PROFILE

Marge Laney

President, Alert Technologies, Inc.

Marge Laney has one thing on her mind – Retail Customer Service. Marge has developed the market for in-store customer facing service technology with her company Alert Tech. With a keen eye for common sense solutions to customer service challenges she has evangelized empowering the customer to access assistance when they need it. This paradigm isn’t all about technology! Marge has not only empowered customers, but reinvigorated retailers. Through progressive and practical training and integration techniques developed at Alert Tech, Marge works with the top chain retailers to capitalize on customer initiated interactions to increase brand loyalty, value perception, and KPIs.

Marge goes out of her way to spread her optimistic and upbeat vision for retail customer service and the retail industry in general. People will spend their hard earned dollar with the retailer that shows them they value the customer, and Marge is excited to help top retailers react to customers in a profitable and efficient way – in the fitting room.

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  • Posted on: 10/13/2016

    HSN and QVC shop for retail store space

    Just like internet sales, QVC and HSN battle high returns. Twenty to 50 percent of online sales are returned and 70 percent of the apparel returned is due to fit issues.People try and buy whether that's in the store or at home. If they don't like what they see and/or try in a store it's there for the next shopper to pick up. If they don't like what they see and/or try when they're at home it goes back to the retailer at a much higher cost and is rarely able to be resold.Bottom line -- it's much more profitable for high-return items like apparel to be sold in-store.
  • Posted on: 10/13/2016

    Will greeters make Penney a more inviting place to shop?

    Is greeting the customer a good idea? Yes, if you have all of your other customer engagement bases covered! Will it sell more stuff, especially clothing? No!Apparel department store retailers need to engage with customers where they are making their buying decisions -- in the fitting room!Take the payroll being used for the greeter initiative and make these people available to keep the fitting rooms clean and maybe even offer some help. Your customers will love shopping in your stores and you'll sell more. I guarantee it!
  • Posted on: 06/20/2016

    Winning digital minds, analog hearts

    The fit experience for apparel retailers will never be successfully satisfied digitally. Shopping may be digital, but the decision to buy is still an analog process requiring the customer to try on before saying, "Yes, I'm going to buy this garment."Customers won't decide to buy until they have tried on an article of clothing, either at home or in the store's fitting room. Between 20 and 50% of apparel purchased online is returned. 70% of that is returned because of fit issues.It's not that virtual fitting shouldn't be allowed, it's that it's simply will never really work, and the resulting returns will always be a fact of life.
  • Posted on: 06/20/2016

    Why aren’t retailers closing more stores?

    I agree with Paula 100%! It’s not that there’s too much brick and mortar retail, it’s that there’s too much of some retailers.Brick and mortar needs to focus on making the customer glad that they made the trip and provide them with an experience that makes their buying decision easier and more enjoyable.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2016

    Walmart Canada to stop taking Visa at the checkout

    Who's running the show up there? First it's getting rid of fitting rooms, now it's limiting purchase options. What's next?Walmart is definitely going to be the loser with these moves. Limiting customers ability to buy is not a smart or sustainable strategy.
  • Posted on: 06/13/2016

    How can online returns be minimized?

    Customers need to try on their selections in order to make their final buying decision. Of the 30 to 50% of apparel purchased online, 70% get returned due to fit issues.Restricting customers from returning items and labeling them as serial returners when they buy more than one size of something and return the rest is ridiculous. They do that hoping to find something that fits! Standardized sizing and virtual dressing rooms can help, but they will never replace actually trying something on for fit, feel, and look.Online returns, especially for apparel, are never going to go away. Ever.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2016

    Does Walmart need fitting rooms?

    All I can say is, WOW! Evidently Walmart thinks that their customers are different from the rest of the world who need to try on clothes before they make a buying decision. They evidently are hoping that more people just give away or throw away clothes that don't fit once they try them on at home rather than returning them to the store which costs them lots of money in payroll and margin.There's only two reasons people use fitting rooms; to make a buying decision or to steal something. Does Walmart believe that their customers mostly use the fitting room to steal rather than make a buying decision?As our ongoing research confirms time and again, the biggest mover of apparel retail conversion is fitting room usage. Period.Walmart would be better served to clean up their fitting room act by creating a clean and secure fitting room environment. They would not only reduce any shrink problems, I guarantee they would sell more.

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