NRF Survey Says Retailers/Customers Not In Synch
By Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 1/24/2005 12:00:00 AM
New York —
While merchants and their customers believe that superior customer service is extremely important, the two differ on the most important customer service elements, according to a new survey released at the National Retail Federation's annual Convention and Expo.
The national survey was conducted by the NRF Foundation, an arm of the National Retail Federation, and the American Express Company.
According to the survey, all merchants believe that customer service is extremely important and 55 percent believe they have become more committed to customer service. However, stores also acknowledge that their customers do not feel that merchant commitment has changed.
When asked what customers thought was important, many merchants overestimated the value of certain service elements. For example, while 61 percent of merchants thought customers would say it was extremely important for store employees to be well educated about the merchandise, only 52 percent of customers cited that factor as being very important.
Additionally, 44 percent of merchants thought their customers would find it extremely important that employees get to know customers, while only 25 percent of customers saw it as extremely valuable. More than a third of merchants (35 percent) thought their customers would place a high importance on the quality of merchandise offered, though only one in five consumers felt quality was extremely important.
The study also found that retailers put extra emphasis on customer service elements that are not as important to shoppers, as well as underestimating the importance of others that are very important to their customers. Nearly three out of four customers (71 percent) are extremely concerned with accurate item prices though only 58 percent of retailers saw accurate pricing as critically important to customers.
Additionally, three out of four shoppers (73 percent) felt that it was extremely important that retailers not share information with other companies, though only 59 percent of retailers saw this as important to shoppers.
Staffing levels was another area where gaps existed between retailers and consumers. While only 31 percent of retailers felt it was extremely important to customers that their stores were staffed with an adequate number of employees, 47 percent of customers thought that aspect was extremely important.
We would love your feedback!