What Keeps People Shopping

Forrester recently released our 2008 Customer Experience Index, a ranking of 114 companies by consumers who responded to an online survey asking how useful, easy to work with and enjoyable the various companies were. Get this, six of the top eight were retailers. The top retailer on the list? Barnes & Noble. So, what does this mean for retailers?

1. A great customer experience is a must-have in brutally-competitive, margin-thin industries that comprise most of the retail landscape.  It is not an option. Not surprisingly, the ten worst performers in the index were TV, wireless and web service providers and health insurance companies--regulated industries that give consumers no choice but to interact with them.

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Air Canada's Holiday Baggage Policies Show Some Consideration

Home for the holidays. It has a melodic ring to it, but the idea of lost baggage can be wincing.

Air Canada has announced some customer service initiatives around baggage that are truly responsive to travelers needs.

Workers in Alberta's oil region have been carrying their tools home to Newfoundland, and then flying them back to Alberta. Air Canada has partnered with some companies to provide storage for these tools. This saves the travelers the inconvenience while freeing up cargo space. Win win.

Employees travelling during the holidays will have their bags placed on lower handling priority than paying passengers. (I appreciate this as several of the premium seats on my Thanksgiving flight were filled by airline staff, which did nothing to enhance my impression of the carrier — if, for nothing else, because they didn�t bother to tell employees not to wear their uniforms. But that is another rant)

If Air Canada bags do not arrive, passengers can park for free in short term parking to retrieve their bags. This may seem small, but it is like lemon juice in a papercut to have to hand over dollars to pick up something that should have left the airport with you the first time.

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