Did you hear?... Studies highlight missteps at retail

Customers lost to a bad experience in your store can translate into dollars lost in your till. What's ticking them off? In a nutshell, crappy customer service, as evidenced by stats from several surveys on the subject.
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Customers you may lose after a bad experience in your store can translate into more lost dollars than you might imagine. What's ticking customers off? In a nutshell, awful customer service, as evidenced by stats from several surveys on the subject.

Nearly half of shoppers said they avoided certain stores after a bad experience, according to a survey which interviewed more than 1,000 shoppers and was released last year by a group within the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. And, they will tell an average of four people about poor customer service, according to the survey.

The most common complaints were a lack of convenient parking and having to wait to pay or be served, the survey reported. Other complaints included having a difficult time finding items in a cluttered store and rude or unhelpful employees.

A recent poll of 309 executives at companies in the United States, Europe, Asia and Africa, conducted by global research and consulting firm Strativity Group, found 81 percent did not know how much business customer complaints were costing them.

The same poll also found that 70 percent of the executives surveyed said customer strategies are more important now than they used to be, while only 34 percent of the executives believe their employees have the tools and authority necessary to solve customer concerns.

Finally, a recent Yankelovich market research firm study found that only 49 percent of shoppers view shopping as relaxing and enjoyable compared to 56 percent in its 2000 survey.

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