November 2004 Archives

Customer Service at the Apple Store

Jefferson Graham writes about the fusion between Apple's "Genius" approach at its retail stores and the Ritz-Carlton's restaurant bar:

Johnson focused on customer service and thought of Ritz-Carlton hotels as a model for Apple stores. He and a team watched Ritz managers put together new hotels in New York and New Orleans, and out of those visits came the Genius Bar.

At the Ritz, "The restaurant bar is a friendly gathering place," Johnson says. "The bartender makes you feel welcome. We thought: Wouldn't it be great if going to a computer store could be as welcoming?"

Your Brand's Phone Voice

Marcus Graham on the disconnect between large advertising spending and automated reception systems.

Passing the Crown

Many real estate firms face the business succession question. Some firms sell to NRT, Homeservices or large regionals. Others successfully pass their organization to the next generation. The Economist looks at the attributes that the successful 1/3 use to pass from generation to generation (Subscription required). They identify three key factors in those that succeed:

  • Makeup of the board

  • Terms upon which other family members can join the firm

  • Creation of strategy

New Reports: Real Estate Market Share & Market Penetration

We've just released two new market analysis reports:

  • Market Share Report:
    This report allows Main Street users to search a variety of geographic areas, group offices, property types, solds, date ranges and specific agents. Users can drill down the result set from Company Groups to offices and agents. A printable version and charts/graphs are also available. The report also includes list to sale price ratios.
  • Market Penetration Report:
    This report allows Main Street users to search a variety of geographic areas, group offices, property types, active/pending statuses, date ranges and specific agents. Users can drill down the result set from Company Groups to offices and agents. The final report displays year to year changes in market penetration.

Best Buy: Devil Patrons

Kurt MacKey on Best Buy's attempt to use technology to weed out their least profitable customers:

The adage "the customer is always right" goes, Best Buy doesn't buy it. The massive retailer is being vocal about something that at first might sound a little uncouth: frankly, they'd rather not have 20% of their customers as customers. In an age where it seems like everyone casts their nets as wide as possible to bring in more eyes, feet, and wallets, Best Buy is doing the opposite. They believe that a small portion of their customers are bad for business, and they're looking to shut them out. Of course, Best Buy loves their "angel" customers who buy things regardless of price, and load up on high ticket items. The problem is that the details are about the devils.

The devils are its worst customers. They buy products, apply for rebates, return the purchases, then buy them back at returned-merchandise discounts. They load up on "loss leaders," severely discounted merchandise designed to boost store traffic, then flip the goods at a profit on eBay. They slap down rock-bottom price quotes from Web sites and demand that Best Buy make good on its lowest-price pledge. "They can wreak enormous economic havoc," says Mr. Anderson.

Some see this as Best Buy trying to "have its cake and eat it too," by wanting to keep rebates, loss leaders, and massive promotions going, but exclude those who make routine use of them.

Slashdot discussion

Interactive Corp EarningsCast - MP3

7.1 MB MP3 of LendingTree Parent Interactive Corporation's latest earnings report.

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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