customer satisfaction surveys fail
Apr18

How the Goodhart’s law makes customer satisfaction surveys fail

“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”. This is the Goodhart’s law and it explains in my opinion why why an awful lot customer satisfaction measures fail. Let me take two concrete examples that I’ve experienced myself : Audi and Beflius. in this section I’d like to discuss two concrete examples of customer satisfaction measurement that becomes organizational objectives and therefore cease...

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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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Belfius : 95,25% customer satisfaction. Can you believe it?
Apr05

Belfius : 95,25% customer satisfaction. Can you believe it?

I visited a Belfius branch last week and was stunned to see their latest marketing campaign and their claim about their high customer satisfaction: 95,25% customer satisfaction ! Can you imagine ? This is just an amazing score. So amazing that it can hardly be trusted as I already wrote many years ago on this blog. I digged into this matter, looked for facts on the satisfaction in the banking industry and explain below why the...

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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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Don’t smile too much if you want to be perceived as competent
Mar01

Don’t smile too much if you want to be perceived as competent

How you picture yourself to customers and prospects, and in particular how you smile, has important consequences that you may have overlooked until now. Fortunately a scientific study clarifies the impact of a smile on a potential buyer in different settings, online and offline. This has important consequences if you want to improve your service quality level and your customers’ satisfaction. How smiling affects our...

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Linkedin helps recruiters develop bad practices
Feb15

Linkedin helps recruiters develop bad practices

There’s something I hate about Linkedin. When you are active in a sector where demand exceeds offer, you start getting all kind of bullshit InMail and connection requests from recruiters. I’m in the Big Data consulting business; you can easily imagine what kind of attraction power my Linkedin profile represents for recruiters working on a no-cure-no-pay basis, receiving positions to fulfill from clients and not knowing...

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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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Imperfection can also be a source of delight and customer satisfaction
Feb03

Imperfection can also be a source of delight and customer satisfaction

Who said satisfaction stems from perfection. Imperfect products can also lead to enjoyment and satisfaction. Take for instance the example of Merci, a premium retailer located in Paris that attracs trendsetters from all over the world. They just started a temporary exhibition entitled “Imparfait, Nobody’s Perfect” (“Imperfect, Nobody’s Perfect” in English) which is dedicated to imperfect products :...

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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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How novelty and serendipity improve customer satisfaction
Dec05

How novelty and serendipity improve customer satisfaction

Product recommendations have enabled E-commerce websites to become a place where mass marketing converges with niche marketing. Recommendations are pivotal in enabling less popular products to be discovered by people who are the most likely to like them : this is a long-tail strategy. There is however a dilemma to be adressed : how much of novel and unexpected products should be recommended to online visitors to enhance their...

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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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