Poor customer service is driving shoppers to abandon their purchases and head straight to another store, according to research by Indyme, a real-time shopper engagement specialist.
The study reveals that 70% of UK shoppers have walked out of an outlet due to a lack of assistance, with almost all of them leaving behind goods worth more than £20 and 40 per cent leaving shopping worth more than £30. Of those that voted with their feet, 90% of them purchased from another outlet instead.
Terry Clancy, commercial director Western Europe at Indyme, said: “Retailers simply can’t afford to be complacent. Shoppers have an abundance of choice, not only on the high street, but also online – and they’re more demanding than ever. They don’t part with their cash lightly, so if they feel they’re getting poor value for money – and that includes customer service – they’ll simply go elsewhere.”
And the research underlines that good service is a must for many shoppers with more than three quarters (78%) believing it to be an important element of their shopping experience. While a quarter of respondents insisted it is the most important factor. In fact, the Indyme research reveals that potential customers only linger for five minutes before heading out of the shop if store staff are inattentive.
Clancy said: “These findings point to some stores potentially losing thousands of pounds worth of sales every year, not because shoppers can’t find what they’re looking for, but because staff are failing to engage correctly with customers. It’s important to remember that if a shopper abandons a purchase because of poor staff engagement, that shopper is unlikely to give the store a second chance – and they frequently pass on their bad service experience to friends and family. Conversely creating a positive customer service and shopping experience encourages loyalty and reduce churn. Finding a way that empowers store staff with awareness of when and where shoppers desire assistance can greatly increase shopper engagement and ongoing satisfaction.”