What surveys can teach us about our customers


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New Rockin' ShoesSome critics say that customer satisfaction surveys are merely retailer popularity contests, but I disagree. When the same organizations continue to rise to the top of survey after survey and that special quality sets them apart from their competition, there is most likely something to learn and serious food for thought.

In Australia, Morgan Research surveyed 448 customers who had made purchases in the last four weeks in the non-food category of retailers. Customer service and satisfaction ideals are pretty much universal feelings, so except for the accents and a different currency exchange, there were important customer satisfaction results that give us another practical view of what makes one business step ahead of their competition.

The survey found that price isn’t the only factor that affects a customer’s choice. Some popular bargain stores scored toward the bottom of the list. Although the names of the following stores may not all be familiar to us here in the United States, the concepts are aimed directly toward the customer, the importance of recognizing the customer as valuable, advanced employee training, trust, and that ever developing “stepping out of the box” or “wow” customer service.

The Athlete’s Foot is a specialized store viewed as expensive so therefore can not compete price wise, but their customer service level is renown as their staff is promoted as experts in their field. The store scored 90.9 percent in the satisfaction scale. Here the customer has their feet measured, and the staff makes personal recommendations.

Other stores that scored high were Borders, and even though not the cheapest, their cafes make the store a destination rather than just a store. Customers also liked the layout and user friendliness of the store. JB HiFi gives the appearance of a bargain store, and they are popularly known to haggle prices on big-ticket items such as televisions. Their willingness to make a deal has customers responding in positive ways. The Chemist Warehouse uses their personalized service and their specialized product knowledge as their way to a customer’s trust. And the retail specialty garment shop, Bras N Things has been around what seems forever and has built up recognition and trust by assisting in expert fitting and 100 percent guarantees on any ill-fitting garment.

Even in the United States, and one click or one prominently displayed phone number away, Zappos revolutionized shoe buying with a company spirit that considers themselves a customer service organization that sells shoes and other products. Note the trend of customer trust, loyalty, expertly trained employees, accurate fulfillment and that obsession with customer service. Except for the accent and the foreign currency, aren’t we all alike?

photo credit: joebeone

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Cheryl Hanna
Service Untitled
Cheryl Hanna is a successful real estate sales person in Florida and has used her customer service knowledge and experience to set her apart and gain a competitive edge in a very difficult market. Cheryl has been writing professionally since 1999 and writes for several blogs and online publications


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