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Consumers believe customer service is the most important area for retailers to focus on, rating it higher than product quality and low prices. 

Almost three quarters of consumers would recommend a retail brand based on a good customer experience. 

With the help of TolunaQuick, we surveyed 5,000 UK consumers in September as part of our research for the Econsultancy / Foviance Multichannel Customer Experience Report.

Here are some of the findings from the retail section of the consumer survey report.

Your brand spend isn’t appreciated

Above all else, people want efficient customer service, followed by quality products and low prices. 

That these criteria are ranked as the three most important areas for retailers to focus on probably isn’t a shock, but the fact that having a user-friendly website only scored 19% is surprising considering the growing popularity of online shopping.

And despite all the money spent on branding, consumers ranked it next to last with only 11%.

How do your customers find you?

Nearly 70% of consumers have used a desktop to research or browse for a retail product in the past six months, making it the most popular search method.

In store browsing came a close second with 64%, followed by catalogues and brochures with 29%.

Browsing for products using a mobile phone is still relatively uncommon, scoring just 13%, though that figure is almost certainly going to increase. 

Making a payment

When consumers were asked where they actually pay for their retail products, the top two positions are almost the exact opposite to browsing.

70% of people have bought items in store in the past six months, while 64% have bought a product using a desktop.

Retail experiences: which is method is most enjoyable?

We asked consumers to rate their shopping experiences for the six methods from the previous question, and the results are very interesting.

25% of respondents said they rated their most recent instore retail experience as excellent, whereas 41% rated their last online purchase on a desktop computer as excellent.

However, when you combine the percentages for excellent and good the scores are closer, with in store scoring 80% and desktop achieving 86%.

These two methods were the most enjoyable for consumers and scored only 1-2% at the negative end of the scale suggesting that, generally speaking, retailers are doing a good job with their in store and online offerings.

Which retailers come out on top?

We created a word cloud based on the frequency of mentions for retailers that have given a good customer experience.

Of course, this slightly favours the most popular brands, hence the dominance of Argos and Amazon, but in cases where a well-known brand (such as Tesco) has fewer mentions this may indicate a problem. 

David Moth

Published 28 November, 2011 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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