Top of the Heap? Supermarkets and Ample Leg Room
At any rate, what is germane to this blog is that Harris asked about online search engines, Internet service providers and online retailers, all of whom did pretty well with 79%, 72% and 70% of adults saying they are doing a good job of customer service. Somehow comparing search engines and ISPs with packaged food companies and brokerage firms seems a little odd, but it's nice to know that we are working in full-fledged industries.
Air travel is another fact of life like buying groceries and paying bills. What amenities does eMarketer report business travelers want? No surprise here, the answer is ample leg room (88%) and 63% wanted extra overhead/on-board storage. What was curious was that an increasing number of business travelers want in-flight Internet access (36% up from 27% last year), and 23% believe cellphone usage should be permitted in flight. I can survive without both, thank you, because that is the one place that I am not "always on."
eMarketer does a good job of reporting on trends, and I applaud their ability to cover those of value.
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Another interesting trade publication is EContent magazine. This month the article "The Coming of the Borgs" philosophizes on, among other things, the growing number of airplane passengers "obliged to report that they've just touched down in another city." Such Borgs are "not really there. Their lack of presence becomes painfully obvious when they bonk you in the head with the bag they carelessly tug out of the overhead while making that essential call to whomever. Their minds, such as they are, are on the phone, not wherever their physical bodies happen to be. Paying attention to your surroundingsâ€"that's so 20th century."
Walt Crawford acknowledges the business opportunity of the overly wired age, while hoping more people may share his appreciation for "being in another city or country, since they haven't yet sprouted the technological extensions to free them from time and place. These remaining traditionalists include travelers and explorers, people who stay informed but can also lift their heads up and look around."
Beyond collectively influencing businesses and industries, perhaps social appreciation may be enhanced.
This is a great story. We have all seen people like the borgs. In the past, we had "bookworms" who always had their nose buried in a book, and some people have wanted to continuously communicate ala Sandra Bullock in the movie The Net.
But they aren't the norm nor do I think they will ever be. As the Beatles song says, "People are the same wherever you go". At TKG, we look for trends of mainstream America and the ROW that will impact local media.
I personally am fascinated by those items that are different from what I would have guessed…my personal idea of "normal". Borgs qualify but are not as interesting to me as 92% of Americans saying that supermarkets do a good job of customer service….higher than any other industry. They can't have asked anyone who has ever been to a Sam's club.
Yes, we have one here in Princeton although it's a bit of a trip. I agree Wegman's customer care is superior, and they have outstanding selection. The tradeoff of course is the size…Where are the Baco's? I am old enough to remember when supermarkets were just coming on the scene, and my mother thought she had found nirvana.
Actually, one of the most interesting things about supermarkets is how they have gotten the upper hand on their suppliers. Some of my problem with supermarkets goes back to when I carried a sales bag and called on their buyers and did store checks in the field. They were nice to customers but arrogant to vendors…all we wanted to do was move our competitors' stuff to the back and increase our facings in the front. Go figure.
Bottom line is you get what you pay for at Wegman's vs Sam's.
If you've ever been to a Wegmans's you'd see how 92% of people could believe that supermarket customer service is good. Assuming that you've not been to one, I highly recommend it… It's amazing that they can instill such a similar frame of mind across the board of their employees. It's enough to give one hope that the Walmarts of the world aren't defining what customer service means.