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Report: U.S., global customer satisfaction improves

BY Dan Berthiaume

San Francisco – Customer satisfaction is on the rise globally after more than a year in decline, with the average global customer satisfaction rating reaching 81% in the second quarter of this year. According to the new quarterly Zendesk Benchmark report, this about a 4% increase from an average rating of 78% in the previous quarter and the highest average rating since the first quarter of last year.

Customer satisfaction in the U.S. improved to 82%, about a 2.5% improvement from 80% the prior quarter. However, the U.S. still was not on the list of the 10 countries with the highest customer satisfaction scores. New Zealand was number one overall with an average rating of 92%, down slightly from 93% in the previous quarter.

Canada placed second with an average rating of 91%, up close to 5% from 87% in the first quarter of the year. United Arab Emirates ranked last of 125 countries included in the report, although this was a roughly 9% improvement from 53% the previous quarter.

In addition, during the past year, the percentage of customers accessing self-service content from their mobile devices has grown 50%. It reached 26% for second quarter 2013, compared to 17% in the same period a year earlier. The Zendesk Benchmark is based on actual customer service and support interactions between 16,000 participating companies and their customers across 125 countries.

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Former Brooks Bros. exec named chief of The Limited

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — The Limited said Wednesday it has appointed former Brooks Bros. president and COO Diane Ellis as its new CEO, effective Aug. 26.

In her role at Brooks Bros., Ellis oversaw information technology, human resources, retail and outlet stores, planning and allocation, product development, sourcing, supply chain, e-commerce and finance.

The appointment follows news that The Limited plans to grow its store base in 2013 and extend its reach in the outlet segment. The company plans to open four outlet stores and eight traditional format stores this year.

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Interbrand Design Forum announces seven new hires

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Dayton, Ohio — Retail design firm Interbrand Design Forum has announced seven new hires to support its continued growth. Staff additions include three new members to the environmental design team, a fixture specialist and several supporting staff members.

Ryan Slicer has been named Senior Environmental Designer. Previously he worked with WD Partners.

Amanda Handermann joins as an Environmental Designer. Before coming to Interbrand Design Forum she co-founded the Wig Wam Collaborative, a multi-disciplinary freelance design team.

Natalie Benos also joins as an Environmental Designer after interning at WD Partners and The Little Tykes Company as a toy design intern.

Adam Minch comes to Interbrand Design Forum as a Fixture Specialist after working for a fixture manufacturing company.

Carrie Krochta has taken over the role of Marketing Coordinator for the North America Region.

Cindy Hovell is a new Director of Client Services, after serving as a production manager for a woman’s clothing manufacturer.

Jenny Brown joins the organization as Executive Assistant. Her experience includes work as an assistant at an investment firm and serving as a legal assistant at a law firm.

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