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What Leads to Bad Customer Experience?

by Sam Osbourne

Since the dawn of the internet, the stakes are higher for retailers everywhere. One unhappy consumer can cause a lot of damage by posting about their bad customer experience (CX) online to hundreds of followers.

 

What are the top five causes of negative customer experiences?

We spoke to 2,000 consumers about the top causes of complaints in retail. Here’s what they said were the five leading factors of their negative customer experiences: 

 

Infographic showing the top 5 causes of customer poor in-store experiences

 

1. Long waiting times (51%)

That’s right, queues are the biggest cause of poor customer experiences across retail. 

Unfortunately, retailers don’t just make frustrated customers when they make them wait. They also lose sales–1 in 5 customers will walk out of a store after just three minutes in a wait line. 

To add insult to injury, it’s typically customers who spontaneously enter a store to make a purchase that aren’t willing to wait for service. By contrast, customers who come to your stores with a problem will wait much longer to be served. 

 

2. Unhelpful staff (44.7%)

The numbers are in. If your staff aren’t delivering good customer service, they’re working against you. 

As clienteling becomes a key driver of customer loyalty, store associates that aren’t up to par could cost you short-term and long-term sales for every customer they deter. Given that unhelpful staff rank as the second largest cause of poor retail experiences, retailers need to do everything in their power to equip their staff with the tools to deliver exceptional customer service. 

 

3. Unavailable stock (43.1%)

For anyone who’s ever tried to buy a gift at the least minute, there can be nothing worse than finding out said gift is out of stock. As such, it’s easy to see why 43.1% of customers blame unavailable stock for a poor store experience. 

 

4. Lack of available staff (38.9%)

Having a staff member close by can make all the difference for customers, particularly in stores where they need more advice before making a large purchase (i.e., an electronic or jewelry store).

Ultimately, if they can’t find what they’re looking for, many consumers won’t bother to find a staff member–they’ll just walk straight out. 

 

5. Poor store design (14.6%)

It’s true that a poor store design is three times less detrimental than a long queue to the customer experience. However, there’s a reason it’s still the fifth biggest cause of a negative customer experience. 

When your stores are hard to navigate around, customers can easily get lost–especially if you’re a big box retailer. The greater the need for a product, the more frustrating the customer will find wandering around your store to find it. 

 

How does bad customer experience affect your business?

By our count, there are 4 detrimental effects of poor customer experience

 

How to turn around a bad customer experience

Fortunately, when it comes to preventing bad customer service, there’s several things you can do. 

 

5 best negative customer experience quotes

Building a good customer experience does not happen by accident. It happens by design.” – Clare Muscutt

Customer experience is one of the two core pillars of customer retention; the thing is, you can’t grow if your customers don’t stick around.– Jes Kirkwood

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” ― Steve Jobs

Unhappy customers cost more to serve because they require more time and resources to build goodwill. Instead of spending money to recover from a bad experience, proactively spending money to create positive experiences pays off incredibly.” ― Blake Morgan

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” — Bill Gates

 

Learn more about improving the customer experience

Looking to create an omnichannel customer experience? Qudini’s award-winning all-in-one Retail Choreography suite can help. We help global clients to drive traffic, increase customer loyalty and achieve lasting brand relevance. 

If you work for a financial institution, we’ve also created this guide to help you improve your banking CX strategy

 

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Peak season is just around the corner!

Have you thought about how you’re going to manage peak season traffic this winter?

New best practice guide

Our new best practice guide explains how Appointment Booking Landing pages will drive traffic to your in-store and virtual appointment services.

Latest consumer survey report

Our latest consumer survey report shows which types of retail stores and banks customers want to be able to schedule appointments within…

Recent consumer survey report

Our recent consumer survey report shows how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits and which habits will be here to stay…

Upcoming Webinar

Our Upcoming Webinar will present consumer insights on how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits. Sign-up below for Tuesday October 12th (2pm ET | 11am PT).