The 21 Most Controversial Things We Said In 2014

We’ve written scores of blog posts this year about customer experience and retail performance – hardly topics that most people think of as controversial.

But in any field, there are ideas that can make waves, and those are usually the ones to pay attention to. That’s why we compiled a list of the 21 most controversial things we’ve said this year, and made it into a SlideShare deck.

Click through all 21 things here, or skip to the Top 10 below!

1. “I’m just browsing” is the “it’s not you, it’s me” of retail.

It can mean all kinds of different things, and it’s often not true. Read the Post

2. It’s time to stop thinking about retail and ecommerce as separate categories.

Forrester projects that U.S. online sales in 2014 will be $294 billion, or 9% of all U.S. sales. In comparison, the combined 2013 total of online and web-influenced retail sales was $1.3 trillion. Read the Post

3. Customer experience is more important to shoppers than price.

A whopping 81% of shoppers will pay more for a better customer experience. Enough said. Read the Post

4. You actually want more customer service complaints.

The typical business only hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers. Of the 96% who don’t voice their complaints, 91% will “quit” that business and never come back. Read the Post

5. Your sales goals are driving customers away.

If you push associates to meet a particular sales target, you are telling them in effect that nothing else matters – and customer experience will suffer. Read the Post

6. You think you offer excellent service, but the numbers say you’re probably wrong.

A recent study found that 80% of companies surveyed felt they offered excellent service, but only 8% of the customers surveyed agreed. Read the Post

7. There are some things your customers will never tell you, even when you ask.

They don’t always know how to express their perceptions of your stores – but highly-trained mystery shoppers do. Read the Post

8. Customer churn isn’t all bad.

Customer churn may hurt your bottom line, but it’s also a valuable indicator. Gather data at all points of contact to discover where you’re losing customers. Read the Post

9. Impressing your customers doesn’t earn their loyalty.

Sure, it helps. But it’s consistency in every shopping experience and across every channel that builds brand trust and ultimately loyalty. Read the Post

10. So your customers are “satisfied”? That’s not a good thing.

Customers who say they are satisfied can be describing a wide range of experiences – none of which they found remarkable. Read the Post

These insights should be helpful for any type of retail chain – but specific data about your industry can take you even further.

That’s why we polled our panel of more than 55,000 everyday shoppers about their shopping behaviors and preferences in women’s apparel stores, electronics retailers, casual and fast food restaurant chains, and home and office retailers to create an in-depth 2014 Restaurant & Retail Market Research Report.