Despite an overwhelming preference for in-store shopping, consumers are being turned off to high street retail by low customer service levels, new research released today reveals.
In a survey conducted by customer intelligence company Market Force, electrical retailers had the lowest customer service satisfaction score of any service industry with just 2.24 per cent of shoppers left happy.
Clothing retailers scored only 2.69 per cent, supermarkets polled 6.10 per cent, local convenience stores received 6.48 per cent backing from consumers, while department stores got the highest score of any retail business type with 9.72 per cent left satisfied.
Of those surveyed 41 per cent said that their biggest frustration with store staff is a lack of interest in their needs and wants, and despite more than three quarter of people preferring bricks and mortar shopping to online as a many as 88 per cent will leave a shop if service is poor.
Tim Ogle, CEO at Market Force Europe, commented: “Good customer service doesn’t have to be expensive. Small, inexpensive changes can have an oversize impact on whether someone buys in your shop and how much they spend.
“For example, our research shows eight out of ten shoppers want to be taken to a product when asking about its location. It’s these little gems of insight that turn a question into a sale.”
Retailers are increasingly realising that in order to make their bricks and mortar offer as compelling as their online platforms they have to improve the experience of visiting their stores.
This morning the UK’s largest retailer Tesco announced a huge recruitment drive, which in part is in reaction to a perceived drop in the supermarket chain’s service levels in recent years.
Several simple service techniques could be employed by businesses to boost trading it seems, with Market Force also finding that 59 per cent of shoppers like products to be recommended to them by staff members.
Although shoppers like to have a personal service, they also seem open to new technologies which cut out staff interaction, with 63 per cent saying they like to use self-service machine and 49 per cent in favour of contactless payments.
In a warning to retailers keen to make more transactions automated however, the research shows that 37 per cent of consumers feel they should pay less when using self-service checkouts.
Compared to other industries retail appears to be struggling to please its consumers at present, with banks (10.8 per cent), restaurants/pubs (28.3 per cent), and hotels (31.5 per cent) all scoring higher customer satisfaction levels in the Market Force survey.
Ogle added: “These findings should be a wakeup call to retailers looking for cost effective ways to grow their business.”
Filed under: Chain Stores, Convenience Store, CRM, Department Store, News & Articles, Retail Formats, Retail Management, Retail Verticals, Supermarket/Hypermarket | Tagged: bricks and mortar, convenience stores, Customer, customer service level, customer service satisfaction score, Department Stores, market force, retailers, Shoppers, supermarkets, Tesco | 1 Comment »