MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Wireless product demo boosts satisfaction

BY Dan Berthiaume

Westlake Village, Calif. – When retail sales representatives demonstrate cell phone or tablet service and features to wireless customers prior to purchase, satisfaction improves considerably and the propensity to visit the same retailer again double. According to the J.D. Power 2014 Wireless Purchase Experience Full-Service Study — Volume 2 and the J.D. Power 2014 Wireless Purchase Experience Non-Contract Study — Volume 2, overall satisfaction is significantly higher among customers whose sales representative offers a device demonstration (832 on a 1,000-point scale) than among those who are not offered a demonstration during a store visit (711).

Other findings include:

• More than half (55%) of wireless customers indicate that they made a purchase from their carrier during the past six months. Of those making a purchase, 66% make their purchase in a store, while 24% purchase online and 10% call their carrier.

• Among customers who make their purchase in a store, 61% indicate that their sales representative demonstrated or explained the features on the devices they considered.

• Nearly one-half (46%) of customers who receive a device demonstration during their in-store sales visit say they "definitely will" shop at the same retailer again, compared with just 23% of those who do not receive a demonstration.

• Providing a demonstration is an opportunity for carriers to build loyalty among customers, as 37% of customers who receive a demonstration say they "definitely will not" switch their carrier, compared with 26% of those who do not receive a demonstration.

• Satisfaction with sales representatives who explain or demonstrate a device’s operation during the point of sale is 843, compared with just 693 when representatives fail to offer a demonstration.

• On average, sales representatives spend approximately eight minutes demonstrating how to operate a new device. Total in-store transaction time among customers who receive a demonstration from their sales representative is less than among those who are not given a demonstration (54.6 minutes vs. 56.1 minutes, respectively).

Overall satisfaction among wireless full-service customers who made a recent sales transaction is 792 (on a 1,000-point scale) and is 783 among non-contract wireless customers. AT&T ranks highest among full-service carriers, with an overall score of 801, followed closely by T-Mobile with a score of 796. Boost Mobile (800) ranks highest among non-contract carriers, followed by MetroPCS (793) and Virgin Mobile (791).

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OPERATIONS

Darden retains Russell Reynolds in CEO search

BY Dan Berthiaume

Orlando, Fla. – Darden Restaurants Inc. has retained global executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to assist the company with the recruitment of its next CEO. As previously announced, Clarence Otis is stepping down as chairman and CEO of Darden.

To ensure a smooth transition, Charles A. Ledsinger Jr. has been appointed independent non-executive chairman of the board, and Mr. Otis has agreed to continue serving as CEO of Darden until the earlier of the appointment of his successor or Dec. 31, 2014.

Ledsinger is leading the search along with the board’s nominating and governance committee, which consists solely of independent directors. Russell Reynolds Associates will work closely with the committee and the Darden board.

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SUPPLY CHAIN

Hub Group receives Sears supplier award

BY Dan Berthiaume

Oak Brook, Ill. – Hub Group, a provider of intermodal, truck brokerage and logistics services, has received the 2014 Partners in Transformation Award from Sears Holdings.

Sears Holdings’ Partners in Transformation Award is presented to supplier companies that excel in supporting Sears Holdings through innovation around integrated retail and the Shop Your Way program. Less than one half of 1% of more than 30,000 suppliers that work with Sears Holdings received this award.

The Partners in Transformation recipients were selected from nominations that were submitted by those Sears Holdings associates responsible for purchasing decisions.

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