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Retail Customer Service Still Counts

According to this recent study from the Axsium Group and Empathica, over 50% of North American retail shoppers do not feel that employees appear to be genuinely interested in serving them.  Eighty percent of respondents indicated a positive impact on their shopping experience when staff appear motivated and eager to serve them.  According to the study, "At one retail client, customers who were offered a helpful suggestion of an additional product to the initial product they were considering experienced higher rates of satisfaction and had a basket size 31 percent larger than those who did not receive a suggestion during their store visit."

So what do retailers need to do differently to create a more engaging (and higher value) shopping experience for their customers?  The key finding of the aforementioned study is that well trained and engaged employees are the principal driver of customer experience and higher per customer spend.  Creating those well trained and engaged employees begins with hiring people who are interested in doing the jobs.  Their managers need the tools to onboard them, train them and coach them.  Providing them with flexible schedule options is another key driver to retaining them.

In this recent Stores story about JoS. A. Bank, Andrea Boling, vice president of human resources discusses the various ways in which Kronos has helped them improve not only the efficiency of their hiring process, but also improved the job fit of the candidates they hire.  She cites the following returns on their implementation of the Kronos Workforce Talent Acquisition solution:

  • 27 percent reduction in turnover of retail employees
  • Increased employee productivity
  • A one- to three-day reduction in time-to-hire
  • Average sales associate tenure rose from 2.2 years to 3.4 years
  • Store managers who had been with the company for less than a year dropped from 22.2 percent to 16.9 percent
  • Net sales during this period increased 23.3 percent

I recently blogged about highs and lows in my recent retail experiences.  What are your stories from the trenches?

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