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Survey: Retailers struggle to provide high quality customer experiences

BY Antoinette Alexander

Brands must focus on providing high quality customer experience to gain loyalty, but retailers are missing the mark. That’s according to Forrester’s U.S. 2018 Customer Experience Index.

The CX Index found that multichannel retailers’ customer experience quality remained flat, and 36 percent of digital retailers’ scores decreased significantly since last year.

Contrary to popular belief, making customers happy is not the single best way to achieve loyalty — feeling appreciated and confident are equally as important in the retail industry. According to Forrester’s 2018 CX Index data, 86 percent of multichannel shoppers and 87 percent of digital shoppers who feel appreciated intend to spend more with the brand. According to Forrester, this is a clear indication as to why understanding which emotions evoke loyalty matters.

“Few industries have felt disruption like retail, and many are choosing the wrong path forward because they’re not focusing on the drivers that improve customer experience where it counts,” said Forrester chief research and product officer Cliff Condon. “CX is directly linked to driving revenue — Forrester estimates that a one point improvement in a big box retailer’s CX Index score can lead to an incremental $244 million in revenue — so it’s vital for retailers to identify what consumers want and invest in those elements that drive loyalty. Only then will retailers see an improvement in the CX quality that their customers now demand.”

Based on a survey of more than 110,000 U.S. online adult consumers, Forrester’s CX Index measures and ranks nearly 300 U.S. brands across 19 industries to identify how well a brand’s customer experience strengthens the loyalty of its customers. Of the 287 U.S. brands ranked in 2018, 42 multichannel and 11 digital retailers were analyzed to determine how customers perceive their experiences and how customer experience drives loyalty.

Most notably, Trader Joe’s claimed the top spot in multichannel retail, thanks to its ability to provide the most positive experiences of all 287 brands ranked. Costco and Neiman Marcus also placed second and third on the multichannel list, while Home Shopping Network, QVC and Zappos.com were the three leaders for digital retailers.

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McKesson Ventures continues support of portfolio companies with $10K donation

BY Antoinette Alexander

McKesson’s venture capital arm has donated $10,000 to Meals on Wheels America on behalf of its former portfolio company Landmark Health, a provider of in-home, risk-based medical care.

As part of its commitment to supporting the growth and mission of its portfolio companies, McKesson Ventures will give $10,000 to a charitable organization of the portfolio company’s choosing following a positive exit.

“Landmark Health is a shining example of what success can look like under value-based care,” said Dave Schulte, managing director at McKesson Ventures. “In addition to filling an important care need for polychronic patients, Landmark is providing this care at risk with a multidisciplinary team that partners with payers – all while improving outcomes. We’re excited to watch them grow in the years to come and expand their offering to more patients across the country.”

Landmark Health is a provider of home-based medical care for patients with complex needs. An interdisciplinary mobile care team works together and makes home visits to help patients manage their medical conditions. Typically, these services are available at no direct cost to patients, most of whom are eligible for Medicare Advantage or other coverage. According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ most recent data, nearly 45 percent of emergency room visits from nursing home residents on Medicare or Medicaid could have been avoided. Landmark Health tackles this issue head on, connecting some of the most clinically complex and medically vulnerable patients with a, coordinated care team that provides medical, behavioral, social and palliative care.

“We are grateful to McKesson Ventures for this donation to Meals on Wheels America and their ongoing support,” said Christopher Goldsmith, president of Landmark Health. “It is amazing to work with a firm that is not only committed to our growth strategy, but also appreciates our values and mission to deliver comprehensive care to patients wherever and whenever they need it.”

Similar to Landmark Health, Meals on Wheels aims to empower seniors with independence by bringing needed resources directly into their homes. The non-profit currently helps nearly 2.4 million seniors annually across the United States, supporting more than 5,000 community-based programs that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger.

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FMI applauds passage of U.S. House Farm Bill

BY Antoinette Alexander

The House on Thursday passed legislation to address the economic challenges facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers, while making significant investments in opportunities for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients. The move drew praise from the Food Marketing Institute.

In a prepared statement, Hannah Walker, FMI’s senior director, technology and nutrition policy, said:

“FMI appreciates the work U.S. House Agriculture Chairman Mike Conaway and the Committee have done over the past few years holding dozens of hearings on Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) policy in order to craft H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018. The legislation offers a permanent ban on EBT processing fees and protects the privacy of our non-publicly traded independent retailer members. H.R. 2 maintains many of the efficiencies within SNAP that have helped keep costs down and improves SNAP retailer provisions.

“FMI and its retail members are committed to the public-private partnership we uphold with the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a facilitator of the SNAP program. We look forward to being a resource to Congress as the Farm Bill moves through the Senate, and we’ll continue to remind Members of Congress how jobs, wages and SNAP participant data affect each state. Our partnership has created tremendous efficiencies, fraud reductions and cost savings in the program over the past several decades.”

Upon passage, Conaway also commented and said, “Today’s vote was about keeping faith with the men and women of rural America and about the enduring promise of the dignity of a day’s work. It was about providing certainty to farmers and ranchers who have been struggling under the weight of a five-year recession and about providing our neighbors in need with more than just a hand out, but a hand up. I’m proud of what this body has accomplished, and now look forward to working with the Senate and the president to deliver a farm bill on time to the American people.”

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