There is no doubt that in recent years the retail industry has had to evolve in line with changing consumer habits. However, recent research shows that online shopping isn’t the only factor to blame for dwindling customer footfall in retail stores.
Retailers spend millions every year in advertising and marketing in order to attract customers and encourage them into their stores. Yet, customers are increasingly being driven online due to poor customer service. Our research showed that the majority of customers did not feel as though they received an excellent level of customer service from a number of customer-facing industries, with retailers at the bottom of the heap.
Customer service is a key differentiator in a highly competitive market. Today’s consumer is busier than ever, and if they have to wait several minutes for employees to answer questions, process complaints or offer product information they won’t be keen to return. Effective employee training is a must, this gives retail employees the confidence and knowledge to advise and assist customers during the purchasing process.
Who's getting training wrong?
In a time where it's more important than ever to encourage customers to continue to shop on the high street, it is disappointing to see retailers failing to provide a good level of customer service. A breakdown of the retail figures highlighted that homeware stores, high street electrical shops and sportswear retailers came off worst, with only 17-24% of customers happy with the level of customer services they offered.
Getting it right
Restaurants, pubs and vehicle repair chains all came out in greater favour than retailers in terms of customer service. Of the industries that we studied the Post Office and high street banks came out on top in terms of excellent customer service with 44% of their customers in agreement. However, these stats show that there is still plenty of room for improvement across the board.