Monthly Archives: June 2008

How to open a retail store – lessons from wal-mart

How to Open a Retail Store – Lessons From Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is not just the biggest retail chain, but the world’s largest corporation, and has achieved its massive scale and profits by seeking efficiency and low costs in every aspect of its work. That is how they can discounting products below what other stores can compete with. For a new retail store, Wal-Mart may seem like the enemy – a store that will either be your top competitor or a potential top competitor if it ever opens in your store’s vicinity. However, there is much to learn from Wal-Mart’s practices, even for a small store.

Greeting Customers

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, dictated that each Wal-Mart customer would be greeted at the door. Because of the volume entering Wal-Mart stores, this creates jobs specifically for Wal-Mart greeters. Although your store will not likely need a full-time greeter, the idea of an employee or employees devoted to greeting and helping customers on an individual basis can have a tremendous impact on your sales. The greeting itself, along with an offer to help the customer find anything, makes customers feel noticed and appreciated even before they decide to buy. Having employees go further, by directing customers to other products or better products can take this individual attention to the next level for the customer and for sales.

Products as Loss-Leaders

Wal-Mart is a huge seller of DVDs, but is content to sell these items at their “everyday-low-prices” even upon their release, when they are more expensive to receive from manufacturers and have to be sold at a loss. Wal-Mart considers DVDs to be loss-leaders, products that are unprofitable in and of themselves, but attract customers to the store where they are then encouraged to purchase other items.

Are certain products potential potential loss-leaders for your store? Are there items that you can stand to sell at cost or even below in order to attract the kind of customers you’d like to introduce to your other products?

Wal-Mart is Not For Everyone

Finally, remember that the big box store is not for everyone. While these stores offer low prices and a wide range of products, their domination creates opportunities for small stores with deep expertise in a certain area and high levels of service, even if prices are higher. When looking carefully at Wal-Mart and other big box retailers, pay attention to what they lack in these areas and define your customer target market to serve those who feel disenfranchised in the Wal-Mart era.

Increasing it customer satisfaction and it performance in a difficult economy with tight budgets

Increasing It Customer Satisfaction And It Performance In A Difficult Economy With Tight Budgets

IT’s impact on your organization’s performance - OK, we all know that IT is critically important to any organization’s performance and success. Internal and outsourced IT resources are an integral part of any business. Technology impacts your organization’s ability to attract and retain customers, compete effectively, provide high levels of customer service, drive workforce productivity and much more. With the current downturn, IT is more critical than ever. IT support typically includes in-house and outsourced Help Desk Support, Desk Side Support, Application Support and providing support for other IT services.

Most employees depend heavily on a well functioning IT infrastructure and IT support – In most organizations, the majority of employees directly or indirectly depend on technology to perform their jobs effectively. In many cases, customers also rely on effective technology to transact business and retrieve information.

Tightening IT support budgets – As sales and revenue have significantly decreased at most companies and other types of organizations, IT budgets are being squeezed, placing greater pressure on staffing and IT service levels. IT staff levels are being reduced, often below already low levels.

Tradeoffs between IT support and IT budgets – The conventional wisdom is that providing high levels of IT service is costly and that corporate and IT managers need to assess the tradeoff between paying for high levels of IT support and reducing IT costs, leading to lower levels of IT customer service. More often than not, controlling budgets wins over providing high levels of IT customer service.

IT Heads and Directors are under siege – It is no secret that IT Heads and Directors are under extreme pressure to keep costs under control while keeping IT performance levels and IT customer satisfaction levels high. Unfortunately, for many IT Heads and Directors, this has been easier said than done.

The secret: how to increase IT customer satisfaction and IT performance when budgets are tight – One of the best ways to increase IT customer satisfaction and IT performance levels, regardless of IT budgets, is to conduct IT customer satisfaction surveys and to take action based on the survey results. The process is simple….conduct surveys, analyze the results, share the survey results with in-house or outsourced IT managers and staff, establish IT SLA’s (service level agreements), create action plans to increase IT service levels, then conduct ongoing/periodic IT surveys to measure progress and keep taking action to continuously improve service levels.

When it comes to IT, Bad breath is not better than no breath – Be prepared to take action based on survey results – Some of the many needed actions IT customer surveys will likely point to include working with IT customers to create realistic IT service level standards, technical and behavioral training for some IT staff members, managing response times for IT service requests and problem resolution, identifying and reducing the most frequent recurring problems, communicating effectively with IT customers, and managing IT incident resolution on a consistent basis by location and type of IT customer. You should also be prepared to replace select IT staff members that are not effective and that are not responding to training, mentoring and the requirements of the job. Before he hired Quantisoft to conduct an IT customer survey, one IT manager that said he was fearful of losing his job told us, “bad breath is better than no breath”. He believed that having a marginally effective IT person in place is better than having no one in the position. His attitude changed after he received the survey results.

Value of IT customer satisfaction surveys – If you are skeptical about the value of IT customer satisfaction surveys, just try it and do it well. Make sure to analyze the results, create action plans and take action. Make sure there are no sacred cows. Take action where survey findings identify the need to improve service. If you have questions, call or e-mail me. My contact information is included in this article.

We recommend two types of IT customer satisfaction surveys:

1. Annual IT customer satisfaction surveys assess IT customer satisfaction with Help Desk, Desk Side Support and Application Support performance over a specific period of time (typically annually or semi-annually). Surveys identify locations and departments with opportunities for improvement in service and customer satisfaction. Annual IT Customer Satisfaction Surveys ask IT customers about their perceptions and satisfaction with service levels during the past year. Annual IT Customer Satisfaction Surveys identify areas of strength and areas needing improvement in knowledge, professionalism, ability to understand customer’s problem, response time, follow-up, satisfaction with resolution, service ticket closeout process, etc. Annual trend graphs measure performance progress.

2. Ongoing monthly incident follow-up IT customer satisfaction surveys assess IT customer satisfaction with Help Desk, Desk Side Support and Resolver/Application Support performance for specific IT service incidents. IT incident surveys identify customer sites and business units with opportunities for improvement in service and customer satisfaction. Survey results pinpoint service attributes needing attention (knowledge, attitude, response time, service ticket closeout process, meeting SLAs/service level agreements, etc.), and identify individual IT service staff with low customer satisfaction ratings. Monthly trend graphs display improvements in performance and pinpoint performance shortfalls.

Benefits of IT Customer Satisfaction Surveys

IT customer satisfaction surveys enable organizations to realize significantly greater value from IT support resources, achieving the following benefits for IT Heads and Directors and your organization:

1. Increase IT performance, enabling significant improvements in the performance, effectiveness, competitiveness and satisfaction of IT’s internal and external customers

2. Pinpoint and diagnose IT problems and opportunities, and connect the dots across the organization

3. Gain insight for prioritizing IT performance improvement initiatives and projects

4. Achieve breakthrough improvements in IT and help desk service attribute performance including timeliness, professionalism, courtesy, knowledge, communications with customers, problem resolution effectiveness, etc.

5. Identify and deal with lowest performing IT and help desk staff

6. Enable IT customers to communicate more effectively with Help Desk, Desk Side Support, Applications Support and other IT service providers

7. Increase IT service quality and productivity

8. Reduce IT costs

9. Make better, more objective decisions based on customer and employee feedback.

10. Identify problems and opportunities by agent, IT team, product, site location, communication channel, customer business unit and type and other criteria

11. Focus investments in IT staffing, training, equipment, teams and programs where they will have the greatest payback

12. Identify and fix recurring problems

13. Improve coaching using customer feedback

14. Increase validity of IT staff reward and recognition based on customer feedback

15. Send an important message to IT staff and IT customers that IT management cares about performance and satisfaction

 16. Increased performance and job security for IT Heads and IT Directors

Survey information and tips are presented at  http://www.Quantisoft.com 

Information about IT Customer Satisfaction Surveys http://www.quantisoft.com/Industries/IT.htm

How mil-std-1553 began

How Mil-std-1553 Began?

Standards are an important facet in any large scale operation where a lack of protocol could result in compromised results or outright failure. The US military is based on a system of standards to keep all of the separate units functioning as one while maintaining an optimum level of efficiency. The MIL-STD-1773 is a perfect example of this code of conduct.

A system of standards was needed to document and identify the needs for data bus informational transfers between various types of military crafts and terminals. Definitions were needed for the electrical, mechanical and also the functions that were to be used in all military communications hardware. There is a critical need for uniformity in the design of the subsystems to keep the hardware running the way it is intended. Without a standardized system to rely on, communication processes could become vulnerable. The MIL-STD-1553 was the initial standard released by the United States Department of Defense. When optical cabling was proved to be more stable than electrical wiring they updated the standard to MIL-STD-1773.

This standard paved the way for a process that could communicate with several different terminals. The large amounts of data created from a complex communications and navigational system needed a specialized process that could offer constant bandwidth. This task was accomplished by utilizing the principles behind time division multiplexing. Time-division multiplexing is a digital process where many signals are transmitted on a single channel. The results are accomplished in a near state of synchronicity but in reality, the signals are taking turns on one channel.

MIL-STD-1773 was initially conceptualized for aviation electronics to help standardize the engineering requirements for the navigation and communication systems. It was first implemented in the design and manufacture of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The success of the project lead to MIL-STD-1773 being used in future aircraft designs such as the F-18 Hornet and the F-20 Tigershark. MIL-STD-1773 is also commonly used in onboard spacecraft subsystems as well all the other branches of the United States armed forces.

One of the aspects that has kept our military forces successful on a global scale is the emphasis that is placed upon organization. Organized forces have historically held significant advantages over a scattered opponent. The system of standards and protocols employed by our armed services has always adhered to a logical hierarchy. Every component has a place and nothing operates outside the established order. To bring about change in this rigid system of military order is not an easy thing to accomplish. But sometimes, change is inevitable. As the world leaders in warfare technology, the United States military is always seeking new technologies to maintain our advantages in all areas of operation. MIL-STD-1773 is slowly being phased out to make way for a new system of standards that are being developed by the United States military with help from the company FireWire. Not much is currently known about the new implementations but the standards will be based on the IEEE 1394 interface which is used to transfer data in real time and is also commonly used for high speed communications.

Is there a commercial argument for isp music services

Is there a commercial argument for ISP music services?-Aarkstore Enterprise

ISPs are missing out on a share in the revenues earned by digital content providers, which are delivering everything from music to video and e-books over the top (OTT) of the Internet access provided by ISP networks. With the commoditization of broadband access, value-added services (VASs) – including music services – have become a key potential contributor to ISPs’ revenue growth. With ISPs’ need for VASs in mind, Universal Music commissioned to produce the following white paper that attempts to answer the question “is there a commercial argument for ISP music services?

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Table of Contents :
Executive summary
In a nutshell
view
Key messages
There is a case for ISP digital music services
Digital music services can also reduce churn
A defined execution framework is required
ISPs are a new distribution channel for subscription-based music services
Challenges facing the ISP industry in the UK
Broadband access is a mature market
Complex relationships with media owners
ISPs hold some strategic high ground
ISPs should try to grab a share of digital entertainment revenues
The digital music market landscape
New consumption choices for the consumer
Digital retail: download-to-own
Ad-supported and subscription web streaming
Illegal file-sharing
The future? DRM-free, high-volume MP3 download services
Multi-platform music: unified services on the TV, phone, and PC
Strategic opportunity and challenges
Catalysts for examining digital music
Challenges
iTunes dominates retail
Disruptive application service providers are providing low-cost streaming music services for digital natives
ISPs are regionally focused in a business that rewards scale
The opportunity
The ISP digital music business case
A model for the cost base of ISP digital music
Assumptions for the commercial model
Service adoption assumptions
Platform and operational cost assumptions
Direct and indirect revenue assumptions
Service strategies for ISP digital music services
Strategy 1: unlimited streaming with a high-volume download allowance
Strategy 2: low-cost unlimited streaming with additional retail
The future case for ISP music services
DRM-free, high-volume, download-to-own subscription services
Commercial model simulation assumes best practice
Six best practices for digital music services
1. Offset operating margin risk
2. Strong user experience and a robust service platform is vital
3. Differentiate the music service experience
4. Exploit multiple sources of direct and indirect value
5. Target both service user and bill-payer
6. Explore partnerships with branded music service providers
The potential size of the ISP digital music market in the UK
ISP digital music market could top ?100 million by 2013
Potential value of music services for a tier-1 ISP
Reduction in churn
Implications for ISP music services
Digital music services can generate revenues for ISPs
List of Figures
Figure 1: Cumulative net earnings analysis – premium ISP digital music subscription services
Figure 2: Cumulative net earnings analysis – premium hybrid ISP digital music subscription and retail services
Figure 3: Potential UK ISP digital music market size: low, medium and high scenarios

For more information please visit :

http://www.aarkstore.com/reports/Is-there-a-commercial-argument-for-ISP-music-services–45636.html

PH.NO. 919272852585

OR

Aarkstore Enterprise
Mobile : +919272852585
Fax : +912224169996
Email : press@aarkstore.com
Website : http://www.aarkstore.com

Instaconversions – how to instantly increase the conversions of your sales page

Instaconversions – How To Instantly Increase The Conversions Of Your Sales Page

The challenge facing all merchants is to how to parlay the visitor traffic they are currently receiving  into an increase their sales conversions. It is always going to be an ongoing process of split testing and refining, but there is a technique that can have a significant impact virtually overnight, and one which can create literal ‘instaconversions’.

The reality is that the vast majority of visitors to a site simply browse and move on, even if they were interested in the product or service, and these visitors represent a significant source of lost revenue for the merchant.   A fantastic way around this, however, is to use an automated sales personality (ASP) that appears when a potential customer is about to abandon the sales page.

So how does the automated personality turn these less than motivated potential customers into instaconversions? Through using an innovative artificial intelligence system, the automated sales personality appears just as the customer is about to exit the sales page, and striking up a conversation and keeping the shopper engaged. The ASP is smart, friendly, able to answer any question, and is there ultimately to guide the customer back to the sales page. The most effective technique is to offer a one time incentive to tip the balance from an unmotivated browser to a active ‘instaconversion’.

What type of instaconversion results can you expect by employing the ASP? This entirely depends on how it is implemented. It an absolute necessity for a high volume merchant to employ a firm who actually specializes in ASP’s as it is a major undertaking that should be handled by experts in this field. The volume of chats are typically in the hundreds or thousands per day, and require a team of experts to monitor and improve upon the ASP interaction formula. Additionally, an attractive and engaging design has been shown to have a significant impact on customer participation.

When implemented through a specialist firm, a merchant can expect an increase of 10%-30% almost immediately upon implementation, and even further increases as the team perfects the model. Merchants are thrilled with the instaconversion model as their customer base and profits can be suddenly increased overnight.

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