A study just out about retail customer dissatisfaction reveals that shoppers feel they get lousy service at retail stores.
Bob Phipps, “The Retail Doctor,” in his March e-newsletter, summarizes the findings of the study that was conducted by the Wharton School. One third of people surveyed reported that they were unable to find someone to help them while they were shopping. Yep. Been there, done that. (All too frequently, I might add.)
Another 25 percent said that even when they located store employees, they were no help. Ah, yes, that also sounds familiar.
One in four consumers who experienced problems while shopping said they were ignored by sales staff, receiving not so much as a smile, a greeting or even eye contact.
My thoughts wander to the time my husband and I were buying a carpet. During many trips to a home improvement retailer, not one sales associate asked if we needed help. Never happened. And, we repeatedly looked for someone to assist us.
There was such a dearth of employees around that, on several occasions, we walked out of the store with large sample boards under our arms. To this day, we have no idea whether we were supposed to do that, but nobody ever questioned us as we left the store carrying them in open site.
Several years ago, a friend wanted to buy a dress from an Atlanta department store. After trying and trying to get someone to help her, she finally hoisted the dress up over her shoulder and attempted to carry it out of the store. As she approached the security area, she said in a loud voice that she was taking the dress. Of course, when the alarms rang, sales associates came running. They were ready to arrest her, but they hadn’t wanted to assist her. Before they hauled her off to the pokey, she explained and no charges were filed.
To shoppers, it seems a simple problem to solve. But apparently it is not because everybody I know has at least one similar tale.