New Research From RSR: What It’s Going To Take To Improve Retailers’ Workforce

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Shoppers don't want self-service... they want BETTER service

When it comes to how to enable employees to deliver superior customer service, most retailers struggle

According to RSR’s newest benchmark report, Retail Needs A Better Workforce: What Will It Take? retailers readily admit that they are inhibited by the long-held belief that the industry must remain a low-wage, high-turnover affair. However, they also admit that those who are able to move past that outdated model are starting to steal business away. The report is based on a survey of 123 retailers from September-November of 2017.

“Retailers recognize that while it may appear that consumers want more self-service, what they really want is better service – and in-person service in an in-person context is the best way to deliver that,” said Nikki Baird, Managing Partner at RSR and co-author of the report. “However, when it comes to how to enable employees to deliver superior customer service, most retailers struggle.”

The report contains 21 charts and 25 pages of analysis. Some key findings:

  • Retailers cite finding good, loyal employees as a top Challenge. But they also worry that consumers have lost patience with store employees, and are using their always-connected mobile devices to serve themselves.
  • To address this, retailers agree on three top Opportunities: investing more budget into labor, providing more training, and providing more technology. But there are vast differences by performance, particularly in how under-performing laggards now see the opportunity to empower their employees.
  • The best performers (Retail Winners) understand that Technology is a tool, and that the real task is to develop employees who are trained and skilled, know how to engage and assist shoppers in a meaningful way - and have the tools at their disposal to help solve customer’s problems, one by one.

Download the full report to learn more.


If you don’t have time to read the full report: Check out our eBook on the topic.

The report and accompanying eBook are both part of RSR Research's ongoing efforts to provide market intelligence on retail technology trends, and are sponsored by Reflexis Systems.

About RSR Research: Retail Systems Research (“RSR”) is the only research company run by retailers for the retail industry. RSR provides insight into business and technology challenges facing the extended retail industry, and thought leadership and advice on navigating these challenges for specific companies and the industry at large. To learn more about RSR, visit

RSR Research, LLC
Linda Wolfe, 774-284-4679

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