Consumers ‘expect better retail experience’

New research has found that one in five consumers think that retail standards have declined in the last year, while over half believe that retailers could improve their store experience by listening to customer feedback.

As a result of poor experiences, some customers take their business elsewhere, with a better in-store experience (35 per cent), better delivery options (26 per cent), and targeted promotions (26 per cent) key factors in their decision to switch, according to the Engage Hub research.

Some 48 per cent of consumers believed that good communication was having the biggest impact on their overall experience. This was along with how positively they dealt with a complaint (37 per cent) and where they were treated like an individual (34 per cent).

Despite 73 per cent of consumers believing that retailers consider the customer’s experience to be an important part of the service they deliver, a third noted that the feedback they give is either infrequently, or never acted upon. And 42 per cent believe that being seen to take feedback on board would improve their experience with retailers.

Furthermore, 62 per cent of consumers have seen that technology has had a positive effect on customer experience. Just 13 per cent percent believed that an over-reliance on technology had made the customer experience worse, indicating that in the main, technology is being deployed effectively by retailers to interact and engage with their customers.

Simon Brennan, vice president sales Europe at Engage Hub, commented, “Retailers are under incredible pressure to innovate with their customer service and loyalty programmes, and it’s concerning to see so many people say that their experience is going in the wrong direction. Not only that, but when they speak out about poor customer service, feedback isn’t always being taken on board.

“How retailers manage their customers’ experience is becoming a key competitive differentiator as the complexity of how it needs to be delivered increases. From tailoring offers to individual consumers with targeted campaigns, to a better range of delivery options, it’s crucial for customer experience professionals to better understand how the right customer experience will drive better loyalty.”

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