SOURCE: Luxury Institute

January 22, 2008 11:00 ET

Luxury Institute Releases Latest WealthSurvey: Customer Engagement Best Practices in Policies & Procedures

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 22, 2008) - The Luxury Institute today released its latest WealthSurvey to more than 160 elite Luxury Board corporate member firms ( The first of two Customer Engagement surveys asked high net-worth consumers to rate the importance of different Customer Engagement practices in the following four categories:

--  Customer Data Best Practices
--  Problem Resolution Best Practices
--  Returns and Refunds Best Practices
--  Sales Best Practices

Below are key best practices directly from the voice of wealthy consumers:

Customer Data Best Practices

On a 0-10 scale ("10" = most important, "0" = least important), the wealthy assign an average importance level of 9.12 to companies not sharing customer data with outside parties without the customer's permission.

Problem Resolution Best Practices

Forget rigid rules. Customers demand individual attention and are not interested in hearing how company policies and procedures get in the way of their satisfaction. Wealthy consumers want frontline employees to be empowered to make immediate decisions to resolve problems.

Returns and Refunds Best Practices

Wealthy consumers say it is important (8.95) that returns are fast, easy and convenient, that products are taken back without question (8.70), and that companies allow product returns via all contact points, regardless of the channel through which the product was originally purchased (8.46).

Nordstrom stands head-and-shoulders above other luxury firms for having customer-friendly return policies. On an unaided basis, more than 8.1 percent of wealthy respondents (68 out of 832) name Nordstrom as the brand with the best return/refund experience in the luxury goods space.

Sales Best Practices

In sales practices, consistency is what counts. Wealthy consumers assign high importance (8.29) to products, services, and policies being consistent across all sales channels. For example, they do not want to sacrifice the service or selection of a store when shopping online.

A national sample of 832 wealthy American consumers, with an average income of $338K and average net worth of $3.5 million, was surveyed online. Survey results are weighted to match demographic and net worth profiles of the same audience according to the latest Survey of Consumer Finances from The Federal Reserve.

This latest WealthSurvey, along with ten new surveys per year, a database of dozens of other consumer surveys, the Wealth Report newsletter, discounts on conferences and partner research, plus select networking with trusted qualified peers, are all available to members of the Luxury Board, an online community for Luxury Professionals who wish to learn how to best serve luxury consumers, for $995.00 per year.

About the Luxury Institute

The Luxury Institute is the uniquely independent and impartial ratings, research and executive education institution that is the trusted and respected voice of the high net-worth consumer. The Institute provides a portfolio of proprietary publications, research and courses that guides and educates high net-worth individuals and the companies that cater to them on leading edge trends, high net-worth consumer rankings and ratings of luxury brands, and best practices. The Luxury Institute also operates the Luxury Board (, the world's first global, membership-based online community for luxury goods and services executives, professionals and entrepreneurs. To reach the Luxury Institute, please call 646-792-2669 or go to

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