Lack of checkouts and staff are main customer bugbears

Nothing annoys shoppers more than there being not enough checkouts open, according to the latest research from Mintel.
The new report, Customer Service in Retailing, reveals that 61% of people find insufficient checkouts a key contributing factor to poor service. And 56% said they got irritated when there were not enough members of staff on the shop floor to help with queries.

Neil Mason, senior retail analyst with Mintel, described having too few sales assistants in store as a “real false economy. Customers will simply abandon their purchases rather than wait in a long queue to pay,” he said.

The survey also found that for 58% of shoppers uninterested shop assistants had contributed to poor service. Such staff are “worse than worthless to a retailer as they are capable of alienating customers and seriously damaging the business,” Mason said. “Common courtesy, such as good manners, a ready smile and a helpful attitude cost nothing.”

Bad service has a significant effect on where people choose to shop, says Mintel. The report shows that 22% of people have stopped using a retailer because of poor customer service, 23% have recommended others not to use a particular retailer, and 16% have received similar advice themselves from friends.

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