Tag Archives: consumer research

UK Consumer Trends for 2016

With consumer trends in retail data from 2015 now being digested by analysts and retail spending peaked, are we about to see the increase in our disposable incomes finally result in a financial windfall for UK retailers?

Latest report data from the ONS suggests that back in 2013 average weekly spending started growing again (increasing to £523.90) and continued growing in 2014 when it reached £531.30. With the figures from 2015 still due, will we see a continued upward trajectory in 2016? And how will this affect our fiercely competitive UK consumer markets?

Consumer Expenditure Trends

Consumer Expenditure Trends

Source: Trends in household expenditure over time (ONS)

Will 2016 herald further increases in choice for the UK consumer?

It’s no secret that a slew of data will most likely still point to the rise of the discounters and value hungry shoppers driving footfall away from previously dominant market leaders. Technology will continue to disrupt traditional channels as companies like UBER and AirBNB start to impact service based industry models.

Standard of service will be a key differentiator.

The quality of product and service delivery is becoming the modern battleground in the race for companies to either expand or survive and growing consumer choice is a sign of healthy market competition. The upshot for business is that the relentless pursuit for value and excellence from consumers will continue to define how our high street retailers perform, shaping the UK retail landscape in the years to come.

The time to invest in understanding service performance and training is now.

If the forecasts are correct then this is a great time for well managed retail stores  to capitalise on low oil prices, benign interest rates and the real terms increases in consumer spending power as inflation remains subdued.

 

How will retailers capitalise on any increase in UK consumer confidence in 2016?

It’s important to note that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Operations Teams to manage multiple delivery routes as shoppers’ drift between physical bricks and mortar,  the online world, and call centre sales routes. Managing a joined up approach on service at scale is not an easy task but one that retailers need to tackle with relish. As you start your journey into 2016, make sure you lay a great foundation for the rest of the year and beyond.

Provide your business support with a clear measurement framework.

To ensure that you have an accurate measurement for service performance across  all channels we suggest that companies invest in the tools which enable them to have a clear customer insight beyond the standard customer feedback survey. We support companies by developing mystery shopping programmes which measure key moments in the customer journey not typically picked up by consumer surveys and canvassing.

Gathering evidence rich data is the key for driving positive change

Consumer purchase funnel Data

Consumer Purchase Funnel Data from Mystery Shopping – Tern Ltd

For online data analysts it has become common practice to measure the customer journey funnel and work out where you are most likely to lose your customers. Mystery Shopping is the perfect tool for creating a funnel framework for working out your service failure points. Looking at those key moments can tell you where you need to make service level improvements are made. Mystery shopping data is far richer and can be combined with customer feedback surveys or stand alone in it’s own right.

To help you with this we have compiled our own list of supporting topics.

Contact us on 01939 235555 to see how we can help you lay the foundations for achieving great customer service.

Call centre mystery shopping

How to get the most out of Call Centre Mystery Shopping.

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  23/10/2014

Automotive Mystery Shopping for Car Dealerships, Manufacturers and Auto Services  Whether it’s assessing car showroom standards, service desk knowledge or the selling skills of the dealership representatives, the evidence we gather puts you in the driving seat of your customer experience.  Our mystery shopping programmes are built to look at key moments within the customer journey to help you understand and evaluate a range of factors.  With new car sales in a dynamic period of growth ensure that you maximise your business and sales potential with greater insights on performance.  ‘UK new car market up again in August 2015, marking 42nd consecutive month of growth’ http://www.smmt.co.uk/ 04/09/2015  Each programme that we deliver is made-to-measure to fit the requirements of your business model. We will support you in that process with the benefit of 25 years of experience.              Call us on 01939235555  Contact Us Client Video Testimonials  Automotive Mystery Shopping  How we conduct the automotive industry mystery shopping visits.  We can audit your business whether you're a vehicle showroom, tyre service centre or car hire company, by capturing hard evidence to assess areas of importance to you. We do this by using either video mystery shopping, audio device recording or getting our mystery shoppers to complete detailed written mystery shopping reports.   Watch the sample video.   What can we cover:  Showroom standards and presentation Test drive delivery and sales representative product knowledge Knowledge of automotive finance options and dealership event incentives Aftersales quality checking With this information you can:   Understand missed sales opportunities and implement training for improvement. Identify at dealership level, areas of non-compliance and poor service Verify that advertising campaigns are launched on time and executed properly Seek opportunities to improve the consumer journey from the initial enquiry How we deliver the reports and visit analysis:  After the visits/reports have been completed you will have access to a comprehensive suite of mystery shopping reports delivered through our online dashboard.

Call Centre Mystery Shopping – Telephone Mystery Shopping

We have all been there and unfortunately it’s happening with increasing frequency, press one for sales, press two for enquiries, press three for billing and four for any other enquiry. It’s at this point when our hearts sink as we realise we are about to disappear into a labyrinth of sub menus before we get to speak to a real person. I’m sure that most of us are in favour of efficiency savings and streamlining processes but sometimes the customer experience can be lost in automated call routing systems. What we need here is some call centre mystery shopping.

How many times have you been frustrated wasting your time on hold?

Consumers will accept automated call services to a degree as they realise it supports getting better value products and services and in some occasions results in a shorter calls. That said once you manage to get through to a call handler or operative the way the call is managed is extremely important, providing anything other than an excellent service can cost your business lost revenue and lose you customers. 

Whilst mystery shopping your contact centre can’t adjust the fundamental dynamics of how your calls are routed, you can still ask your mystery shoppers to provide feedback as a focus group. By conducting call centre mystery shopping you will be able to identify issues and problems you might not have known existed with either the call routing or service levels.

Do you rely to heavily on your contact centre call board to tell you the customer experience?

The numbers on the call centre dashboard are all people with different perceptions of your business, as they listen to your call hold music there opinion is being shaped before they even get to speak to the person they need.

You most likely record your calls already so it is possible for you to review a call when a complaint is made and see where a call operative has gone wrong. You can even ask for customers to complete an automated customer satisfaction survey at the end of the call. However sometimes this does not give you the complete customer picture. You can read more about our thoughts on mystery shopping vs customer satisfaction in our blog and why a customer satisfaction responses from real customers will only give you part of the picture and is not a complete measure of service.

What are the benefits of  Mystery Shopping your Call Centre?

Using mystery shopping for your call centre, as opposed to post customer satisfaction surveys, means that you can approach the service with predefined set of measures in place.  Customer Experience Managers, this is our call as customers for you to you to understand the full customer journey for your call centre. Why wait for the complaint to shape your approach to business change. Customer apathy towards modern call centres is well documented and has taken many column inches in our tabloids, a bleak picture of our customer relationship with call centres indeed ‘UK call centre customer service ‘in decline’  Browen Morgan – Research Live.

This is why when the call is finally answered the operative should be  courteous, polite and have the ability to resolve the customer query in the right way. If you have a known problem you can address it by making  sure that you can bring a record of it to your training sessions and then use mystery shoppers to ensure that is has been removed from the system.

So have you ever wondered how good your contact centre really is?

A high number of call centres in the UK are using call centre mystery shopping as a way of regularly reviewing performance with a view to enhancing customer service and improvement training.

By conducting call centre mystery shopping you can separate the experiences out from your main accounts and complete a survey defined against company standards.

You can consider the call from a number of perspectives and the mystery shopper can score the call operative alongside the brief. You might do this might be in relation to a compliance requirement but equally the way the call is handled in terms of customer journey can be measured, just like any other mystery shopping exercise:

Before you embark on a mystery shopper programme for your call centre you might like to consider the following points.

  • Are the call centre mystery shoppers roleplaying a new or existing customer?
  • Does the mystery shopper need a fake account number?
  • How far does the role play need to extend before shopper exits the call?
  • What am I trying to measure or understand?

If you’re considering running a call centre mystery shopping programme, Tern provide can provide you with guidance and we can tailor the programme to your needs. We can measure areas in isolation or as a complete customer  journey.

For more information on how we can help contact us today. For more information on how online an telephone journeys interact with other distribution channels go to our page on online and call centre mystery shopping.