Retailers believe their store associates have the least impact on customer engagement
More than half of senior-level retail executives in North America believe their brand image and product assortment are key drivers of customer engagement, July 2016 research indicates. Store associates, not so much.
RIS News and Edgell Knowledge Network, sponsored by CodeBroker, a mobile coupon provider, polled 58 senior-level retail executives in North America with significant responsibility over IT, marketing and customer engagement.
When asked about the business functions that drive customer engagement, nearly two-thirds of respondents said brand image or marketing did. Product assortment was another top answer; more than half of senior-level retail execs cited it.
Other business functions mentioned were also not that surprising. For example, 31% of respondents said that customer experience drives customer engagement. And naturally so—consumers are likely to get closer to retailers that provide an overall satisfying experience.
What was surprising, however, was that only 10% of respondents felt that store associates drive consumer engagement. As the world continues to evolve and become more digitally advanced, it’s important to have some human contact, and store associates add to that personalized element.
All in all, the customer experience is significant for consumers. A survey from Aspect and Conversion Research found that most shoppers have abandoned a retailer because of poor service. In fact, 52% of US internet users have stopped doing business with a general retail company due to poor customer service.
Looking at it by generation, responses were similar across the board. More than half of millennials said they stopped doing business with someone because of a poor experience, and nearly just as many Gen Xers and baby boomers said they felt the same way.