Company News • 27.05.2013
Friendly retail staff draw 40% more from customers' wallets
Latest research has shown that if customers are served with a smile they are likely to spend 40% more than those who did not receive what they regard as satisfactory assistance in store.
A new report by customer insight agency SMG, which analyses the opinions and purchasing patterns of 359,000 UK customers, found that UK shoppers' average spend jumps from £21.73 to £30.41 when shoppers have a positive in store experience.
Staff assistance was found to be the greatest influence on overall satisfaction with 43% of survey respondents claiming it was the biggest driver of an excellent experience. Staff knowledge was also a highly influential factor with product recommendations increasing basket size by 15%.
Even when assistance was not given, friendly interaction from staff on the shop floor led to 32% of respondents rating their experience at the shops as satisfactory or higher.
SMG managing director Jeremy Michael said: "The struggles of the retail sector in this gloomy economic period have been well documented. However, the SMG Customer Satisfaction Index should provide great hope as it indicates customers are willing to spend significantly more if provided with quality service."
The research also revealed a growing trend of browsing online before buying in store. Nearly 50% of those under 18 said they pre-shopped on the internet before sealing the deal on the High Street. This compared to the national average of 30%, and just 17% of the over-55s.
Internet browsing also increased eventual till spend by 15%, highlighting the need for brands to offer a seamless digital and physical experience.
Michael continued: "The statistics show that customers who begin their shopping experience online before buying in-store spend more money. Consequently retailers must not see the industry as a battle between digital and physical, but a potentially lucrative combination of the two.
"The in-store experience needs to offer something the internet can’t provide such as personalised human interaction. Stores should prioritise equipping staff with the knowledge and training techniques needed to ensure customers are assisted successfully, knowing doing so will increase spend."
Of the regions, Tyne and Wear and Derbyshire recorded the joint-highest satisfaction score of 6.8 out of 10. In contrast, London and Berkshire ranked amongst the lowest with scores of 6.1 and 5.5 respectively.