Re­tail needs some ther­apy

The Advertiser - Careers - - Advice -

CLOTH­ING re­tail­ers need to step up their cus­tomer ser­vice in the wake of re­search show­ing em­ploy­ees in the sec­tor have the worst skills of any in the ser­vice in­dus­try.

A study by mys­tery shop­ping com­pany Ser­vice In­tegrity finds spe­cialty re­tail­ers pro­vide the best cus­tomer ser­vice.

Mys­tery shop­pers found that 86 per cent of busi­nesses they sur­veyed pro­vided a good ex­pe­ri­ence. That com­pares with 70 per cent of cloth­ing re­tail­ers who make the grade.

The re­search was un­der­taken at bank­ing, ac­com­mo­da­tion, au­to­mo­tive, phar­macy, fast food and re­tail or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Di­rec­tor Steven Di Pi­etro says mys­tery shop­pers find work­ers in re­tail spend too much time on other tasks and are for­get­ting to put cus­tomers’ needs in prime po­si­tion. ‘‘ In light of the strong growth in on­line shop­ping and the sub­se­quent de­cline in re­tail sales, busi­nesses should be pri­ori­tis­ing cus­tomer ser­vice, which would in turn in­crease rev­enue,’’ he says.

‘‘ Our re­search proves busi­nesses across the board are in­vest­ing too much time in clean­ing stores and en­sur­ing staff are well-pre­sented, when really they should be di­rect­ing their ef­forts at im­prov­ing the sales process or per­fect­ing prod­uct knowl­edge.’’

Busi­nesses are fail­ing in the cat­e­gory ‘‘ un­der­stand­ing cus­tomer needs’’ but ex­celling in ‘‘ vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing’’.

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