Shoppers won’t put up with bad service, survey warns

Sydney, Australia.

Posted March 01, 2011 | By Sonia Nair. Jewellery Magazine

Retailers are the businesses most susceptible to consumers changing their mind as a result of poor customer service, according to a global survey. Accenture’s 2010 Global Consumer Research study showed that 26 per cent of global consumers switched retailer due to poor customer service – the highest figure across all industries.

The retail industry was followed by banks, internet service providers and wireless as well as cell phone companies.

The study found satisfaction with customer service has decreased since 2009. Areas of complaint include the time consumers have to wait to be served, time taken to resolve problems, polite and friendly employees, as well as knowledgeable and well-informed staff.

54 per cent of global consumers said they are not willing to compromise on levels of customer service, product options, product quality and frequency of communications with companies in exchange for lower prices.

Importance of going online
In a further indication that jewellery retailers should not ignore the online medium, 77 per cent of global consumers said the use of technology improved their shopping experience.

Technology in this case includes e-mail advertisements, online banners, product comparison tools, live internet chatrooms and self-service options on websites.

The study also showed that maintaining a social media page is as important as a retailer’s official company website. One in four respondents said they trust online comments made by people they know.

Word of mouth remains the most important way businesses can market themselves.

The study showed that 76 per cent of respondents use word of mouth as a way to obtain information while 56 per cent consider word of mouth to be the most important factor when deciding to do business with a service provider.

The Accenture annual survey covers consumers across different geographies and industries and analyses their experiences and behaviours. The 2010 Accenture Global Consumer Research assessed consumer attitudes of 5,800 people in 17 countries.

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