Current Customers News and Events

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Suggesting healthy food 'swaps' to online shoppers may reduce the calories they buy
Suggesting healthy food 'swaps' to online shopping customers may effectively reduce the calories they buy, according to simulation study. (2021-02-17)

Study questions whether pubs can effectively prevent COVID-19 transmission risk
A new first-of-its-kind study has questioned whether pub operators can effectively and consistently prevent COVID-19 transmission - after researchers observed risks arising in licensed premises last summer. (2021-02-15)

Solar awnings over parking lots help companies and customers
Michigan Tech engineers look into the untapped potential of parking lots in a study that investigates the energy-related benefits of developing charging stations powered with solar canopies built into the parking infrastructure of large-scale retailers like Walmart. (2021-02-10)

Shining a light on the true value of solar power
Utility companies have worried that solar panels drive up electric costs for the people who don't have panels. Michigan Tech renewable energy researchers show the opposite is actually true -- grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) owners are actually subsidizing their non-PV neighbors. (2021-02-09)

Good customer service can lead to higher profits, even for utilities without competition
New research finds that satisfied customers mean increased profits even for public utilities that don't face competition. It found that customer satisfaction does not lead to increased profits via higher rates or greater demand suggests current regulatory controls are effective. The findings suggest regulators should view investments in customer satisfaction as recoverable costs. (2021-02-02)

When salespeople advocate for sellers and customers
The most favorable outcomes result when the salesperson engages in high levels of both customer advocacy and seller advocacy. (2021-01-08)

Businesses stand to benefit from sustainable restructuring
Is it profitable for a company to switch to sustainable production? Researchers conclude that it probably often is. (2021-01-06)

When genetic data meets marketing
The use of genetic data has much potential for marketing purposes, but also poses serious threats. (2020-12-17)

Crowdfunding can affect consumer product choices -- especially when the products do good
A new study from the UBC Sauder School of Business shows that people will pay far more for social good items when they're crowdfunded. (2020-12-16)

Eyebuy: Sweeping glances can cost you money
When Christmas shopping, customers should keep their eyes unter control. As a study by researchers from Austria, Germany and UK shows, visual attention can be strongly influenced during shopping with very simple interventions. The researchers report in the Journal of Consumer Research that unplanned purchases can even double as a result. (2020-12-08)

When consumers trust AI recommendations--or resist them
The key factor in deciding how to incorporate AI recommenders is whether consumers are focused on the functional and practical aspects of a product (its utilitarian value) or on the experiential and sensory aspects of a product (its hedonic value). (2020-11-25)

Predicting urban water needs
New Stanford research uses Zillow and census data combined with machine learning to identify residential water consumption based on housing characteristics. The approach could help cities better understand water use and design water-efficient communities. (2020-11-18)

Pharmacy dropboxes can help improve proper drug disposal, PSU study finds
Drug take-back boxes are a safe and secure way to dispose of unwanted medications, but a new Portland State University study shows awareness of these dropboxes as well as knowledge about risks of improper disposal remain low. (2020-11-16)

Boosting returns on e-commerce retargeting campaigns
Delivering ECR ads too early can engender worse purchase rates than without delivering them, thus wasting online advertising budgets. (2020-11-13)

You drive like a girl: Study shows gender bias in perceptions of ride-sharing performance
While digital brokerages provide a more efficient method for the exchange of goods and services and an improved way for consumers to voice their opinions about the quality of work they receive, bias and discrimination can emerge as part of the review process, according to Notre Dame research. (2020-11-09)

How fear encourages physical distancing during pandemic
Despite guidelines plastered on the walls and floors of grocery and retail stores encouraging customers to maintain six-feet of physical distance during the pandemic, many do not. A new study by researchers at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management identifies two key messaging components that could improve the persuasiveness of those appeals and trigger compliance. (2020-10-21)

Closing the market for fake documents on the open web
New cybersecurity research reveals the shocking number of vendors selling passports and identification documents online. (2020-10-14)

The distance local energy goes to bring power to the people
A study published today in the journal Frontiers in Sustainability by the University of California, Davis, sheds light on the lengths alternative energy providers go to bring electrical power to customers. (2020-10-12)

Overpriced? TUD researchers explain artificial price increases in the taxi app Uber
How exactly does the strategy of the artificial price increases in the taxi app Uber work and when is it used? This is what Dr. Malte Schröder and Professor Marc Timme from the Chair for Network Dynamics at the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden (cfaed) and the Institute for Theoretical Physics at TU Dresden have been investigating alongside PhD students David-Maximilian Storch and Philip Marszal. The two researchers published a study in the journal Nature Communications. (2020-09-24)

Better customer care on Twitter leads to nearly 20% increase in customer satisfaction
Social media has forever changed our society and how people do business. A 2013 report by J.D. Power found nearly two-thirds of customers have used a company's social media site to connect with customer service. New research in the INFORMS journal Information Systems Research finds businesses that use Twitter as a social care channel are seeing a 19% increase in customer satisfaction. (2020-09-03)

Bus drivers more likely to let white customers ride for free
A new paper in The Economic Journal finds that bus drivers are more likely to let white riders ride for free and less likely to let Black riders ride without paying the fee. (2020-09-02)

Algorithm aims to alert consumers before they use illicit online pharmacies
In a study, a team of Penn State researchers report that an algorithm they developed may be able to spot illicit online pharmacies that could be providing customers with substandard medications without their knowledge, among other potential problems. (2020-08-28)

Researchers explore how retail drone delivery may change logistics networks
Three UT Dallas researchers found that last-mile delivery networks will become more decentralized and the delivery speed of the drones will increase as the technology matures. (2020-08-28)

A government program that reduces mortgage defaults
Lower-income households that received mortgages through state affordable mortgage programs were less likely to default or foreclose than similar households that received conventional financing, a national study found. Researchers examined the outcomes of homeownership programs administered by Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs), which are state chartered agencies operating in all 50 states that work to provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income households. (2020-08-27)

Restaurant customers frown on automatic gratuities, particularly after good service
Automatic gratuities leave restaurant patrons with a bad taste, even when the meal and the service were excellent, new research from Washington State University indicates. (2020-08-10)

New research may help identify sex trafficking networks
Characterizing traits of online activity may help to rescue victims of sex trafficking. While scientists have tried to help pinpoint outfits participating in trafficking, few scientific studies have looked of how the digital infrastructure behind the online sex market operates. A paper from Mayank Kejriwal, a research assistant professor at the USC Information Sciences Institute and Yao Gu (currently at Amazon) provides some insights on the specific digital practices of potential sex trafficking networks. (2020-08-10)

The costs and benefits of addressing customer complaints
Developing a strategy to achieve an optimal recovery-loyalty yield is more advantageous than adopting the mantra that the customer is always right. (2020-08-07)

Boycotts or buycotts? The role of corporate activism
Sociopolitical activism may risk backlash, but it may also lead to tangible positive financial outcomes, particularly when aligned with key stakeholder values. (2020-08-03)

New method to defend against smart home cyber attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
According to their new study published in Computers & Security, the ability to launch massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks via a botnet of compromised devices is an exponentially growing risk in the Internet of Things (IoT). Such massive attacks, possibly emerging from IoT devices in home networks, impact the attack target, as well as the infrastructure of telecommunication service providers (telcos). (2020-08-03)

Bargaining and the three-way transaction defines the daily deal market
If you've ever taken advantage of a nice discount thanks to a promotion from Groupon or LivingSocial, you've tapped the power of the daily deal market yourself. You, the consumer, benefited from the prior bargaining that took place between that big online platform and the merchant, resulting in a lower price for you. (2020-08-03)

The price of taking a stance: How corporate sociopolitical activism impacts bottom line
More businesses are taking a stand on controversial sociopolitical issues, and new research out of the University of Arizona sheds light on how those stances can impact the bottom line. Nooshin Warren with the Eller College of Management says the effects depend on a company's stakeholders, including customers, employees and state regulators. (2020-06-29)

Looking for better customer engagement value? Be more strategic on social media
According to a new study from the University of Vaasa and University of Cyprus, the mere use of social media alone does not generate customer value, but rather, the connections and interactions between the firm and its customers -- as well as among customers themselves -- can be used strategically for resource transformation and exchanges between the interacting parties. The study was recently published in one of the world's leading journals in marketing field -- Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. (2020-06-25)

Why businesses should offer free trials to existing customers
Offering free trials to existing customers might seem counterintuitive, but new research shows it can increase sales. (2020-06-19)

What's the secret behind the world's stickiest brands?
Sticky customer journeys do not arise from consistently good customer experiences -- instead, they are intentionally chaotic, maddening, and unpredictable. (2020-05-27)

Reducing neighborhood crime: Place management of alcohol outlets
Recent research suggests that neighborhood crime may be reduced by enhancing 'place management' resources in and around off-premise alcohol sales outlets, particularly at small and independent stores. (2020-05-25)

How to win back customer defectors
The positive outcomes of customer reacquisition more than offset the costs. Successful reacquisition management, though, requires a failure-tolerant company culture and guidelines. (2020-05-07)

Study on firms' return policies offers guidance on pricing, returns, refunds
A new study examined the decisions around the pricing and return policies of a retailer with both stores and online sales to help explain why some firms opt to fully refund customers for their returns while others charge a fee for online returns. The findings offer guidance to retailers about pricing and policies on returns and refunds. (2020-04-30)

Delivery drones instead of postal vans? Study reveals drones still consume too much energy
When delivering parcels, drones often have a poorer energy balance than traditional delivery vans, as shown by a new study conducted at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. In densely populated areas, drones consume comparatively high amounts of energy and their range is strongly influenced by wind conditions. In rural areas, however, they may be able to compete with diesel-powered delivery vans. The study has been published in the journal Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment. (2020-04-22)

Business-to-business customers expect personal service in online chat
Companies engaged in business-to-business (B2B) sales are also increasingly moving their activities online, but their online chat services and customer interaction have not been studied much yet. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland shows that the nature of social presence in B2B online chat dialogues varied depending on the stage of the customer relationship. (2020-04-17)

Artificial intelligence can help some businesses but may not work for others
The temptation for businesses to use artificial intelligence and other technology to improve performance, drive down labor costs, and better the bottom line is understandable. But before pursuing automation that could put the jobs of human employees at risk, it is important that business owners take careful stock of their operations. (2020-03-31)

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