Half of UK store visits ‘ruined’ by queuing – but mobile can make a difference
At least half of UK consumers have had an in-store experience ruined as a result of queuing in-store, with Londoners twice as likely to have had more than 10 bad experiences this year alone.
So finds research conducted by Qudini
, a SaaS customer experience management platform, which also suggests that making better use of mobile devices and social media could go some way to stopping this happening.
The survey reveals that waiting in line is the top reason why consumers were getting frustrated in-store, followed by complaints of rude and unhelpful staff (44.7%), unavailable stock (43.1%) and lack of available staff (38.9%).
These top four complaints were significantly higher frustrations for customers, above complaints about of challenging store navigation, poor store layout, lack of available information and mess store environments.
Commenting on the findings, Imogen Wethered, Qudini CEO & Co-founder, says: “These statistics offer a startling insight into consumer behaviour and issues within physical stores across the country. What is most interesting that the top 4 complaints around long waiting times, rude staff, unavailable stock and lack of available information are all transient and people based issues."
She adds: "The issues that arise if you walk into the store at the wrong time of day, when there is a queue or the staff are busy or frustrated and stock levels have depleted. Most retailers are investing heavily in improving their store design and layout, yet our insights are show that resolving these transient people based issues with better systems, processes and colleague engagement would lead to the biggest customer experience wins and solve the majority of customer complaints.”
But Wethered concedes that mobile could go someway to helping solve some of these problems.
“Retailers can leverage the opportunity to engage customers with their mobile offerings by using technology to solve these problems on mobile,” she says. “For example, they could enable customers to join a digital queue form their smartphone to free them from physically waiting, customers access a button on their smartphone in order to request the help of a staff member when no colleague is in sight and, in the case of unavailable stock, retailers can help migrate customers to their online and in-app offering in order to enable the customer to find and fulfill their requirements.”
Mobile’s dominance in social media also has a role to play, she says.
“With 21% of customers turning to social media to make a complaint – often on their smartphones – retailers could instead be using mobile technology to provide a solution to the problem, rather than a channel to complain."
The survey also shows where in the UK these issues are most prevalent. Across the board, shoppers in Liverpool (58.1%), Brighton (57.9%), Birmingham (57.8%), Norwich (57.1%) and Leeds (55%) are more likely to complain about long waiting times. Those living in the North East, London and South West regions are more likely to complain on social media and the least likely to suppress their dissatisfaction compared to those living in Scotland.
It goes on to highlight that East and West Midland regions who are more likely to complain directly to a staff member with East Midlands consumers are 10% more likely to have had to deal with a poor in-store experience and 17% more likely to have experience it on a regular basis.