ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite economic indicators that show the recession is over, CFI Group's Retail Satisfaction Barometer 2015 – a resource for measuring retail satisfaction trends with a focus on the impact of customer service – shows a slight decrease in overall satisfaction versus 2014.
The RSB score for 2015 is 79 on a 0-100 scale (with 100 being the highest possible score), a 1-point drop from 2014. This drop was fueled by decreases across major drivers of satisfaction: Associates (down 1 point to 79), Merchandise (down 2 points to 83) and Price (down 2 points to 80). Consumers' intentions to increase spending also declined by 2 points (72 vs. 70).
"Drops in those areas are intriguing because they are counter-intuitive to reports consumers are hearing about an economic turnaround," said CFI Group CEO Sheri Petras. "Employment growth and lower energy prices have not resulted in higher levels of buyer satisfaction. Without customer satisfaction driving consumer spending, this economic turnaround may be short-lived."
In its third year of measuring consumer satisfaction with the retail experience using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) methodology, the RSB breaks out data into five market segments: traditional department stores (e.g. Macy's), large-format discount stores (e.g. Target), mall-based specialty stores (e.g. Williams Sonoma), freestanding specialty stores (e.g. Best Buy) and grocery stores (e.g. Kroger).
The only segment to increase satisfaction scores from 2014 was large-format discount stores (up 4 points from 75 to 79). The rest decreased slightly. Despite a 2-point drop from 2014, grocery stores still have the highest overall satisfaction rating of 81.
There is some good news:
In 2015, the RSB was expanded to include new insights aimed at customer-facing technology. Whether they were initiated for labor cost savings or to enhance customer experience, customers are embracing technology. Sixty-one percent of respondents used some type of technology-based solution at a retailer, be it self-checkout registers, in-store kiosks or checkout via a roaming store associate.
Among the 20% who used in-store kiosks, higher satisfaction scores are reported mostly across the board and their Likelihood to Spend More increased.
"Our data shows kiosks can be a big competitive advantage," Petras said. "When consumers use them, they're not only reporting a higher overall satisfaction level with the store, but they also have better perception of integral drivers like Price, Merchandise and the Checkout process."
Plus, the satisfaction level increases are seen across the age spectrum. From Baby Boomers down through Millennials, those who used kiosks reported higher levels of satisfaction.
Whether a tool for associates to help consumers, or a tool for consumers to help themselves, kiosks improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the shopping experience.
To obtain a copy of the Retail Satisfaction Barometer and learn more about what drives customer satisfaction, repeat visits and spending, visit www.cfigroup.com.
CFI Group is a global leader in providing customer feedback insights through analytics. CFI Group provides a technology platform that leverages the science of our founding partner, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). This platform continuously measures the customer experience across multiple channels, benchmarks performance, and prioritizes improvements for maximum impact.
Founded in 1988 and headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, CFI Group serves global clients from a network of offices worldwide. Our clients span a variety of industries, including financial services, hospitality, manufacturing, telecom, retail and government.
Rich Rezler Rezler Communications for CFI Group Email (734) 358-1910