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Reinventing Retail: 6 Ways Retailers Can Drive Customers Back In-Store


Reinventing Retail: 6 Ways Retailers Can Drive Customers Back In-Store

We’re about to experience one of the biggest booms in the history of retail. As the world continues to recover and stabilize, we are entering unimaginable levels of consumer spending. By all predictions, the second half of 2021 will result in a highly competitive race between marketing investment and retail spending that will fuel unprecedented retail expansion.

The last 16 months have led to dramatic changes to the retail landscape and consumer expectations overall. The global pandemic has shuttered many retail operations and crippled the in-store experience. It’s no surprise that customers not stepping foot in-store is a massive and multi-faceted problem for retailers.

No retailer could have predicted the current situation and the preceding events that brought us here, but that’s all about to change. With the global economy on the verge of breakthrough growth, now is the time to reflect and reinvent retail to attract consumers, bring them back in-store, and capitalize on the massive opportunity that lies ahead.

Here are six ways retailers can drive customers back in-store to reinvigorate growth.


Start With A Fresh Perspective

Before a wave of customers floods your store, it’s essential to start with a fresh perspective.

What drives your customers? Why would they want to come in and shop? What have they been missing over these last 16 months?

No amount of tactics will help attract customers in-store unless you can provide what they’re looking for—and delight them in the process.

Being fully stocked with the latest SKUs, along with having updated displays and a revitalized interior, are the bare minimum to motivating customers to set foot in-store. In addition, having enough staff available to provide prompt and friendly service is essential.

Give Them A Reason To Visit

Many customers will need an incentive to justify coming back in-store, so give them one. Whether it’s exclusive discounts, priority access to limited-quantity items, a loss leader, or a free bonus for stopping by, make sure that you give customers a reason to visit.

Remember that not all customers want the same thing, so you’ll need to use various incentives to cater to the different types of customers you have. In addition, you can use triggers like new products, inventory restocks, customer birthdays, or other events to solicit customers to stop in. Starbucks does this exceptionally well with their rewards program where they offer double points (called stars) based on the customer’s purchase history and behavior.

Amazon Prime delivers unparalleled (and frankly unbelievable) delivery times on many products, but often even overnight shipping is too long for customers to wait. Retailers can play to their advantage by promoting in-store availability on products that customers are eager to have the same day.

Do everything you can to find creative and personalized ways to motivate customers to come back in-store. There is no silver bullet; you must regularly test new ideas and offers to see how customers respond.

Create A Memorable Customer Experience

When customers return in-store, you must deliver a memorable and favorable experience. This experience could include creative point-of-purchase displays, free samples, or self-checkout. Think about the experience you want customers to have and find ways to surprise and delight them at every touchpoint.

Trader Joes is famous for its exceptional customer experience. There are many stories of employees giving free flowers to customers who are going through challenging times. Similarly, Chick-fil-a is world-renown for its impeccable operational process and unheard-of attitude and kindness.

It’s not enough to deliver the same experience as you did before. Level up your customer experience by defining new procedures that will make your customers leave the store happier than when they entered.

Drive Traffic From Digital To In-Store

To get customers back in-store, you have to reach them where they are, and that means digital. Use your social channels to get the word out and stay current with customers. Similarly, your email marketing and website should both generate awareness and in-store visits.

Paid digital advertising is incredibly effective for reaching the right customers at the right time. Two of the most powerful digital advertising capabilities are targeting specific customer segments and testing offers and incentives to see which work best.

Use your digital marketing wisely and ensure it plays a cohesive role in helping drive awareness and foot traffic to your locations.

Retrain Your Customers

The harsh reality is that consumers are lazy—and they’ve been trained to become even lazier. Delivery and curbside pickup have become mainstream, and many consumers prefer this convenience over setting foot in a store.

You have to retrain customers how to shop with your business, which means cutting back on the convenience factor. To drive in-store visits, you must create an experience where the past of least resistance—and highest value—is through the door.

All of the tactics mentioned above can help create such an experience, but the key takeaway here is to make sure you’re not cannibalizing your efforts. Any curbside and delivery options should include flyers or catalogs that help customers understand what’s available in-store and why it’s worth their time and effort.

Keep Them Coming Back

Getting customers back in-store will require effort—and you want to make sure you maximize your chances of customers coming back and telling others to do the same.

One of the best ways to get customers to return is by giving them a tangible, monetary reward. Kohl’s is famous for “Kohl’s Cash” which is essentially a voucher for a fixed amount of money that you can apply to your next purchase within the specified redemption period. The key detail being the redemption period, which is always a week or two in the future—meaning you have to come back again to use it.

In addition to generating return visits, consider why a customer would spread the word and tell others to stop in. Small gestures go a long way, and anything you can do to help customers become advocates will add up incrementally to drive a sustainable increase in in-store visits.

It’s Time To Reinvent Your Approach To Retail

Now is the time to reinvent your approach to retail. The world has changed, and there is no returning to normalcy. There was no advanced warning of how drastically retail would be affected and the long-lasting impacts the pandemic would bring. Treat this as your forewarning of the opportunity that lies ahead.

Customers are tired of the predictable retail experience, and you must invest in creating an innovative experience that can satisfy customer demands while exceeding their expectations.

The retailers who prepare and invest in the reinvention of retail will thrive and experience unprecedented levels of customer acquisition, satisfaction, and retention. Retail will never look the same again—and that’s a good thing for those who are willing to evolve.


Tim Parkin, President of Parkin Consulting, is a consultant, advisor, and coach to marketing executives globally. He specializes in helping marketing teams optimize performance, accelerate growth, and maximize their results.

By applying more than 20 years of experience merging behavioral psychology and technology seamlessly, Tim has unlocked rapid and dramatic growth for global brands and award-winning agencies alike.

He is a speaker, author, and thought leader who is featured frequently in industry publications. Please visit for more information on Tim’s services and his private community of marketing executives.


How to Effectively Communicate Your Value as a Logistics Company

A company’s values are its ultimate selling point. Your services may be very much like every other logistics company’s, yet what will always set you apart are the values and belief system you nurture. 

The question that now naturally arises is how can we communicate this value with our customers? What are some of the marketing and PR tactics that can be employed to best showcase that deeper and more meaningful level of our business? 

After all, it’s very easy to promise you’ll store and ship item A from point B to point C in record time – and it makes you no different from your competitors.

Here’s what you can do to rise above the competition and show your customers what you’re really about. 

Know Your Target Customer(s) Deeply 

First of all, you need to truly understand what your customers are looking for. It helps if you target a very specific audience, as opposed to casting a wide net. The more specialized you are, the better you will be able to understand the unique needs of a customer. 

For instance, you may work with brands that sell a specific kind of merchandise. Let’s say this is the merch of famous social media influencers. What these kinds of clients will want is speedy shipping and a unique packaging experience, one that can be personalized to each individual influencer. 

By researching the online habits of your target audience and their requirements (via email, call, in person), you will be better able to tailor your services. You’ll have crucial knowledge to help you find that link that connects your values with their needs. 

Write Focused Web Copy 

One of the best ways to communicate with your audience is via your website copy. Ideally, you want it to focus on your customers’ needs, pain points, and desires, and how your solutions are able to solve them. Don’t go on and on about how great you are: explain how what you do solves their problems. 

Always speak in the language of your customers (which is where the research from the above point comes in). You can’t expect the same voice to appeal to international corporations and small local businesses.

Use superlative and comparative language where it makes sense. Phrases like “the most affordable,” “the most reliable,” “the longest-running,” etc. will help highlight what makes you stand out and how this can be beneficial to your audience.

Use Statistics and Social Proof 

You should also look to condense your key stats down into easily digestible bits of information. Numbers often speak louder than words. To add another layer of trust to your website, point out the number of satisfied clients you’ve worked with, the miles you’ve driven, the number of items you’ve shipped, and so on. 

Here’s an example from ShowMojo, which uses five simple statistics to underline the benefits of using their services. 

Of course, the challenge here is to top your competition. What if someone has been in business longer than you have? When this is the case, and it most often is, try to pinpoint those unique values that make you different. 

Choose to focus on one type of item or one type of service. Highlight something about your facilities that makes you stand out. Shine a light on your employees or even your customers. 

The copy you use can also be what puts you on the map. For instance, a phrase like “234 headaches averted” is more emotive than the customary “234 customers served”. 

Use Imagery to Communicate Better 

The other great way to communicate better with your audience is to use imagery and icons that strengthen your message. 

Consider every single visual element of your website: starting from the color story, to the images and the way the pages are structured. What can you improve that will make your customers both have a better experience browsing and better understand what you’re all about?

Visuals have an inherent ability to spark emotions and connections on a level that is much deeper than words. Just the use of different, better quality images that trigger a certain emotional response can improve your conversion rates

Your choice of imagery and visuals ties right back to knowing what your audience wants. What is the major challenge they are facing? And what are you doing that will make it better?

For instance, Haystack has a great animation that’s designed to make you feel a bit on edge at first. But then, they provide a solution in the same visual, illustrating how their services simplify operations and streamline processes.

Create Memorable Offers 

Sometimes it’s all about sticking in someone’s mind. You may not convert a visitor on the first go, but if you create a memorable offer that solves a particular need, they are likely to remember you and come back when they need that specific service. 

The future (and present) of marketing is in personalization and customization. Offers tailored to the needs of every individual customer are much more valuable and sell better than pre-made packages that only assume what they will need. 

If you’ve been in business for a while, you’ll be able to make the best of both worlds and create package-like offers that still allow for plenty of customization where it matters the most. Whether it’s storage solutions, pickup and delivery times, the duration of your services, or any other variable that can be tweaked per customer, offering a choice (but not too much of it) is what makes customers convert. 

Make sure you don’t fall into the trap of choice paralysis, and only allow your customers to tailor some elements of the offer. Too much choice and having to come up with the entire service from scratch will only cause more headache. 

Communicate Your Unique Value Proposition Wherever Possible 

Finally, you want to make sure there are numerous touchpoints between your customers and your values. Here are just four of them:

-Your web copy – Everything you write online, from your website copy to your social media captions should communicate your UVP. 

-Speaking to customers and prospects – In-person marketing is just as important as your web presence. After all, if you communicate one message online and then come off as a completely different company in person, you won’t be doing yourself much good. Ensure all company representatives are coached on the best ways of communicating your values and USPs. 

-Speaking with others in your industry – Word-of-mouth marketing is also an important aspect of customer communication. So, you want your values to shine through in your chats and emails with everyone in your industry, as well as your current customers. You never know who might send your next client your way. 

-When someone asks your employees about their job – Your staff (even the employees who don’t have customer-facing jobs) should know the values your company is built on. They can represent them when speaking to friends and acquaintances who ask them what it is they do for a living. 

Final Thoughts 

Communicating value comes down to reinforcing your core message and understanding what your audience is truly after. With enough research, a decent creative effort, and a lot of testing, you can come up with a formula that not only converts your leads but also makes them proud to be working with you. 


7 Things You Should Do to Build a Successful Business

The idea of starting a company is appealing to many people. It makes sense not to be tied to a 9 to 5 job and be your boss. However, it takes a lot to start and grow a business to success. There are, however, many components that must be put together for the success of the company. For instance, you need to get the right team, establish your goals, seek finance, among many others.

This article will educate you on critical things you must do to put your business on the right path for success as you start your business.

1. Have a Strategy to Achieve Your Goals

One important thing to do after deciding to start a business is to have a goal. This will be like the compass of your business that will give you a focus. It is not only about financial resources but human resources and others.

You need a strategy on how to reach your target and the channels that will make that happen. One also needs to contemplate how to make customers loyal to you.

Your approach to financing also matters. You need a cost plan which involves the kind of cost you intend to face. It also requires financing possibilities alongside a plan to cover expenses and make a profit. If you set up a limited company, think about the implication on finance.

2. Stand out from the competition.

Already established businesses all have their strong reputation, brand names, and more. This makes it essential to have something that makes you different in a good way compared to similar businesses. On starting your business, you must prove yourself without the advantage of reputation that other brands enjoy.

As a result, you need to have something that gets you ahead of the crowd, unique to your business strictly. It could be a bonus, new product, which could be the point of attraction to customers. This can serve as a selling point that will attract potential customers.

3. Have Strong Network

New and exciting business opportunities do not simply appear on a platter of gold. One needs to put in effort in terms of networking. Using your current contacts, you can reach out to new ones and strengthen your network.

Social media is an excellent place to start and meet new people. You can consider joining groups and courses that relate to your niche. Also, consider trade shows, workshops, and seminars as it presents opportunities to meet industry leaders and influencers in your field.

Even if you cannot attend such events, have a representative that can promote your business. Networking is a reliable tool to get the lead your business needs.

4. Encourage Recommendations

One of the best ways to market your business is via recommendation or positive reviews. This only happens if you have a good product that has worked for others. A lot of people rely heavily on positive reviews before making their purchasing decision.

However, you will hardly have a recommendation if you are not offering a good product. If your product is of low quality, you will lose customers, which will negatively dent your business.

5. Get the Right People

Running a business is hard work, and you need all the help you can get. This makes it essential to surround yourself with the right set of people.  Moreover, this is not about the workforce alone because you need mentors, advisers, and strategic partners to help during the growth process. With the right people, accomplishing your goal will be easy.

The right team will help transform your business. With the right workforce that shares the same goal with you, meeting your target will not be an issue. This involves having positive corporate culture by building an environment where everyone takes part and contributes their quota for the greater good.

Also, make sure to encourage and motivate your team over time. This comes down to reasonable compensation, bonus, and other sources of motivation. You also need to invest in training your workers and getting them updated on the latest ways of doing things.

6. Have Good Records

A detailed accounting system and good records are essential to the success of your business. It will help with many things like getting funds, paying taxes, etc. Furthermore, it is in your best interest to have good records as they will come in handy in many areas. No matter how busy the business is, good record keeping and accounting systems need to be prioritized.

You need not be experienced in accounting and bookkeeping as you can hire people with such skills. Majorly, you will need a tax accountant or tax attorney who will handle your taxes; a bookkeeper who will log your invoices and expenses and keep records. Make sure to employ the cloud storage system as it will come in handy at essential business stages.

No one prays to have an IRS audit, but in such a case, an immaculate business record can be a lifesaver.  This includes records of receipts, transactions, invoices, etc., as the IRS will want to check such during the audit.

7. Have a Good work Life Balance

One of the menaces plaguing our world today is stress. It is the precursor for other health issues like high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, menstrual problems, etc. This makes it essential to prioritize an optimum work-life balance. There is a reason many companies give vacation to their workers. It provides them with time to relax, recharge, connect with their family and be better equipped for work. This means that working continuously without a break or a timeout can even be counter-productive.

No matter how busy you are, make sure to separate work from personal life. It can be the difference between your failure and success. Make sure not to give in to burn out through working excessively. Make sure not to wait till you see signs of stress before you take a step back. Avoid bringing your work home, and draw the line if you work from home. It is essential not to sacrifice rest and take every opportunity to get it.


There are many things you need to put in place to run a business successfully. However, these seven points can give you a head start on positioning your business for success.


7 Proven Ways of Growing Your Logistics Business Online

Logistics is a fast-growing industry, and one of the essential parts of the supply chain management process. More and more logistics companies are being launched every day, and the market is becoming seriously competitive. With so many companies trying to fight for their piece of the market, you need to find your way to improve your business. And, online marketing is one of the best strategies you can use.

Naturally, you first need to make sure your business is running smoothly, and you’ve got the best people using the best tools and strategies. You also have to pay attention to customer relationship management and deal with it on a separate note. But, to grow your business online, you’ll have to create a digital marketing strategy that will help you accomplish your goals.

Here are 7 proven ways of growing your logistics business online.

1. Build Your Brand

There are hundreds of logistics companies your potential clients can choose between. You need to give them a strong reason to choose you over them. Building a strong online brand is the first step you need to take. Branding will help you distinguish yourself from the other logistics companies, and give your company a friendlier, recognizable, and memorable face. Branding includes choosing brand colors and fonts, choosing a personality that will be seen in your content writing and online presence, and creating a consistent image for your customers to see. Building a brand means familiarizing your potential customers with your business.

2. Nail Your Website

When people want to look for a business to hire, they’ll go straight online to do some research. A solid website is your first interaction with a potential customer so it needs to be spot on. But, what does that imply? A solid website will provide a smooth and intuitive user experience to all visitors. It will provide company information, information about the services you offer, and other useful content. It needs to support your branding and reinforce the image you’re trying to build.

3. Create a Blog

Blogging is one of the most important segments of a successful content marketing strategy. Having a quality blog will help you attract more potential customers to your website. To build a successful website, you’ll need to create informative content, answer burning questions, and become the go-to resource for logistics information that your customers and business partners might be interested in. Covering versatile topics and sharing useful tips will get you the additional online attention you need. You can write and publish tutorials, how-to posts, tips & tricks posts, case studies, statistics reports, and similar informative content. These best essay writing services can help you find credible information and create reliable and educational blog posts.

4. Get on Social Media

The power of social media is indisputable when it comes to promoting a business and reaching new customers. Different social media platforms offer different options to businesses, so you’ll need to find the platforms that your target customers are most likely to use. But, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are always a top priority to businesses in all industries, including logistics. So, what can you use social media for? You can use it to promote your website and blog content, promote your services, introduce your team, personalize your business, communicate with your customers directly, and monitor their interest in your business. Social media gives you a direct link to your potential customers and an opportunity to show them why choosing your business is a great idea.

5. Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is another great opportunity for you to promote your business. Email marketing is great for building brand awareness and increasing customer engagement. The important thing is that you write your email copies wisely and carefully. Set a goal for each email copy and send it to a group of customers that might find it useful or interesting. For example, send an email with your e-book to potential customers who’re visiting your blog often. Also, make sure to personalize the messages so that the recipients feel like you’re writing for them specifically.

6. Know Your Target Customers

To be able to send the right messages online, you need to truly know your target customers, their needs, and their pain points. Defining your target customers means gathering a set of characteristics, features, and facts that make a person or a business a great fit for you. The better you know them, the easier you’ll find it to reach out to them the right way.

7. Monitor Your Competitors

You’re not the only one investing in a strong online presence and a brilliant online marketing strategy. Most of your biggest competitors are doing the same thing. But, if you monitor what they’re doing, you can draw conclusions on how to stay unique and still stand out from them. So, watch closely what they’re doing on social media and how they’re using it to communicate with their customers. Visit their website and blog regularly. Keep track of their online presence and subscribe to their emailing list to always know what they’re up to. Monitoring your competitors will help you set yourself apart from them and always be one step ahead of the rest.

Final Thoughts

In order to grow your logistics business online, you need to rely heavily on a strong content marketing strategy and use all the tools and platforms to successfully promote your business. The 7 proven ways to grow your logistics business online that are listed above are the essential steps you should take if you want to move your business forward successfully.


Nicole Garrison is a content marketing specialist with years of experience working in different industries including sales, supply chain, and logistics. She’s also a skilled academic writer at dissertation writing services. So if you search online for help, she’s one of the writers that can help you. Her hobby is travel photography


6 Reasons Why Customer Service is Important in Business

Improving your customer service snowballs into a host of benefits. From more satisfied clients to recommendations and better feedback, any brand flourishes after boosting its communication with the consumers.

If you’re a startup, you might need to cut costs somewhere. As a result, you end up not developing a reliable representative team. Perhaps you’ve been running your shop for a long time without paying too much attention to this aspect. It’s time for your approach to change.

Customer Service in 2021

Consumers now have an endless list of options at their disposal for any product or service. A bad experience leads to negative reviews, which anybody can see online and decide to go elsewhere.

Customer support can help. It comes in all shapes and sizes to mix and match per the company’s requirements. In turn, it can improve the various fields related to the way you run the business.


You don’t need representatives to resolve all simple issues related to your services. So, publish a comprehensive FAQ section and sets of guides for the most common concerns. It’ll do half of the work for you.

Live Chat

An instant chatbox on your website provides instant solutions and prevents more significant issues from spreading like a forest fire. If you don’t have enough reps to match your website traffic, incorporate an instant chatbot for quick, automated responses.

Social Media

The majority of your target demographic is likely on social media. So, why let bad reviews simmer when you can take charge and respond, displaying transparency in the process?


Many people might send queries to the official email address or use other email tools if their questions seem too complex for a quick chat. Have a rep monitor your account and answer salient issues quickly and politely.


Although it seems old-fashioned, phone support is still essential to businesses. Plus, the tech developments of the 21st century make it easier to bring your call center service to the future by introducing omnichannel routing, automation, or even AI.

Let’s see what kind of benefits introducing a mixture of these channels brings to your company.

1. Client Retention

Your rep team acts as a direct line of communication with your customers. They’re in charge of disclosing your mission and values and maintaining a positive brand image.

Think about it. If a person was satisfied during the first experience they had with you, and you keep displaying positivity, transparency, and high-quality, why would they switch brands?

Moreover, many consumers stay loyal to brands because of amicable, pleasant representatives. Even if you made a significant shift in the business model, a friendly rep can explain this new approach’s benefits, reassuring and retaining the customer.

2. Client Acquisition

Customer acquisition costs skyrocket when you don’t invest in a high-quality helpline. Today, most people will read company and product reviews before reaching out to a business.

On the other hand, one negative review can lead to doubts and mistrust, reducing the number of people who go for your brand. If there are a dozen, rarely will anybody decide that you’re worth their time and money.

Reputation management is vital to customer acquisition. It’s much easier to maintain by reacting to queries quickly and proactively than to do damage control after the fact.

3. Issue Identification

One of the primary responsibilities of any company is satisfying the buyers. You can considerably improve whatever you’re putting on the market by hearing out actual user’s suggestions.

While there’s merit to focus groups and analytics that examine potential customers’ needs, it’s sometimes even better and more valuable to listen to what your current clients are saying.

Collect, store, and regularly review all feedback your business receives through your support channels. If any issue comes up multiple times, fix it as soon as possible. Anything from the user interface to the packaging and product features can improve by listening to the primary consumers.

4. Increased Profitability

People are much more likely to continue purchasing your products after an initial positive experience with the brand. These small interactions are a deciding factor in whether they continue working with you.

Plus, surveys show that many are ready to pay more for a product attached to a positive customer experience. On the flip side, even a single negative experience can leave a lasting impression.

You can’t ignore these statistics, especially since other brands won’t. In the era where more companies are starting to invest in their support systems, any business that doesn’t follow suit is only to crash and burn.

5. Dispute Prevention

If you falter at any stage while providing a service, your customers might require their money back or a new product to replace a faulty one. Making dispute resolution as frictionless as possible reduces the potential for inflammatory statements or even legal trouble.

Make the issues easy to solve, and they’re much less likely to leave an angry review and harm your reputation. The online age makes convenience central to any client-centered business.

6. A Loyalty Boost

There are countless companies in every industry imaginable, making brand loyalty an essential but challenging goal to achieve. Repeat shoppers are more profitable and provide free marketing for your business.

However, customers will stay loyal only if you give them a good reason to do so. After all, there are plenty of options, so why should they stick to one that doesn’t provide value?

Proactively dealing with clients is pivotal for achieving loyalty. The company also seems much more human and trustworthy if it has friendly, genuine people ready to respond to feedback at the forefront.

Clients know that their purchase is your profit, but showing them that you see them as more than a number in a statistic through genuine desire to help incentivizes them to stay true to you.

The Bottom Line

Overall, as long as you’re aware that customer service stands as the backbone of any business involving communication, you’re on the right path. This aspect of your business operations makes the brand thrive in the long-run, and the costs effectively pay for themselves.

So, make that foundation robust. You’ll soon see new shoppers come in, positive testimonials pop up, and feedback improve your company structure. It’s worth the effort.


Anna likes writing from her university years. When she graduated from the Interpreters Department, she realized that translation was not so interesting, as writing was. She trains her skills now working as a freelance writer on different topics. Always she does her best in the posts and articles.


Keep Covid Stress out of Your Customer Communication

Pandemic stress-related toxic communication can creep into your customer communication. Don’t let it! Set the example, nip toxicity in the bud, protect your team from incoming, build in rest, celebrate the good stuff, and codify that positive voice in your company style guide.

As we think about healthy communication at work, we’re reminded of the saga of Away. The direct-to-consumer luggage company experienced such massive growth that it couldn’t keep up with demand. As customer requests piled up despite the customer service team’s 16-hour workdays and canceled vacations, executives blamed the team for not keeping up. They reportedly became so toxic that the team virtually imploded, service quality plummeted, and the story unfolded in an unflattering media exposé.

This moment finds us with a different kind of anxiety. Pandemic-related stress is at an all-time high, and people are bringing it to work. It can show up in ugly ways, too. In a survey we conducted of 1,000 professionals, 38 percent said they experienced toxic workplace communication since shelter-in-place began. Yikes!

What about when that nastiness starts to seep into your interactions with customers? Even if underneath the surface, unhealthy customer communication can damage your satisfaction scores…and your brand.

Here are 12 steps you can take to help your customer success team stay positive and put all kinds of good vibes out into the universe.

Acknowledge the stress

Your customer success team are people, too. They’re dealing with the strain of a deadly pandemic, economic anxiety, and lots of “togetherness” with family members at home. Even if you can’t fix these problems, simply acknowledging the stress they undergo is a long way for their state of mind.

Care for your employees

Maybe it’s quaran-tinis every other Friday. Or a well-timed “wellness day.” Or a cupcake delivery to employees’ homes. Whatever your flavor, invest in ways to remind your employees that you value and care about them. In turn, they’ll value and care for your customers.

Be ground zero

As a leader in your company, you set the tone. Consider yourself “ground zero” for the kind of communication you want your customers to experience. The empathetic, upbeat, and kind words and messages you model to employees are the same your employees will use with customers.

Know what it sounds like

Know what unhealthy and toxic communication sounds like. Unhealthy communication includes words and turns of phrases that are exclusive, condescending, or passive-aggressive, and toxic communication.

Tool for it

There’s a raft of new tools out there to measure customer interactions, including Gong, Chorus, and Writer. Outfit your teams so you can address unhealthy or toxic communication. But give them a heads up so they know you’re doing it, and approach the oversight with sensitivity.

Nip it in the bud

As soon as you see or hear ugliness, call it out immediately. Approach the person in private. They may not be aware of their behavior, so be specific and help them understand the customer impact. Later, anonymize the example and discuss the topic more broadly with the team.

Enforce the rules

If the toxic communication persists, take action. Taking a hard-line right away sends a clear message and ensures compliance from the rest of the team. Let them know that, even if they are on the receiving end of ugliness, it needs to stop with them – no exceptions.

Protect them from toxicity

Any customer-facing team knows what incoming feels like. Equip yours with the appropriate responses and escalation processes to remove themselves from an abusive situation. They need to feel empowered to set boundaries and know that you have their back.

Create a pressure valve

Acknowledge the absurd and lower the team’s stress. Bill Gates describes a “Mail Merge couch” from Microsoft’s early days. Team members sat (or laid) on it while taking support calls related to the product’s frustratingly complex feature. The inside joke helped them blow off steam and laugh at their situation.

Let them rest

As we learned from Away’s cautionary tale, the stress of being on the front lines is exacerbated by lack of sleep. Prepare and plan for people to get the rest and downtime they need, even if you have to bring in temporary reinforcements or other teams need to chip in.

Recognize key moments

Just as you suss out the nastiness, find and recognize the good stuff. Amplify and celebrate examples – large and small – of the behavior you want. Especially call out positive responses in the face of negativity. Create a “good karma” award and make a big hoopla out of it.

Make it stick

Make healthy communication a thing in your company culture. Get on the same page with the other executives about the voice, tone, and behavior norms you want to promote internally and externally. Then, make them stick by codifying them in your employee guidelines and brand style guide.


May Habib is co-founder and CEO of Writer, an AI writing assistant for teams. 


Customer Preferences Are Constantly Changing — You Can Either Listen or Get Left Behind

Today’s consumers demand more from brands on every level. Millennials and Generation Zers have entered the driver’s seat with a combined $3 trillion in purchasing power, according to YPulse, and they have made their expectations clear.

Offering products at competitive prices is no longer enough — you must also provide a top-tier customer experience. That means creating open lines of communication with consumers, listening to their feedback, and offering products that anticipate their needs.

Customer experience becomes especially crucial during times of crisis, such as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This experience is reflected in the values that consumers want companies to hold, such as a move toward more natural, sustainable materials and processes. Companies that empathize with consumers and show compassion by reflecting these values in their manufacturing and logistics can stand out from the pack.

General Motors Co., for example, created and filled a new C-suite position for sustainability earlier this year to show its values to manufacturing partners and customers. When the coronavirus began to spread throughout the country, the company started creating ventilators to help people suffering from the worst cases of COVID-19. This appeals to consumers, as 53% believe brands should get involved in social issues that don’t impact their businesses.

There are countless ways to interact with your audience and gather insights into their preferences, ranging from social media posts to online reviews and email surveys. However, a shockingly low number of companies engage in these beneficial activities. According to a 2019 HubSpot study, 42% of companies say they do not collect feedback from their customers.

Creating products and services without listening to customers is a risky move. A great example of a company making this mistake came in 1985, when Coca-Cola changed its formula for the first time in 99 years. The company had gradually lost market share to Pepsi, so its leaders tried to make a splash with New Coke, which tasted more like Pepsi. Coke’s loyal consumers were blindsided by the change, however. They loved the taste of classic Coca-Cola and refused to embrace the new offering. Sales plummeted, and Coca-Cola reverted to its tried-and-true formula a few months later.

Microsoft made a similar blunder in 2012 with the release of Windows 8. Fresh from the failure of Windows Vista, the company decided to change the look and feel of its operating system completely to resemble Apple’s user interface. The decision backfired. Windows 8 released to poor reviews, and fewer consumers adopted it than Windows Vista. Since then, Microsoft has returned to its traditional look. 

Companies like Coca-Cola and Microsoft can afford to make big mistakes. But for most small and midsize organizations, these missteps can have detrimental consequences.

Follow these tips to ensure your operation remains on par with customer preferences:

1. Leverage CRM technology.

Manually tracking customer feedback is a fool’s errand. There are simply too many simultaneous conversations occurring across a multitude of venues. Instead, companies should use customer relationship management (CRM) software to track their interactions with current and potential consumers and to aggregate customer insights into a centralized location.

I took this exact approach while at my previous company, Schmidt’s Naturals. I was able to read customer reviews and communicate with users more efficiently. This helped us discover that customers wanted a new form of our product, which we delivered.

Most CRM platforms offer mobile access, which has been shown to improve productivity and make it easier to maintain open communication with customers. In light of the ongoing pandemic, some CRM vendors have stepped up to help struggling businesses. For example, Salesforce has gone above and beyond by offering free solutions to help companies communicate with customers during these uncertain times.

2. Reply early and often.

According to HubSpot research, a majority of consumers expect companies to reply to their messages in 10 minutes or less. To meet this expectation, devote team members to monitor your CRM system and social media accounts for questions and comments — and respond to them quickly.

You’ll also want to pay attention to comments on your social media ads, which are easy to overlook. Even if a question seems like a no-brainer, answer it. Chances are, several other customers are wondering the same thing.

Artificial intelligence and chatbots can be useful in this area. Many companies use these technologies on their websites and social media pages to help them interact with consumers, answer simple questions, provide product recommendations, and even facilitate transactions.

Yelp has done this well during the pandemic by offering updated services that allow restaurants and businesses to communicate more easily with their customers. For example, Yelp has added banner alerts to each restaurant’s page to display relevant information in a prominent spot.

3. Make authentic connections.

According to Quick Sprout, consumers are less likely to shop around and more likely to recommend you to friends if they feel an authentic connection to your brand. Chatbots might be able to handle the bulk of your customer interactions, but that doesn’t mean you should become overly reliant on the technology. Research from Sitel Group suggests that 70% of consumers would rather interact with a real person than a chatbot, so you’ll want to balance your use of AI with an authentic human touch.

Zappos is a shining example of a company that interacts authentically with consumers online. The shoe retailer’s social media team routinely — and cheerfully — replies to the majority of comments it receives, with team members signing each message with their initials. Even as Zappos transitions employees to work from home, it’s still focused on “WOWing” customers, vendors, and employees. During trying times, brands must adhere to the core values that have always driven them.

Customer preferences are always changing, and they fully expect the companies they support to keep up with them. This has never been truer than during a global crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. To innovate and stay relevant, you must continually check in with customers, monitor their online conversations, and offer a tailored experience that shows you’re listening.

Modern consumers don’t just buy products — they invest in brands. They care about purpose, transparency, and authenticity. If your company does not deliver those three essential elements, it will not survive.


Michael Cammarata is the president and CEO of Neptune Wellness Solutions, an innovative wellness company based in Quebec offering high-quality, environmentally friendly, natural alternative products. He also co-founded Schmidt’s Naturals, a fast-growing wellness brand that was acquired by Unilever in 2017.


As Consumer Habits Change, How Can Businesses Keep Up?

American consumers don’t act and buy the way they did just a few short months ago – at least most of them don’t.

The pandemic and the need for social distancing led to an upsurge in online buying. Takeout and delivery replaced, at least temporarily, dining out. Many consumers, worried about the health risks of spending time in grocery stores, turned to services that would do their shopping for them.

Now, as the country tries to reopen and seek the next normal, businesses across the nation must figure out which of those consumer behaviors will become permanent, which were temporary, and whether any new ones yet unthought of might emerge.

“We live in a time when information can become outdated pretty quickly, and that’s become even more true because of COVID-19,” says Janét Aizenstros (, a serial entrepreneur and the chairwoman and CEO of Ahava Digital, a company that ethically sources data on American consumers.

“The businesses that are going to succeed moving forward are those that grasp what consumers want and understand their changing habits.”

In contrast, those businesses that fail to understand what the latest consumer data is telling them, and are slow to adapt to the changes in consumer behavior, are going to be at risk, Aizenstros says.

She says going forward, businesses need to:

-Be prepared to pivot. Business leaders must be flexible. Many restaurants figured that out when the pandemic began, Aizenstros points out. Patrons could no longer dine-in, so the restaurants put an emphasis on takeout and delivery services. In the same way, each business will need to figure out how it can adapt and adjust its services or products to meet what customers want and need, she says.

-Gather reliable consumer data. With the internet, social media and numerous other sources, there is plenty of information available today about consumers, but not all of it is reliable. Make sure data comes from a quality source and that it reflects as much as possible the current thinking and behavior among consumers, Aizenstros says. “Businesses that fail to use reliable data and stay on top of the consumer trends,” she says, “will have a difficult time thriving as we go forward.”

-Take steps to make consumers feel comfortable. Even as people venture out more to dine in restaurants or shop in person, a Gallup survey shows they still plan to exercise caution. Businesses can help themselves by letting consumers know what steps they are taking to keep their stores, restaurants, and offices as safe as possible. “This is just another example of understanding and keeping up with what consumers want,” Aizenstros says.

Businesses have always had their plans and operations disrupted by both technological advancements and changing consumer habits. But rarely does consumer behavior evolve as quickly as it did in the early months of 2020 – and the changes didn’t always happen in easily predictable ways.

“Some areas such as home decor and fashion have done well recently,” Aizenstros says. “At the same time, we are seeing trends with businesses like J.C. Penney, Hertz and others struggling and filing for bankruptcy. It’s hard to keep up with consumer thinking unless your data is consistent, relevant and accurate. But if you understand what your customers want and work to give it to them, your business will have the opportunity to prosper.”


Janét Aizenstros ( is a serial entrepreneur and the chairwoman and CEO of Ahava Digital, which provides businesses and investors with ethically-sourced verified data about American consumers. Her background includes roles in finance at TD Canada Trust, Canon, and Brookfield LePage Johnson Controls, along with management consulting in a broad range of functions, such as supply chain operations, data analysis, and strategic thinking. She has a doctorate in metaphysical sciences with a specialization in conscious business ethics.


10 Data Science Projects E-Commerce Businesses Are Using

Today e-commerce businesses are using data science in many different areas to stay ahead of the competition. For instance, e-commerce sites are investing funds into personalizing shopbots to enhance customer experience and recommending products to buyers based on browsing habits and previous purchases.

Selling the best products only works if e-commerce businesses can identify who wants to buy them and recommend them when these customers are ready to make a purchase. Here are some ways e-commerce businesses are utilizing data science to enhance the customer experience.

1. Retain customers

One concern for every e-commerce business is customers switching to other e-commerce websites. Customer retention is crucial if a business is to expand and grow. There are many benefits from having loyal customers, such as receiving real-time feedback from them and having them recommend products or services to others.

A churn model provides metrics such as the number and percentage of customers lost to the business as well as the value and percentage of this loss. When a company is able to identify customers who are most likely to switch to a different e-commerce site, it can take actions to try and keep them.

2. Give product recommendations

Using big data analytics offers a way to understand the shopping behavior of customers and predict patterns. For example, being able to establish which brands or products are most popular when spikes in demand for certain products occur or times of the year when customers shop more can help to determine the right strategies.

Recommendation filters for a particular user are based on past searches, purchase data, reviews read, etc. and allow a personalized view. This helps users with the selection of relevant products.

For example, if you’re looking for a mobile phone on an e-commerce site, there is a possibility that you might want to buy a phone cover too. Deciding whether this is a possibility might be based on analyzing previous purchases or data searches of customers.

3. Analyze customer sentiment

Gathering customer feedback is very important for e-commerce sites. Using social media analytics, data science and machine learning, companies can perform brand-customer sentiment analysis. Natural language processing, text analysis, data from online reviews and online surveys are just some ways to analyze customer sentiment.

If you’re running an e-commerce business and you’re studying at the same time, it’s possible to find writing services to help you, so you have more time to devote to the business and analyze all of this sensitive data.

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4. Predict the lifetime value of customers

E-commerce businesses can benefit from knowing what net profit a customer is likely to bring to the company. Being able to predict the lifetime value of a customer can help with factors such as defining objectives for expenditure, optimizing marketing strategies and deciding cross sell and up sell according to customer purchases.

By using data science models to collect and classify data, e-commerce businesses can predict future buying behavior and have more understanding when formulating business strategies. They know which customers are most loyal and can decide where spending money on advertising etc. will offer the most return on investment.

5. Manage Inventory

Proper management of inventory is essential for e-commerce businesses. When customers are unable to get what they want when they want it, it’s a major deterrent to retaining them. They will simply move on to the next company that can offer this. They want to receive the right goods at the right time and in perfect condition.

The maintenance of the supply chain has become complex today and using inventory data analytics enables businesses to manage inventory effectively. Using machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics enables patterns to be detected that can define inventory strategies.

6. Detect fraud

Living in a digital world where millions of transactions are taking place consistently makes fraud detection essential. Many different forms of fraud are possible and fraudsters are becoming smarter every day.

E-commerce businesses can detect suspicious behavior by using data science techniques. Signs of suspicious behavior could include a shipping address differing from a billing address, an unexpected international order or multiple orders of the same item.

Common data science techniques to detect such behavior include:

-Matching algorithms to estimate risks and avoid false alarms.

-Data mining to address missing or incorrect data and correct errors.

-Clustering and classification to help detect associated data groups and find anomalies.

A fraud detection system helps companies to decrease unidentified transactions and increase company revenue and brand value.

7. Improve Customer Service

A customer is central to any business, especially e-commerce. Personalizing services and giving customers what they really want and need is essential to keeping them happy. Big data analytics offers businesses the potential to enhance their processes so that customers enjoy transacting online.

Natural language processing allows customers to communicate with voice-based bots and data can be stored for future purposes. When businesses know more about their customers and what they want, they are able to devise the best strategies to improve their customer service.

8. Optimize prices

Data-optimized pricing is making some retailers plenty of money. Many online retailers, such as Amazon, Home Depot, Discover and Staples, vary their pricing based on secret formulas. Cost analysis, competitor analysis, and market segmentation are all critical when it comes to pricing.

Pricing of products can impact a business in many ways when it comes to market share, revenues and profits. A key for retailers is to be able to figure out the right price and with big data analytics, they are not only able to determine that number for the market in general but also calculate it with some precision for individual customers.

9. Make online payments easy

Many e-commerce sales are made via mobile platforms and online payments must be secure and safe for customers. Big data analytics helps to identify anything that threatens the process and helps to make online shopping safer.

Various payment options make the online payment process easy and convenient for customers.

10. Determine the quality and reliability of products

E-commerce stores usually provide warranties for products that allow customers to deal with any problems at no cost during the warranty period. Analytics relating to warranty claims can help to determine the quality and reliability of products.

If manufacturers are able to identify early warnings of possible problems, they may be able to address them in time to avoid serious damage to the business.

Text mining and data mining are two techniques that can be used to identify patterns relating to claims and problems with products. The data can be converted into real-time insights and recommendations.

The bottom line

We’ve taken a look at the ten ways that data science models can impact e-commerce. There are so many e-commerce websites and many of them sell similar types of products. Data science helps e-commerce businesses to understand and analyze customer behavior and provide ways to enhance customer service.

When companies understand what they do best and who their loyal customers are by using data science, they are able to improve product designs and customer service, formulate better pricing strategies, manage inventory effectively and provide secure online purchasing and payment options.


This guest post is contributed by Kurt Walker who is a blogger and college paper writer. In the course of his studies he developed an interest in innovative technology and likes to keep business owners informed about the latest technology to use to transform their operations. He writes for companies such as Edu BirdieXpertWriters and on various academic and business topics.


How to Take the Risk Out of International Container Logistics

Who is reliable enough to trust with my assets? This was the main question of people after my keynote about “How to take the risk out of container logistics” at Intermodal Europe in Hamburg. Trust is basically the most important ingredient when doing business with a partner: Will they return my containers on time? Do I have to follow up on my invoices? Can I easily reach my partner when I have questions? Without a certain level of trust, you would probably not make deals with a company, even though the offered price seems cheap.

Over the last decade we have built long-lasting relationships with partners where trust was not an issue, but now two things have changed: (1) Digital technologies allow us to collaborate with basically the entire world in no time and (2) stakeholders are increasingly asking for transparency e.g. to better understand where the products they purchase come from. To adapt to these changes, we have to redefine “trust” and find answers for how to make time-efficient and risk-free deals with partners you have never worked with before. 

Trust is an everyday problem in logistics 

The lack of trust is an everyday problem for most container owners and users with a high impact on the decisions they make. Let me give you a few examples: Imagine a container lessee returns your equipment too late or in bad condition. Of course, you might receive per diem fees to compensate you and the DPP (Damage protection plan) covers damages but how do you explain that to your next customer who is waiting for these boxes? How much time does it cost you to follow up, arrange container inspections and send emails back and forth?

Imagine if you bought a used car and the condition was completely different from what the seller had told you before, you would probably not work with the same seller again in the future (and I bet you would also advise your friends against buying his/ her cars). What happens is that operational costs increase due to the lack of trust, Maersk, for example, announced random container inspections because of misdeclaration of cargo. Increasing costs and high risk ultimately leads to something everyone probably has already said at least once: We only work with people we know.

What is currently being done to mitigate risk?

Most of the time decisions are made based on gut feeling or anecdotal evidence from your network, the press, Google or sometimes just a random Linkedin post about a specific company. In addition to that, personal meetings and extensive travel are still the standards for vetting a potential new partner before setting up bank guarantees, credits assessments and “triple-checked” watertight contracts by expensive layers. It’s not only incredibly difficult, time-consuming and expensive to collaborate with new partners but also not real-time, non-scalable and error-prone. Such partner vetting processes lead to fewer partnerships, less market transparency and slower speed- which makes no sense in times of real-time communication, cost pressure and the increasing need for market transparency.

In today’s digital age, there must be a better way. Why? Because you won’t have the time to initiate your traditional vetting process when a potential customer is reaching out. If you want to get new deals, you have to be the first one with a quotation.

Other industries rely on platforms as neutral data layers

To create trust, we can learn from how other industries have increased trust through platforms as neutral data layers, data standards as the common language, user-generated content and financial credit scoring models. May it be Amazon or Alibaba for buying and selling products online, Trustedshops for e-commerce or Delivery Hero for ordering food online – Other industries rely on platforms as neutral data layers. Take Alibaba as an example: Would you buy from a small, random company that you have never heard of just because the price is cheap? Most likely you would not. On Alibaba you do so because you trust their platform, the Alibaba insurance and their vetting process.

Moreover, you trust your peers and you look at how other partners have rated that company in past transactions on Alibaba. That’s why most online platforms have introduced performance reviews & ratings. You would probably rather buy from a seller on Amazon with thousands of 5-star reviews instead of someone with barely any ratings.

With Container xChange, we can see the same happening in container logistics. Since we introduced peer-to-peer reviews and ratings we have seen an increase in transactions by 17% for top-rated companies (>4 stars on average) and overall it has led to faster replies, release documents and a greater level of trust because members now have a bigger incentive to be a reliable partner. Another great example of how platforms in other industries leverage technology are payment and loan providers such as Klarna or even retailers like Ikea with next level credit scoring models. Instead of gut feeling, they can now, for example, even include signals from social media with their algorithms to forecast creditworthiness – which speeds up vetting processes and decreases human-made errors significantly.

May it be reviews, credit checks or vetting – I think we can do the same in logistics. Platforms like Freightos (for freight forwarders and shippers), Xeneta (freight rates) or Container xChange (asset-sharing in container logistics) already exist, but in the end, it comes down to your behaviour. Make credit checks for your partners as easy as possible, be reliable and stick to what you agreed on. Becoming a trustworthy partner yourself is the first step to a greater level of trust in logistics.