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Customers prefer Brands that aren’t afraid to say ‘Sorry’

Brands are being reminded that the customer experience and complaint resolution is still the most important factor for shoppers after new research by reveals that stock availability and staff attitudes were more important than price.


Customers prefer Brands that aren’t afraid to say ‘Sorry’

800 exit interviews were conducted in August and September 2009 outside 10 major retailers in high street and out of town locations and the findings have revealed that products being out of stock was the respondents top peeve, with 42% stating it was the most annoying aspect of their typical shopping experience.

Other aspects that shoppers found most annoying include: 
Pushy/Rude Staff 36%

Till Queues 34%

Store Layout/Finding Item  26%

Price 21%

Hard to Manoeuvre Baby 15%

Parking   14%

Graeme Crossley, CEO of Brand Reputation, the brand management agency that commissioned the research, believes their findings prove that even in the current economic climate, Brands must continue to focus and invest in customer complaint resolution is they are to succeed. “What is clear is that no matter how good an experience a brand provides, customer complaints will always exist. The way a complaint is resolved is critical to the reputation of your brand. Successful Brands proactively demonstrate a genuine desire to resolve the problem and explain the steps they take to resolve the customer’s problems.

Crossley is recommending that Brands implement a Severity Index and resolve the most severe complaints first. He also suggests that Brands should invest more in the dialogue with the customer and less in compensating the customer. “Customers want to feel that they have been listened to and recognised – it isn’t just about money – in our experience customers with a genuine problem will be happy to accept a lower value of compensation if they feel they have been listened to. Demonstrate that you are listening. Show that you understand. Ask the customer how they would like the matter to be resolved. “

“If you can show that you have listened and made it clear that you have taken action then you have the opportunity to generate advocacy - if you go “over and above” the customer’s expectation then customers will advocate your brand more than they would have before they had the problem,” says Crossley.

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