New research shows that nearly half of UK retail businesses (48.3%) believe that customer service could be improved across the country – indicating that retailers themselves admit they have a lot of work to do to improve their customer service levels.
In light of this, a major conference is being held in London to help address the nation’s customer service in the retail sector. The Skillsmart Retail Employer Conference brings together over 100 major retailers – including ASOS, Argos, Debenhams, Harrods, House of Fraser, Ikea, John Lewis, M&S, Matalan, Morrisons, O2, Superdrug and Westfield – to discuss what it takes to provide excellent customer service and give UK retailers a competitive edge.
Retail is the UK’s largest private sector employer, accounting for around 10% of the workforce. Almost three million people work in the sector, and almost one and a half million are in sales and customer service roles. It’s no secret that customer service can be the biggest factor in helping retain customers and ensuring loyalty. A survey released just last week also indicates that the current economic climate has led Brits to place an even higher value on customer service – as many of us are forced to be more selective with purchases – but over three quarters (78%) of those surveyed believed that businesses had not made any more of an effort to go the ‘extra mile’ for their customers during the recession.
Additionally, in 2012 all eyes will be on Britain during the Olympics. Figures from Skillsmart Retail, the Sector Skills Council for Retail, indicated that three quarters (74%) of people believe Britain needs to improve the quality of its customer service ahead of the Olympics, and that 83% believe good customer service during the Olympics will be important because it will show that Britain welcomes and looks after its visitors. So with the international spotlight focussed us, retailers want to ensure that unpleasant shopping experiences don’t damage the UK’s reputation– therefore it is essential for retailers that their workforce is trained to a high spec.
In order for them to do so, a new training programme called WorldHost is also being launched nationwide today. It is the only internationally proven, individually assessed, customer service training programme specifically tailored for the UK retail sector, and has been developed to raise standards of customer service in the UK.
Are you being served? 100 retail giants meet to discuss customer service standards in the UK
Channels: Business Finance, Consumer
Nearly Half of UK Retail Businesses Think Customer Service Could Be Improved
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