Research Study Reveals Lack of Customer Engagement by Employees at Major Retailers

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Market research and consumer insights professional, Evencia Leite, weighs in on a recent study conducted by a local news station that uncovered alarming customer experience shortcomings.

TrendSource Trusted Insight

In the “Age of the Customer” it’s no secret that superior service is the leading driver of customer satisfaction, which has everything to do with how frontline employees engage with customers while in-store. Although seemingly intuitive, this study – “Customer service under the microscope” – indicates that even some of the most prominent retail players haven’t gotten the memo, which prompted TrendSource’s Sr. Sales Manager, Evencia Leite, to share her perspective on the situation in her recent blog post, “Rogue Porcupines: How Employees Can Burst the Bubble of In-Store Customer Engagement”.

The Orlando news station, Local 6, visited 25 stores, representing five retailers (Home Depot, Lowe’s, Publix, Target, Walmart) in five different regions across Central Florida. A reporter entered each location and timed how long it took for a store employee to establish customer contact. In her blog post, Evencia asserts that the results and accompanying video are “a bit shocking to say the least.”

This study echoes TrendSource’s core belief that with the right research and strategic measurement, businesses can make data-driven decisions to manage things like customer engagement. With a systematic approach to quantifying gaps between management’s expectation of performance, actual service delivered, and your customers’ perceptions of service delivered, poor customer service situations like those revealed in this study can be effectively avoided.

To help retail executives mitigate the risk of costly customer experience shortcomings, Evencia shares three methods for “How to Avoid Puncture Wounds”, and foster a community where employees are engaged and focused.

1.    Discern and understand the behaviors that drive positive brand perception in your industry.
2.    Take what you have learned and address your team. Focus on culture.
3.    Measure and adjust when necessary.

Evencia describes customers as always being in one of four stages – or bubbles: try, buy, repeat and refer. Likening these stages to bubbles, she asserts that “one wrong move by an employee could burst that bubble and break the chain of engagement – permanently.” By following the aforementioned steps, broken down in greater detail in her complete blog post, companies can avoid finding themselves made infamous by a local news station study.

For more information and/or questions, email trustedinsight(at)trendsource(dot)com.

About TrendSource

Since 1989, TrendSource Trusted Insight has supported Fortune 500 companies make data-driven decisions by providing high-quality data that is relevant, reliable and actionable. TrendSource’s customized solutions deliver efficient Customer Experience Management Programs that quantify service gaps, provide prescriptive/corrective solutions, identify trends, and close the loop in missed opportunities to increase program ROI, generate revenue and develop relationships that cultivate lifetime customers.

TrendSource is a founding member of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) and has the unique distinction in the industry as an ISO 9001:2008 certified company.

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