Poor retail staff training costs billions in lost trade

Retailers
in home entertainment, white goods, computing and DIY could be losing up to
£8bn worth of sales per year, partly because of poor staff training, research
reveals.

A
survey of consumer attitudes by the Birmingham Business School, reveals that
overall, 43 per cent of customers were less than enthusiastic about service
levels. This figure rose to between 56 per cent and 61 per cent in some
electrical superstores and DIY outlets.

As
a result of either being ignored or treated to a poor level of customer
service, 84 per cent of customers who left stores empty handed said they’d go
and buy from a different retailer.

In
most cases, staff were ill prepared to answer queries and provide customised
help. Others recommended their employers’ rivals to get customers off their
backs.

One
researcher posing as a ‘mystery shopper’ in a well-known superstore even had to
wait while a couple of sales assistants finished kissing.

The
survey, which was commissioned by Blue Martini Software and IT services company
Conchango, included 76 mystery-shopper store visits, 637 exit interviews, and
65 mystery-shopper telephone calls in locations ranging from Bournemouth to
Warrington, Newcastle to Norwich and Manchester to Milton Keynes.

By Daniel Thomas

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