CustomerSatisfaction_Blog_504x309The main driver for retailers is, not unreasonably, to make a profit. Unfortunately the pressure to make that profit can actually get in the way of delivering good profits. When times are difficult retailers will be increasingly tempted to look at a wide array of methods to increase profits without thinking enough about any potentially negative impact on customers. Get it wrong and profits could be badly affected by customers taking their business elsewhere.

Reducing the risk

The first step to reducing risk is to ask one question before deciding to take any profit improvement action.  “How could this action potentially impact customers both positively and negatively?”  If you can’t answer the question don’t take the action.  Of course that’s easy for me to say but much harder for you to implement in a pressurised and hectic retail environment. However, it’s easier if you understand more about what customers really care about and what’s likely to put customers off buying a product, or even stop shopping in your stores.

So what things put shoppers off buying?

Even if you already have your own list have a look at ours.  It’s been built up by Pierhouse from a wide range of sources over several years and it is created from a customers perspective. It might be interesting to see how many of these points are already on your check list and if your list is longer or shorter.

1. “The number of times that I have to say sorry”

This could be due to:

  • Not being able to get down an aisle because it’s too narrow or has product intruding into the aisle space
  • The self service machine tells me I’ve made an error
  • I can’t see the price of a product and have to ask
  • I don’t understand an offer and have to ask
  • I thought that I understood an offer and got it wrong
  • Asking for a product that appears to be out of stock
  • Asking for more information about a product
  • The price seems to be different on the same product in other parts of the store
  • I have to return a faulty product

2. “Confusing pricing”

This could be due to:

  • The unit price being higher on a big pack than a smaller pack
  • Two different ways of measuring the price per unit on the same or similar products
  • Two different unit sizes in the same store
  • A promotion that says something like “good value” when it obviously isn’t
  • The price has changed dramatically since I last visited the store
  • I have seen the product much cheaper elsewhere
  • The offer price is higher than the usual price
  • The signage is so confusing that I don’t know what the actual price is
  • There are no prices on or near the product

3. “Wasting my time”

This could be due to:

  • Long checkout queues
  • Waiting for store staff to deal with a question
  • Not being able to locate the product I wanted
  • Not being able to find products related to the one I wanted to buy
  • Trying to understand the differences between two similar products
  • Being asked by an assistant if they can help when they can’t help
  • Another customer with a problem that takes a long time to resolve

Please let us know about any points that you thing we need to add to this list or any that you would like to discuss further.