In this latest IRUK Top500 Performance Dimension Report, our focus is firmly on the person at the heart of the modern multichannel business – The Customer. We think this is fitting because it’s the customer that’s now driving the way that retail is developing across sales channels. So many of the technologies that are now available, and the communication channels that have been opened, have appeared because they are the way that shoppers now want to browse, buy and engage.
In this report, InternetRetailing research assesses the way that Top500 retailers are serving customers and whether the current standard of service is meeting expectations effectively. Multichannel and ecommerce retailing has made it so easy for shoppers to move away to another retailer that it’s become vital to invest in service quality that will leave the customers satisfied.
In this Dimension Report, we focus on how the top retailers are leading the way. Case studies examine the traits that put retailers ahead in this Dimension, while we ask The Perfume Shop [IRDX RPSH] managing director Gill Smith about the retailer’s approach to customer service in our lead interview.
We’ve also gathered some best practice examples, not only of customer service but also of customer-centric strategy. Read and digest them in our 12 approaches that work feature.
We analyse the current standard of customer service among Top500 retailers in our analysing the numbers feature and see how that contrasts with customer expectations in our related research overview while setting out the wider context in our strategic overview. Our interview around emerging practice is with Jonathan Freeman of startup Flashy, an innovator in linking store and digital via mobile.
We found our snapshot of customer service practice an eye opener and we hope it proves equally thought-provoking for our readers. We’ll be returning to this subject in the next year as part of the IRUK Top500 2017 research.
In the meantime, we’re always reconsidering the metrics that we use to judge Top500 retailers in this Performance Dimension and we’d welcome your thoughts on potential new areas of research. You can share them by emailing [email protected] and [email protected].
Jonathan Wright and Chloe Rigby, Editors