BUSINESS

Customer Service to make or break retailers this year

Wednesday 15 December 2010, 11:43AM
By Seeking Publicity
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CHRISTCHURCH

Retailers that offer poor customer service this Christmas will find their businesses in trouble as they struggle to impress shoppers who are not only still recession wary, but also aware that prices have risen since the GST increase.

“Retailers have struggled this year, but they will be hoping to turn things around this month as consumers join the Christmas rush,” says Anya Anderson, Managing Director of online sales training company, RedSeed Limited.

“Because consumers have been holding onto their wallets again this year, plus the GST increase, they will be harder to sell to.”

Ms Anderson says this is where customer service skills will be vital and may break many businesses. She points to a recent survey by KiwiHost which showed that 60 percent of New Zealanders were either neutral, dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their recent customer service experiences.

“Retailers miss out on many thousands of dollars in sales every year because of poor customer service, but with fussier shoppers this Christmas, the loss of even more potential sales may be the final nail in the coffin for some,” says Ms Anderson.

“The biggest mistake made by untrained sales staff is their failure to understand what the customer wants. By just listing products and their features, they fail to close sales that would make a huge difference to the bottom lines of their businesses.”

The recent KiwiHost survey had more bad news for those who lose business from sub-standard customer service. One in three people said they would start looking for somewhere else to shop after one bad experience, while three out of four said they would not return to that store after two such experiences.

“These figures show just how important it is for retailers to be on top of their game when it comes to training their front line staff, particularly in the tough times,” Ms Anderson concludes.

RedSeed Limited is based in Christchurch and operates across New Zealand.

ENDS
For more information: Anya Anderson: Phone 03 377 7936 Mobile 0274 890 967 Email Anya@redseed.co.nz