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Lemnis Lighting offers new Pharox LED bulbs

BY Allison Cerra

SAN FRANCISCO — Lemnis Lighting has debuted three lines that are part of the company’s Pharox LED replacement bulbs portfolio.

The new products include Pharox BLU, Pharox XL and Pharox PRO. The Pharox BLU line includes 200-lumen and 350-lumen nondimmable bulbs. The XL line is aimed at home and commercial customers and included LED bulbs that tout a 3-year/35,000 hour warranty. Finally, the Energy Star-qualified Pharox PRO bulbs are designed with the commercial and rebate-driven customer in mind and will carry a 5-year replacement guarantee.

For more information about Pharox BLU, Pharox XL, Pharox PRO and other Lemnis Lighting products, visit Pharox-led.com.

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Survey: Sam’s Club, Publix top in customer experience

BY Katherine Field Boccaccio

WABAN, MASS. — Research results released Tuesday by Temkin Group, which rates the customer experience of 206 large companies across 18 industries, showed that only eight companies deliver excellent customer experience.

Sam’s Club and Publix led the pack, followed by Starbucks, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Aldi, Winn-Dixie, H-E-B and credit unions.

According to the 2012 Temkin Experience Ratings, in its second year, 76 companies (37% of the total) earned "poor" or "very poor" ratings.

The research examines customer experience across 18 industries: airlines, appliance makers, auto dealers, banks, car rental agencies, computer makers, credit card issuers, fast-food chains, grocery chains, health plans, hotel chains, insurance carriers, Internet service providers, investment firms, parcel delivery services, retailers, TV service providers and wireless carriers.

Grocery chains, fast-food chains and retailers are the top three industries, earning an average rating of "good." At the bottom of the ratings, TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans earn an average rating of "poor." Health plans show up in seven of the bottom 14 spots in the ratings.

"While many companies aren’t delivering experiences that meet customers’ needs, it’s an epidemic for TV service providers, Internet service providers, and health plans," said Bruce Temkin, author of the report and managing partner of Temkin Group.

The research by Temkin Group also analyzed the changes in ratings between 2011 and 2012.

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2012 will be all about the customer

BY Allison Cerra

WASHINGTON — Retailers are set to build customer engagement by investing in information technology and e-commerce, as well as enhancing customer service initiatives and building on mobile platforms, a new report from the National Retail Federation and KPMG found.

According to "Retail Horizons: Benchmarks for 2011, Forecasts for 2012," which surveyed 247 retail executives, found that many retailers are taking on customer-centric initiatives. For instance, nearly 67% of companies rank customer satisfaction as the top strategic initiative for 2012 and, similarly, 82% said customer service strategies will be their top priority in the coming year, up from 75% last year.

NRF and KPMG noted that this year marked the first time websites/online channels "eclipsed physical stores as the top channel for marketers" (81% for brick-and-mortar stores versus 86% online). In line with this, 85% of those surveyed said they will emphasize increasing online sales (up from 83% in 2011), while 38% would focus on boosting m-commerce sales over the next year, compared with 29% last year. What’s more, 53% of those surveyed said they will specifically focus on Web personalization engines, including location-based services and tracking methods unique to shopping habits. And as 17% already use mobile point-of-sale technologies in their store, an additional 33% indicated they plan further POS investments during that over the next 18 months.

When it comes to social media, which increasingly has become more important for retailers, 45% of companies are actively developing widgets, gadgets or advanced links that can be incorporated with their social media pages, and another 41% planning to develop these items over the next 18 months.

“Retailers are poised to enter 2012 with a renewed focus on building up and building out many of their most important operations, hoping to establish a new sense of brand loyalty with all of their customers,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Though customers are always a company’s top priority, customer satisfaction will get a huge facelift this year. From increasing their brand visibility through cross-channel initiatives to providing unique, personalized shopping experiences through every channel, retailers have indicated 2012 is all about the customer.”

Click here for the full report.

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