Industry Research : 62% UK Customers "Get Angry" When Kept Waiting
Apr 10, 2013 -- Waiting for too long, and mistakes on part of the service providers seem to be the most annoying things that customers in UK experience while shopping. According to recent research from Verint, 62% customers get angry if they are kept waiting too long to have their requests or issues dealt with.
The research shows how consumer shopping habits and expectations are changing. For example, as many as 45% of UK consumers say service is more important than price despite the economic climate. Apart from kept waiting, 61% customers also get angry if mistakes are made. These points are particularly important to note as consumers continue to turn to online retailing for purchases. The largest annoyance of customers in the retail sector is ‘ordering mistakes’ at 19%
Verint warns that retailers need to act upon these trends and provide a consistent experience across all shopping channels. With no face-to-face contact with online retail for example, it’s important that when consumers email queries or call the contact centre, they are dealt with instantaneously.
Social media is also a big opportunity for retailers. In the Verint survey, 32% of customers admit to posting positive and negative experiences of brands on social media sites, so these channels can provide a wealth of information on the consumer experience and what they want. Surprisingly, customers are reluctant to check price comparison websites to get better deals (39% never do this), which further supports how customer service is the key to increase retention and customer loyalty, rather than focusing on pricing alone.
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How can retailers respond? Using technology to resolve mistakes made and reduce wait times to improve customer service is one of the best things to do. Apart from that, retailers should collect and analyse customer feedback via multiple channels including emails, surveys and social media to act upon comments and react to rising customer demands.
Retailers should ensure enough staff are available to handle large volumes of customers whether online or in-store through enhanced workforce planning, and should engage with customers directly through all channels including those that are ambivalent or remain indifferent about the service received
Steve Rosier, Director of Analytics, EMEA at Verint, said, "In light of the recent BRC sales figures, it’s important to remember that the customer is still king and more should be done to cater to their particular requirements to boost sales. We recently found that 45% of UK consumers rate customer service over price with 27% changing providers if they have a poor experience. If they are not doing so already, retailers must invest in listening to the voices of their customers and ensure that they receive a consistent experience no matter what retail channel they use. They need to find out what consumers really want, need and expect; where they get and share their information; and where processes such as long wait times and account errors are failing. With 34% never making contact with retailers in the last 6 months, the retail industry must also face up to the challenge of unlocking the feedback from those that aren’t talking or remain indifferent about the service received, as well as the invisible. We urge brands to place service at the heart of their customer retention efforts. Until then, it will remain challenging for retailers to boost sales and beat the competition.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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