Every day in shopping centres around Australia, shoppers are constantly exposed to poor levels of customer service and supposed ‘sales staff’ who are more interested in being on Facebook, texting their friends or gossiping with work colleagues than they are in actually serving the customers.
No wonder shoppers continue to flock online for their purchasing. Online sales are still growing at twice the speed of sales in stores despite recent research from the NAB online retail sales Index indicating that online sales are slowing somewhat when compared to the last few years.
With the online stores doubling the performance of the in-store experience, it seems there are fewer and fewer companies that take their customer service seriously.
“With some big retailers promising customers they will ‘find wonderful’ inside the walls of their stores, many shoppers would be happy to just find ‘average’, or even ONE person who will serve them. In this environment, ‘wonderful’ seems like a stretch and consumers are voting with their credit cards and leaving retail stores in their droves,” explains Roger Simpson, a retail customer service expert who is on a mission to turn the plight of lazy retailers around.
And he’s got his work cut out for him! Several reports by Rightnow Research show a disturbing trend when it comes to poor levels of customer service
93% of customers say that their customer service experience was underwhelming
82% of customers have stopped doing business with a company due to a poor customer service experience
33% of consumers believe businesses are paying less attention to providing good customer service
55% of customers are willing to recommend a company due to outstanding service more so than product or price.
“The problem of poor service lies fair and square with management” says Roger, CEO of The Retail Solution.
“Unfortunately the vast majority of retailers simply don’t focus on the customer, which leaves them as the victim of poor service, a lack lustre shopping experience and a heightened desire to not be treated like that again. They simply vote with their credit card and head online.”
Roger is often asked how a retail outlet can turn things around – and sadly, it’s not easy and must start at the top.
“It’s all about getting management to realise they have a problem with their service and then focussing on it. Every retailer can offer great service to their customers, and it’s not that hard,” says Roger.
“Customers love a great experience and because it’s so rare, they’ll tell all their friends about how great it was. It also helps to bring the customers BACK to the retail outlet because the store has become this ‘beacon of hope’ in the consumers experience and they want to experience that level of service again. So it’s a win/win for everyone, customers are happy, staff enjoy their job and retailers will increase their sales and employ more Australians who help keep the money in Australia.”
Roger Simpson is the CEO of Retail Solutions