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Blog

  • V-Day 2018: How casual dining concepts fared in courting customers

    Paul Tiedt | Feb 23, 2018
    Unless it was your first Valentine’s Day, you pretty much knew what to expect: chocolate, flowers, jewelry, etc. While those romantic gestures certainly add a nice touch, perhaps the best part of Valentine’s Day is having an excuse for a fun night on the town. And that makes it an extremely important night for restaurant brands. To see how casual concepts fared this year, we turned to our market intelligence tool BrandGeek®—the fastest, most accurate source of behavioral data linked to customer feedback in real time.
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  • Your front-line employees wield more power than your CEO

    Jennifer McKenzie | Feb 20, 2018
    We’ve all been there. You walk into a store known for great service, only to be met by an employee who would clearly rather be someplace else. The best reputations don’t always match the specific encounter, and when that happens, it’s usually because front-line teams don’t feel personally accountable for the customer experience. But nothing could be further from the truth. They own it.
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  • Better together—getting the full benefit of CX data integration

    Dennis Ehrich | Feb 13, 2018
    Brands trying to get an accurate read on the customer experience can often waste precious time sifting through numerous types of data—financial, POS, contact center, CRM, and more—attempting to put it all together to get to actionable insights. In today’s omnichannel world, data is coming from all directions, but all that information means nothing if you can’t make sense of it.
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  • SMG Employee Spotlight – Renee Taylor

    Employee Spotlight | Feb 8, 2018
    Our Employee Spotlight series gives you a behind-the-scenes peek at what makes SMG work—our people. Learn more about the team that brings technology and insights together, and what it’s like to work here.
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  • How CX programs help brands put a data point behind every decision

    Jacqui Mueller | Feb 6, 2018
    Meaningful, positive change starts with recognizing your challenges. That’s the easy part of a CX program, especially given today’s tools that help brands tap into customers’ perceptions. What happens next calls for thoughtful analysis. Where are you going to invest your resources? What deserves your attention, and what will make the biggest impact on overall brand performance?
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  • People are full of surprises. Here’s how to find the truth.

    Paul Tiedt | Feb 1, 2018
    It’s easy to make assumptions about why people do the things they do. Behavior tells us a lot, but the only way to fully understand what makes people tick is to ask the right questions. Combine behavioral data with survey data, and you’ll have a clear picture of what motivates your customers. Behavioral data might show you who walked out the door after months of regular visits. Survey data tells you why.
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  • Create clarity to generate engaged and accountable employees

    Jeff Jokerst | Jan 30, 2018
    A successful company isn’t just full of employees who work hard—it consists of people who care. The driving force behind motivation goes beyond the amount on a paycheck. It’s about employees feeling valued by their peers and, most importantly, by their leaders.
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  • Lidl’s U.S. expansion | A case study in changing market dynamics

    Peter Berger | Jan 25, 2018
    For even the most well established brands, a new concept breaking into your market can be a challenge. Today’s consumers like to have options and can be easily tempted by the newest, shiniest brand on the block—especially if it saves them money, provides high-quality products, or offers a unique service. Such is the case with Lidl, the German-based grocery giant that began expanding into select U.S. markets in June 2017. With everyone in the grocery industry anxious to see how the new concept fares, we used our market intelligence tool BrandGeek® to see what’s in store and how established brands can prepare.
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  • Keep your front lines engaged in CX by keeping them in the loop

    Nichole Wright | Jan 23, 2018
    Nothing motivates like a progress report. Whether the news is positive or negative, most of us like to know where we stand—especially when we’re working toward a specific goal.
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  • Patients have less patience in the digital age

    Dan Prince | Jan 17, 2018
    Most of us do things differently in the digital age. We expect everything to be fast. Easy. Convenient. Those expectations don’t stop with retail stores and restaurants. We want the same from hospitals and doctors, and if we aren’t happy with the service we receive, we’ll look for another provider. So what can providers do to inspire loyalty?
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  • SMG Employee Spotlight – Andy Eaton

    Employee Spotlight | Jan 12, 2018
    Our Employee Spotlight series highlights what makes SMG work—our people. Learn more about the team that brings technology and insights together, and what it’s like to work here. Get to know Andy Eaton—Sr. Software Engineer.
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  • It’s not about finding the weakest link. It’s about seeing the linkage.

    Jacqui Mueller | Jan 10, 2018
    No single location can make or break your business, but each makes an impact on your overall performance. Take an amusement park that has a mix of thrilling rides and ho-hum ones. Most people will return to the adrenaline-pumping attractions and avoid the others. (And they’re bound to tell friends about their experiences.) Similarly, the customer experience (CX) you create across all of your locations makes an impression—and an impact. Some locations perform better than others, but all influence the bottom line.
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  • Gearing up for 2018 | How everyone benefits from a healthy workplace

    Kim Klosak | Jan 5, 2018
    With each New Year comes the opportunity to reflect on the past, assess the present, and plan for the future. For organizations, that means putting strategic initiatives in place aimed at ensuring long-term, sustainable success. For employees, it may be resolving to make meaningful changes starting January 1. While those two iterations of the same principle may seem worlds apart, they’re actually more intertwined than you might think.
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  • Adopt the growth mindset + act already!

    Jeff Jokerst | Dec 21, 2017
    As a consultant to several restaurant, retail, and grocery brands, I have the opportunity to present employee survey findings to executive teams almost 50 times a year. This has provided some unique opportunities for casual data collection based on meeting observations. Through my observations, I have come to realize a great predictor of growth—not only related to employee engagement, but also to the business in general—is how the team responds to their data and commits to action. Whether those teams know it or not, they’re demonstrating many of the qualities of a “growth mindset”—a principle made famous by Carol Dweck.
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  • Survey maintenance + partnership—Keeping your surveys healthy

    Emily Gates | Dec 15, 2017
    Building a killer customer experience (CX) survey is no easy task. Once you’ve established the right invitation method, incentive, structure, length, and design—you may feel tempted to kick your feet up and leave it alone. But ensuring long-term success of your CX program means keeping track of how your survey is doing, even after you’ve put it all together.
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  • SMG Employee Spotlight – Brittaney Canupp

    Employee Spotlight | Dec 12, 2017
    Our Employee Spotlight series highlights what makes SMG work—our people. Learn more about the team that brings technology and insights together, and what it’s like to work here. Get to know Brittaney Canupp – Account Analyst in Client Insights.
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  • Is your CX program working? Let's prove it.

    Jacqui Mueller | Dec 7, 2017
    The sound of cash registers practically drowns out the jingle bells these days, but sales aren’t the biggest story. Service is. We’re in the age of the customer, and 84% of firms say their primary aspiration is to be a customer experience (CX) leader. You’re probably among them.
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  • Trust: The missing ingredient in American healthcare?

    Dan Prince | Dec 5, 2017
    Ten years of survey results paint a dismal picture. Hospitals don’t trust health plans. Physicians don’t trust health plans. And health plans register only a nominally higher rate of trust in hospitals and physicians.
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  • Black Friday: How did retailers fare in 2017?

    Paul Tiedt | Dec 1, 2017
    Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, complete with the familiar traditions of family meals and adrenaline-fueled shopping trips. In keeping with our own tradition of analyzing Black Friday shopping trends, we turned to our market intelligence tool BrandGeek®—the fastest, most accurate source of behavioral data linked to customer feedback in real time. While last year’s data provided perspective on declining visits and shifts in trip motivation, we were eager to get another real-time look at how consumer behavior plays out during this critical period for retailers.
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  • Turn browsers into buyers by monitoring web traffic

    Lou Bellaire | Nov 29, 2017
    Our data science team is hard at work discovering new ways to use technology and data to bring deep, meaningful insights to our clients. In a previous blog, we talked about our omnichannel approach and how we’re exploring and thinking about the digital layer in new ways to enhance our clients’ understanding of the customer experience (CX).
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