Survey: American Consumers Dissatisfaction With Customer Service Soaring

Written by Evan Schuman
January 10th, 2008

About 40 percent of American consumers wanted to leave stores after not getting store associate this holiday season, according to survey results released this week from Motorola.

And among those who actually left the stores, 90 percent of them never returned, according to Scott Drobner, Motorola’s director for market intelligence programs.

The level of consumer dissatisfaction was "a little higher" for consumer electronics, partly due to the number of consumers buying sophisticated electronic devices—often as gifts—that they would have otherwise never purchased, Drobner said, analyzing the results of 1,372 consumers who filled out Web forms between Dec. 13, 2007 and Dec. 20, 2007.

Part of the reason for the consumer unhappiness is that online speed and information depth have raised the expectations of what a retail interaction should be like, Drobner said. "The online mindset is somewhat permeating the offline world," he said.

Other issues: stores ineffectively deploying their associates, creating a shortage of associates in the aisles, along with those employees having insufficient information to do their jobs.


2 Comments | Read Survey: American Consumers Dissatisfaction With Customer Service Soaring

  1. gena Says:

    Hi Evan,

    Your or Drobner’s assessment of customer service is spot on. As someone who has worked in cs both online and off I’ll add that it has gotten progressively worse because there’s rarely any one that can be held responsible. How many times have you spoken with a manager who had essentially the same amount of power as the customer service person or who cared even less? These problems unfortunately come from the top and trickle down. Even in this age of technology where you can find anyone’s information, getting a company phone number or address of an executive is now an exercise in futility.

  2. Jeff Paunicka Says:

    With mass merchandise companies hiring staff that appears less than qualified to know what is on their shelf and frustrating the pockets that will increase their revenues, it makes sense to invest in intelligent kiosks to come to the rescue.
    Beefing up staffing for seasonal needs, I think did more damage from the perception of the consumer of the stores commitment to be responsive.
    I love the stores that have put terminals up to compare the products they have. It is annoyning to ask someone in a store about a product and how it compares to another one on the same shelf and they have to read the box cover for the first time. I need to do more online research before going to make a purchase.


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