Fiona Whelan, Managing Director of CPM’s International Contact Centre in Barcelona, is interviewed for a special feature on Business Excellence within the Contact Centre & CX Industry for leading Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia.
Read the full interview excerpt in English below.
CPM Barcelona: Specialists in Exceptional Customer Experience (CX) & High Performance Sales
Since Fiona’s appointment as Managing Director in 2015, the company has gone from strength to strength.
During this time, CPM Barcelona has experienced 300% growth and secured multi-million Euro investment to fuel business expansion into an additional site; creating over 1000 new jobs for the region.
Here, Fiona talks about the critical importance of Customer Experience (CX) for businesses of the future and CPM’s continued success as it celebrates 15 years in Barcelona.
What is the main support brands need in order to remain close to their customers?
We are living in extraordinary times in terms of the pace and scale of technological and societal transformation.
This is driving real behavioural change in consumers; who paradoxically want increased efficiency and automation but conversely, more authentic engagement with brands than ever before!
This presents new challenges for businesses operating in an increasingly hyper-connected, transparent and ‘always-on’ Experience Economy.
As products become more replicable and indistinguishable; what matters most are the brand promises businesses make to their customers; and how the experiences customers receive when they engage with brands deliver against these promises.
It sounds simple but can be extremely challenging to achieve!
How does CPM provide this support to brands?
CPM’s raison d’être is to support our clients in delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences (CX).
We provide Technical Helpdesk, CX Support, Consumer Carelines, Customer Satisfaction and High Performance Sales programmes for premier global brands including Airbnb, Harley-Davidson and New Balance, to name a few.
Although we of course speak to customers over the phone; over 60% of our contact centre activities now take place via digital channels including chat-bots, social media, web-chat and ticketing; as well as a variety of messaging services such as WhatsApp and Messenger.
As a result of our investment in AI, data insights and predictive analytics; CPM are also able to harness leading edge technological innovations to automate simpler tasks; whilst simultaneously accessing a more digitally empowered, emotionally intelligent and highly skilled workforce for complex cases.
CPM employ over 2000 agents who engage with over 30,000 customers on a daily basis, spanning 65+ markets and 26 languages via our two contact centre hubs in Barcelona.
On an annualised basis, we deliver €100 Million in revenue for our clients and our CX Teams are achieving record breaking Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of 70 + (a key measure of Customer Loyalty!).
Do your clients belong to a specific sector?
Whilst CPM operates across a diverse range of sectors; in recent years, our success has been fueled by the exponential growth of clients operating within the High Tech, New Tech and Consumer Electronics space, where we have developed a real specialism and predict continued growth.
Looking ahead, what are CPM’s plans for the future?
CPM is committed to Barcelona and the continued growth of our contact centre operations in the city.
Adding to this; CPM have recently launched CPM Ignite, our Work from Home solution which enables clients and agents alike to avail of a boundaryless, virtual contact centre workforce operating across Spain and beyond.
We are also in talks to enhance our Northern European coverage; alongside established partnerships in the US and Asia.
CPM’s vision is to be the premier boutique provider of high skill, customer intimate contact centre solutions for clients across the globe; with Barcelona at its heart as our multi-lingual centre of excellence.
Please click here to view the original newspaper article in La Vanguardia.
Welcome to our latest edition of Expert Speak,” How does the access to data impact the Sales Force Teams ” which comes from Véronique Motte, President CPM Group of Companies in France.
How does the access to data impact the Sales Force Teams ?
A few weeks ago, CPM France organised a conference in Paris to explore the impact of accessing data on the sales force team’s performance. For the occasion, CPM France teamed up with its partner, Data Impact, a leading analytics and monitoring e-commerce company.
The purpose of the conference was not to put forward solutions, but to create thought provoking discussions and share opinions or beliefs with the thirty sales directors and e-commerce managers present.
The world of retail is changing, making the sales force teams role more complex
In France, consumers are visiting multiple stores for their groceries (7.8 versus 7.1 in 2010) and are increasingly becoming more specific and demanding when it comes to the source and the quality of products, but they still want a good price and a promotion. Faced with a decline in consumption, especially in hypermarkets, the retail industry is seeking to reinvent itself by digitalising stores and focusing more on small traders, new players and e-commerce. On the manufacturers side, sales forces are not immune to these upheavals. The professions are becoming more and more specialised while their attractiveness decreases.
Today, the use of data by the sales teams is not fully optimised
Following a trend to specialise professions in the past 10 years, today we are seeing a change to versatility for reasons of efficiency. The Area Manager is becoming a Store Key Account Manager with different tasks: numerical distribution, promotion, place, price, but also management of resources.
However, the job could be reinvented thanks to a better use of data. Salespeople could regain interest in their business through a cap on the data. It would facilitate certain tasks and reduce the time required to complete them. A better use of the data would reduce the preparation time, the store audit (automatic check availability, price records…), even transport, by removing unnecessary sales calls. Consequently: using data, the time of a visit could be optimised by about 10% to 30%.
How can data help in execution?
Today, visiting a store is still the main way of collecting data for the offline sales team. Tomorrow, the availability of data will optimise the sales team’s actions on three levels without having to make a second call:
CPM France are proud to announce that one of our clients has accepted to test this data approach on its sales force team. It will be a good start and a good reference on the use of optimising data. We will keep you informed of the progress…
President CPM Group of Companies in France
Did you know?……….
|RETURN ON EQUITY|
On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53%
|RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL|
On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 66%
|RETURN ON SALES|
On average companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 42%
|Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians||In the UK greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set; for every 10% increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by 3.5%|
Source: McKinsey, Catalyst
This years theme for International Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter.
The aim is to build a gender-balanced world.
“Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.”
The gender ratio for the entire world population is 102 males to 100 females – a very gender balanced world I think!
It is also a fact that there is not a problem with female achievement and women now out-perform men in terms of educational attainment. In addition, as women we are also “leaning in” and asking for promotions and negotiating salaries at the same rates as men and, contrary to conventional wisdom, we are now staying in the workforce – again at the same rate as men.
Therefore, to my very logical brain, it would make reasonable sense that the business world would be made up of a balanced number of equally paid males and females at every level within organisations.
So why are there only 30 women in full time executive roles at FTSE 250 companies (down from 38 last year), which amounts to just 6.4% of the total? And why does the national Gender Pay Gap between males and females currently stand at 18.4%? (OfNS April 18).
I recognise that this is not an overnight fix and actually business and government are more committed than ever to balancing the gender equation.
Therefore, we need to push the agenda even harder and overall companies need to take more decisive action. We all need to start treating gender balance with as much importance as our other key business priorities like business growth and customer satisfaction.
This means holding our leaders and managers accountable for results, identifying and closing gender gaps for both new hires but also for all promotions across the business. This certainly does not mean introducing any form of quota system but by first and foremost, having a talent attraction strategy that actively encourages and attracts gender balanced candidates for all roles within your business. Your recruitment process should be merit based, free from unconscious bias and should create excitement, foster confidence and bring out the very best in each and every candidate.
It also means creating an all-inclusive culture, where everyone feels supported, encouraged and given the confidence to progress their careers and achieve beyond what they thought they were capable of – I know I did!
At CPM we are committed to championing a Gender balanced workplace and recognise and understand that inclusion and diversity leads to greater business success. In our UK business, I am very proud to have a gender split of 42% Male, 58% Female and our UK board is split 50% female and 50% male. This is particularly pleasing for a sales organisation where typically “Women in Sales” usually account for less than 30%.
Having a diverse workforce based on opportunity and meritocracy is something that is deeply important to me and to CPM. As someone who has progressed through the business, I am passionate about creating development opportunities for anyone who wants them, whilst at the same time providing support programmes that give everyone – especially women – the confidence to progress their careers if they choose.
We work closely with our female employees to encourage and support the challenges they face with balancing their career & families, and to also build the confidence they sometimes lack to progress their careers. Our flexible working practices, part time roles, mentoring, support and sponsorship programmes, have not only driven positive gender balance across all roles within our business, but have also brought tangible benefits to both our Female and Male colleagues.
Whilst I recognise that there is always work to do to continually improve our business performance, culture and the diversity of our team, I am hugely proud of our progress to date and the engagement, passion, hard work and commitment from the CPM team.
MD, CPM UK
The Checkout Conference was held on February 5th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. The event gathered 8 speakers and a discussion panel, who offered valuable insights on “Rising the Challenges” in the retail industry. The conference is considered a must-attend event for senior executives in the trade and this year the conference is celebrating their 40th anniversary.
Retail experts and analysts from Ireland and overseas revealed the latest developments of the sector, as well as sharing tips and tricks that have helped them find success in a continually turbulent industry for retailers and FMCG brands.
At CPM we have gathered the main highlights of the day:
The opening speaker of the Conference was Kari Daniels, CEO of Tesco Ireland. In one of her first public appearances to the Irish grocery retail market since her appointment in September 2018, Daniels highlighted that retailers need to understand consumers and listen carefully to what they actually want from their retailers. Today’s consumers are time poor and tend to shop little and often, with a major focus on healthy eating while becoming more and more environmentally aware. They expect stores not only to deliver a great experience but also offer convenience and home shopping capabilities.
The concept of value is being redefined and technology is changing how retailers serve their customers, with important improvements being made in AI. For Tesco, the “scan as you shop” technology has been a key cost-saving initiative. Daniels also discussed topics such as single-use plastic, environment awareness and food waste, highlighting Tesco’s main contributions in this area.
Mike Watkins, Head of Retailer and Business Insight at Nielsen, examined the macro-trends in the retail market across Ireland and Europe. Watkins addressed three specific challenges facing retailers and FMCG brands: firstly, consumers are shopping and spending differently; secondly, there has been an increase in online grocery and food delivery; and lastly, the rise of the Sustainable Shopper.
Today’s consumer journey is getting more personal, with noticeable shifts on how shoppers discover new products, embrace the shopping experience and ultimately explore with new channels, new missions and new products. According to Watkins, last year shoppers experimented with their shopping, trying new channels and seeking new experiences, such as online shopping, as opposed to shopping missions. The retail landscape continues to evolve with some key trends: consumers continue to spend (in 2018 Irish shoppers spent €16.9 billion on FMCG products) but are uncertain about Brexit; Confectionery, soft drinks and BWS are among the fastest growing categories and Discounters continue to grow market share.
Online grocery expectations are changing and the top reasons for online shopping are the ability to choose when groceries will be delivered, as well as a quicker and more convenient service. Watkins anticipates that the growth in online will accelerate as fast and convenient delivery/ collection allows retailers to cater to different shopping missions and gives the end user the possibility to customise and personalise their experience. It’s crucial for retailers to use new technologies to remain relevant and offer a seamless experience to customers.
As we are witnessing the rise of the sustainable shopper, Watkins suggested that products that are fresh, natural, local or craft products, with smaller serve packs and which are perceived as better for the environment, will drive retail growth. In Ireland we are seeing that shoppers are environmentally conscious with clear expectations of sustainability: 46% of consumers are seeking loose products with no packaging. Also, 91% of consumers believe retailers should do more to reduce the amount of plastic packaging.
Seamus Griffin, Chief Executive of Griffin Retail Group, offered a very inspiring talk as he walked the audience through the story of how the retail group grow with a mindset of “a failure is never an option on the way to success”. Griffin Retail Group started with a shop in 1950 and now they run 15 stores in Dublin, employing 400 people. Griffin explored the challenges that brick and mortar retailers are facing in today’s open and hyper-competitive marketplace, agreeing that the key to overcoming them is to provide a great customer experience at any point. He also talked about the threat of spiralling insurance and labour costs for retailers.
Griffin shared the experience the group has had with the concession model and how it is transforming convenience retailing, creating one-stop shops for a variety of local services and food offerings. The introduction of the Subway concession to the retail chain was key to drive additional footfall and turnover. When looking ahead Griffin estimates that the average consumer will ‘dashboard dine’ at least four times during the week, with a surge of consumers eating in the car on the way to work, giving a major opportunity to the grab and go sector.
Lord Mark Price, former Managing Director at Waitrose, believes the real challenge facing retailers and brands is how they prepare their staff to cope with the new technological age. For him, the importance of workplace happiness is crucial for achieving great results: profit and productivity increases in 20% when employees are engaged with their companies, which also reduces waste, staff turnover and sick absences.
In order to achieve employee engagement companies must reward and recognise their staff upon success, empower and trust them as well as keep them well informed. It is also advisable to guarantee a good life-work balance, create in employees a sense of pride and guarantee job satisfaction levels are always optimum.
Malachy O’Connor, founder at Food First Consulting, and partner at International Private Label Consult summarised the current market dynamics and demonstrated how these trends pose major challenges for brands such as discounter market share growth, the growing price differential and changing promotional strategies. To set the scene, O’Connor talked about the current volatility of the market and discussed the success discounters had when establishing in Ireland and how the other retailers responded.
In Ireland, it is estimated that there is one discounter shop per 15,000 people (this is 5,000 in Germany and 25,000 in the UK), which exposes the major potential for discounters to continue driving store growth. Another area which has big potential is private labels as there is currently low market penetration in some categories. The Irish consumer has an affinity with brands and premium private labels. There is also a big opportunity for delivering true innovation, especially in the areas of health and sustainability. However, it all boils down to delivering consistent quality. Brands should never compromise in quality.
Peter Stedman, Managing Director, at Salvus Food Consulting, explained what sustainability means in the Irish context and how the Irish Grocery retail sector compares to its European counterparts. Stedman believes that governments need to set rules to get all the industry to act and more sustainably. In the meantime, it’s crucial for businesses to design and implement a sustainability plan. Some of the upcoming trends are spreading global legislation, designing good enough products that can be repaired when breaking down as well as healthy sustainable diets.
Adam Smith, Head of Media Strategy at the dunnhumby UK, presented some research around the increasing debate between a mass marketing approach vs a data-led approach. Smith analysed if different categories behave similarly to the Pareto law (80/20) or to Sharp’s law (50/20). The key results showed that even though categories can behave very differently, it seems that the 80/20 view of sales to top customers appeared to be more accurate than the 50/20 view, as the heaviest 20% of brand buyers are typically responsible for 65-80% of a brand’s sales. This will also depend on the category dynamics, as emotional brands behave differently than functional ones. Also, the smaller the brand, the higher the proportion of sales to the top 20% of consumers. In order to maximise the marketing and media budgets, Smith recommended a tailored category and brand strategy.
Last but not least, Zana Busby, Business and Consumer Psychologist at Retail Reflections, shared what, how and why people buy. As human beings, 80% of our actions are emotion driven and 20% are rational and logical. According to Busby, most of consumer spending happens on the subconscious level. Whether we shop online or offline, our emotions play a major role when purchasing a product. It’s very important that brands have access to emotionally driven insights in order to cultivate positive emotions and memories of their customers. The happier the emotion and experience that the brands generate on the customer, the more engaged the buyer will be.
Busby also addressed the different shopping patterns between men and women. For men, shopping is considered a mission, and even though emotions also play an important role they are driven by data. On the other hand, women see shopping as a journey and they have more hedonic and emotional responses to the act of shopping. It is important not to underestimate the buying power of women, as they addressed 80% of discretionary spending.
She also explained that humans tend to link the senses with emotion (either positive or negative), so it is crucial for brands to engage their customers with the 5 senses in order to drive positive emotions, wonderful experiences and great relationships.
The Conference concluded with the Leaders Panel, which consisted of John McCambridge, Head of Sales at Heineken Ireland; Stephen Dillon, Head of Planning at Mondelez and Malachy O’Connor, all joined by Panel Chair, Conor Morris, Managing Director of the Executive Institute. The panel discussed the different initiatives and views around sustainability, packaging and plastic reduction, how to engage and communicate with the customer, and how technology is being by their brands.
At CPM our Mission is to grow our clients’ business using insight to create influence and drive sales. CPM works as a strategic partner with all of our clients. We work closely with them to ensure that we are constantly reviewing the emerging trends in the market and in turn growing and evolving. If you would like to talk to someone at CPM about how your brand can rise to the challenges in retail, please contact us on 01 7080300, email email@example.com or visit www.cpmire.com
CPM attended latest shopper seminar by POPAI and took away some great insights into how the world of consumers is continuously changing as well as some very interesting findings on the current use of Digital screens in Dublin v’s London, which we are delighted to share with you today:
Digital screen usage in Dublin v’s London
Popai carried out research to get a snapshot of:
265 stores were researched – 72 in Dublin and 193 in London.
Almost 50 different types of the retail category were visited, including HORECA, Financial, as well as entertainment outlets such as cinemas and museums.
Strange to see that some categories – Pharmacy, fashion accessories, gifting, music, stationery and cards, were using little or no digital screen technology.
Most interesting findings for Dublin:
Things to note when considering messaging for screens:
Main outtakes from the findings:
Day in day out CPM have merchandisers on the shop floor of multiples nationwide in Ireland. We are seeing a shift from your traditional point of sales displays to a combination of digital and traditional point of sale working in tandem. If you are looking at ways in which you can incorporate a more engaging experience in store contact CPM today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01 7080 300
In Ireland convenience is becoming more and more popular with shoppers visiting convenience stores at least twice a week. The busy schedule of consumers has contributed to this increase in popularity, as they are looking for ways to keep pace with their accelerated lifestyle through shortcuts and automation. In addition, shoppers don’t enjoy the act of shopping as they consider it’s too time-consuming and 47% describe it as a chore.
However, the increase in popularity of convenience stores may not necessarily mean an increase in spending, as shoppers are spending less time and subsequently less money during their shopping trips. According to the latest Irish Convenience Market Trends report from HIM, 2 in 3 Irish shoppers spend less than 5 minutes and the average shopper purchases 3 items per trip. In this respect, shopping trips are becoming more frequents and need-based. According to Nielsen, 10% of global shoppers claim to buy just for their daily meal requirements.
This scenario creates a fierce competition among brands and wide-scale changes within the convenience sector, with brands seeking for ways to stand out from their competitors. In this landscape, in-store displays play a much bigger role with more and more impulse purchases being driven through in-store displays, as suggested on the latest research by HIM on convenience.
Not only choosing the correct messaging and fixture type will have a big impact on the success of a campaign, but also the product location is key with the ideal location having a conversion rate of between 3.9% and 14.1% depending on category.
At CPM we understand that effective merchandising and retail displays are key to driving sales and gaining a genuine in-store competitive advantage.
We have 80 years’ experience worldwide and 30 years in Ireland and we have constantly learnt and reapplied our knowledge and experience to point of sale (POS), promotional management, new product launches and of course, visual merchandising.
We understand that merchandising is a key sales promotion tool. If your brand is not on a shelf, that’s a missed sales opportunity. That’s why we specialise in creating tailored sales strategies to maximise every opportunity. And with our strategically-led creative solutions, you’ll stand a much better chance of standing out in the few seconds it takes a consumer to make that purchasing decision.
We’ll also make sure that your brand is on the shelf through POS placement and stock control and we can support your investment with our mystery shopping team to ensure POS compliance and provide you with fully audited reports.
If you’d like to know how CPM can drive sales for your brand on the convenience sector, contact us today at email@example.com
This months Expert Speak comes from Karen Jackson, MD, CPM UK.
At CPM UK, we’re leading the way in sales analytics by combining cutting edge analytics software, machine learning, artificial intelligence and our team of amazing data scientists to deploy the power of predictive analytics through our PREDICT solution.
Even today’s fastest retail analytics teams are gathering data today, analysing it overnight, to drive actions and resource deployment the following day – and they call this dynamic.
We believe that however fast this is – your teams are still being forced to react to historical data… and if you are reacting, you’re missing valuable opportunities and not running a fully optimised team. To be truly optimised and drive the highest returns possible, you need to predict the future. Predictive analytics is nothing new, but with the data that’s now available and the technology that can support in analysing that data – we now have the perfect opportunity to use predictive analytics to drive optimal resource deployment for our clients.
Machine learning is a form of AI that enables our systems to learn from data rather than through explicit programming. However, machine learning is not a fully artificial intelligence-controlled process. Our human experts set the outcome required to solve a business problem and the machine then analyses all variables to create the best hypothesis (and algorithm), and as new data is added the system learns and increases accuracy.
For example, consider what drives sales in stores (outcome), machine learning will look at all variables including consumer density, stock availability and sales data to create a predicted algorithm. As more data is added over time the algorithm adapts and increases in accuracy.
Put simply Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ability of a machine to simulate human behaviour without
the need for human input. This differs from machine learning by not requiring a human to intervene once set up. The machine thinks like a human by setting the business problem, building the machine learning models and then rolling them out.
This means that AI becomes your ‘analyst’, learning from data and making recommendations that can help to improve activity to grow your sales
With our considerable investment in PREDICT we can now help brands, retailers and any business harness the vast amount of Big Data to hand to create true insight in the form of predictive analytics. If you imagine a world where you can accurately predict when and where your next biggest opportunity (or risk) is going to occur and then deploy the right resource, be it human, digital or phygital to optimise that opportunity, in the most efficient way, then you have imagined CPM’s new predictive analytics and liquid workforce solution. This ground-breaking solution will transform how businesses profitably sell, now and into the future.
Predict is now live and several of our customers are already benefiting from a considerable sales uplift through our integration of Predict with our field sales CRM and analytics solutions we that we have deployed for them today.
To read more about how predictive analytics can drive higher returns, click here
Creating Synergy to Achieve Sales Growth
This month’s Expert Speak comes from Pierpaolo Bertocco, MD, CPM Italy
The outsourcing of the sales force is more relevant than ever. This sales approach is gaining ground amongst both medium-sized local companies and multi-nationals because of the constant need for cost containment and the need to update their internal organisation with more flexible goals and better performing models in the medium term.
But the question “What can be done with an outsourced sales force?” is still key for each organisation which is facing this sales approach. CPM can offer a simple but strongly effective answer: “Exactly the same as you do with an in-house field force, but with a better control on goals, focus and ROI.” Essentially, outsourcing the sales force means we define, manage and monitor a direct relationship between costs and results. But if we want to go more in depth, the competitive advantage of the CPM sales outsourcing approach can be summarised in three key pillars. First, the greater focus on sales goals and results. Second, the possibility of creating a strategic mix of human resources engaged directly and those outsourced, thereby ensuring greater flexibility in the size of the sales force and consequently an optimised return on investment. And lastly, an unquestionable advantage in terms of costs and results, plus greater flexibility in the management of the budget.
In this article we would like to feature a sterling example of how a strategic sales plan based on the synergic co-work of field force and telesales resource can lead to a sustainable sales growth.
When DKV, the European provider of a wide range of services aimed to help transportation and fleet companies, felt the need to activate new customers and promote new services within small & medium businesses in the Italian market, they made contact with us here at CPM Italy.
After setting sales targets, we defined a dedicated field specialists team, focused on improving DKV Fuel Card sales through phone contacts and appointments with fleet managers. The results achieved in terms of sales growth and ROI convinced DKV of CPM’s outsourced field sales force solution. Thus, we were appointed for an even more challenging project which aimed to deliver a brand-new sales approach based on a synergic team working between a focused telesales team and a strongly skilled field sales force team.
The final outcome of the roles became the opposite: the telesales team supporting the field sales force team in closing the deal meanwhile autonomously appointing new clients, speeding up the process and doubling the new clients acquired.
The result? A huge increase of the number of clients and turnover – with over 35% success rate and 30%+ turnover year on year –, over 66 million euro of annual contracts in less than 5 years and a minimum small drop-out rate which confirm the quality of the clients acquired.
Marco Berardelli, Country General Manager, DKV EURO SERVICE Italia, talking about this encomp
assed sales service project stated: “Outsourcing a part of the sales force was a weighted and innovative decision. We have focused on the prospecting activity and we have achieved in a short time, after a first phase of learning of our Services by the new outsourcing sales agency, a considerable increase in contracts signed through a strong motivational drive, high productivity and flexibility of resources and a convinced result orientation. But that’s not all, what most surprised us was the highly professional and proactive attitude of our outsourced sales partner in proposing new innovative sales solutions and communication methods, in order to multiply, with success and in perfect synergy, our sales potential!”
Contact us today for more information
Detail, enabling brand manager to track product ratings online – It’s a popularity contest
Consumer rating is a crucial selling point for brand managers and retailers alike. Faced with two equal products, a consumer will likely go for the one with the best rating. At the highest rated store. So how does one achieve a 5-star consumer rating? And how can brand managers keep track of their products ratings? Our online merchandising tool Detail can help, and this article will tell you how.
Put your money where your stars are
Consumer ratings can be used to evaluate a specific product, a retailer or a customer service desk. For a brand manager this can give valuable insights in to how and where to put one’s effort and marketing budget. Say for example that the same product receives different ratings at different retailer websites. Why is that? Is the product marketed differently at the different websites? How does the retailer websites differ from each other? Is it a customer service issue? Detail helps brand managers and product owners to keep track of ratings over time, and at different retailers, in order to effectively boost a brand or product.
Benchmark against competitors
For brand managers and retailers alike, a rating-system is a great way to benchmark against other products and retailers. It gives an instant evaluation of how well you are performing in this very moment. Are the product specifications up to date? You can be sure you’ll find out if they are not. Is the website easy to navigate, can the consumers find the products they are looking for? Expect low consumer ratings if they can’t. Consumer rating is a tool for feedback and evaluation, make sure to use it. Don’t despair over a bad rating; make sure to learn from it in order to get better. Because that is the secret of reaching a 5-star rating – the ability to listen and respond.
How to reach 5-stars
The headline is misleading, there are no secret tricks to getting an instant 5-star rating. That is also why it is so valuable, consumers know that if a store or product has enough ratings, it will be somewhat accurate. But there are steps that you can take in order to increase your chances of hitting the review jackpot. As an online channel manager, you can make sure that your products are visible, searchable and properly listed – in that way making the consumer experience a pleasant one. In a physical store it’s easy to check that your products are correctly displayed, but online it has been harder. Until now, thanks to Detail Online. Detail helps to collect information to evaluate your online presence and product description pages, making it easier to identify improvements in the shopping experience (which leads to better consumer ratings).
An ongoing process
Like concluded above, the only way to become and stay a 5-star retailer is to listen to the consumers. To make continuous improvements and to be consistent in everything that you do. And to put emphasis on proper product display and a smooth shopping experience.
Make sure that your brand and product is visible, has a good share of shelf and is kept in stock. Focus on the details. And reach for the stars.
Good luck with your sales!
Contact us today for more information
Outsourced Field Sales Team – What happens at night….
This month’s Expert Speak comes from Bastiaan van Houten, MD, CPM Netherlands. In 2001 Bastiaan started his CPM career with a field sales job at Diageo and in 2004 moved into CPM’s Dutch head office for a role in direct sales. After various roles and positions Bastiaan started Cosine Benelux in 2011 and merged this business in 2015 with CPM Netherlands.
In this article we would like to showcase a new solution for our logistic process and the path we followed to get there. We all know the challenges in our Industry, clients asking us to improve ROI by driving efficiency whilst on the other side we experience increasing prices and a tight labour market. Let’s take you to the situation that triggered this new business innovation.
Imagine yourself; a client with an outsourced field sales team, the sales representatives are working on a maximum workload (#locations and #tasks per store). The client wants to expand the number of locations, without budget for extra resources. They ask CPM for a solution. We all know these challenges, drive efficiency and improve ROI.
On the other side the project manager has the same challenge. The labour market is tight, suppliers are raising their prices on a yearly base and we’ve already implemented several efficiency plans with this client. Expanding stores means expanding the team or downsizing the tasks.
CPM organised a brainstorm and investigation session and it became clear: the big bottleneck in the efficiency was the time the team spent driving to the storage location and then to the first appointment. We knew if there was a way we could do things differently we could create more time in-store, which would result in achieving an increase in ROI.
Now that we had identified the bottleneck we were close to the solution. How can we improve? What is not used yet…..? Exactly, the night! Yes, we can do an overnight car delivery and forget about our traditional storage! Whilst the team sleeps we can get all materials delivered to their cars, so when they wake up they can go straight to their first address, eureka!
But would this be cost efficient? We put all the elements in a calculation module. The cost for cost calculation ended up equal, but we were able to increase in-store coverage by 6% to 8%. By switching to overnight car delivery we found a cost and time efficient solution. We managed to expand the stores, using the same quantity of people and tasks, without raising the costs. Case Closed!
Overnight car delivery
How it works: The driver picks up the materials at a dropping point. The cars are equipped with a high tech GPS system that allocates the cars they need to supply and directly calculates the most efficient route. The car boot can be opened with a smart lock, which locks again automatically. Returns can be picked up by the driver at the same time. A flexible solution, that’s scalable when needed.
At this moment we’re rolling this out with our first client and expect many to follow. Overnight delivery is a cost effective solution for areas with a high density and raising salaries, small countries with many inhabitants or the bigger urban area’s in low density countries.
As an outsourced sales agency we need to keep looking to the future and what the future is bringing us. The time we live in is very exciting; of course clients & employees are more and more demanding. However on the other side the world is changing so rapidly there are innovative solutions everywhere. Let’s explore them, find out how we can use and implement these new solutions in our daily business. Embrace new technologies and continuously be that innovative and flexible partner that looks one step ahead.