Long Grocery Lines Turn Off 35% of Shoppers; Recent Harris Interactive ShopperInsight(SM) Study Shows Customer Service Issues Account for Four of the Top Six Reasons for Supermarket Shopper Dissatisfaction

Apr 25, 2001, 01:00 ET from Harris Interactive

    ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- If you've ever experienced the
 frustration of having to wait in a long line in your local supermarket while
 other checkout counters lay idle, you're not alone.  A recent Harris
 Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL) ShopperInsight(SM) study reveals that lack of
 checkout staff is by far the single most important factor affecting customer
 satisfaction with grocery shopping.
     This study, conducted among 5,797 online respondents in late
 February/early March 2001, showed 35% of supermarket shoppers indicated that
 their primary supermarket (where they buy most of their groceries) does not
 have enough check out staff on duty during the times they shop.  The second
 most commonly reported problem that had an effect on customer satisfaction, at
 22%, was a lack of staffing in specialty departments (deli, meat, etc.).
     Respondents were asked how their primary supermarket performed across more
 than thirty attributes, considered to be possible causes of dissatisfaction,
 and to indicate their overall satisfaction with that supermarket on a
 ten-point scale.
     ShopperInsight(SM) uses a proprietary weighting technique to measure not
 only the causes of customer dissatisfaction, but also the effect that each
 possible cause has on overall satisfaction by determining its relative weight
 or importance.  This technique, known as CSMpact(SM), combines retail
 performance measures (frequency of problems cited) with their respective
 importance (effect on satisfaction) to generate a single impact score.  The
 higher the score, the greater the gain that retailers can achieve in customer
 satisfaction by remedying the problem.  "Lack of check out staff" generated an
 impact score of 17 -- nearly twice the score of the attribute with the second
 highest score (9), "keeping shelves consistently well-stocked."
 
                                    TABLE 1
                     Does/Is your Primary Supermarket ... ?
 
           Top ten attributes         Performance    Importance    Impact Score
           impacting customer         (Cause - %     (Effect -     (Performance
           satisfaction               of shoppers    net negative  combined w/
                                       who said      effect on     Importance)
                                       "no")         satisfaction)
 
      1    Have enough check out
           staff on duty at times
           [you] shop                      35.1         0.455           17
      2    Keep its shelves
           consistently well-stocked       15.4         0.543            9
      3    Have efficient customer
           service counter personnel       13.4         0.473            7
      4    Have friendly check out
           personnel                        8.6         0.635            6
      5    Leave enough space in aisles
           for comfortable shopping        15.9         0.338            6
      6    Have enough staff on duty
           in specialty departments
           (deli, meat, etc.)              21.7         0.242            6
      7    Offer the types of sales and
           specials [you] like to use      11.6         0.439            6
      8    Well-organized so products
           are easy to find                12.7         0.399            5
      9    Offer an assortment of
           large, med., & small packs
           that meets [your] needs         15.3         0.316            5
      10   Have [staff] in specialty
           departments that make good
           recommendations                 15.8         0.301            5
      NE*  Frequent shopper programs       32.0             0            0
 
      * NE = No Effect
 
     According to Peter Gold, director of consumer packaged goods research,
 Harris Interactive, "Good customer service is the key to pleasing supermarket
 shoppers.  The proportion of shoppers (about one-third) who experience
 problems with frequent shopper programs in supermarkets is almost the same as
 the proportion who experience problems with adequate checkout staffing.
 Though 32% of respondents indicated that their primary supermarket's frequent
 shopper program does not meet their needs, the effect that this problem has on
 overall satisfaction is virtually nil.  However, remedying the checkout
 staffing problem would have a substantial positive impact on customer
 satisfaction."
     This study clearly indicates that shoppers want improvements in customer
 service most of all.  Four of the top six reasons for overall dissatisfaction
 with supermarket shopping have to do with inadequate staffing and with
 inefficient or unfriendly service.  Paying particular attention to increasing
 the level of service provided and to improving the interactions between
 customers and staff will have the most positive impact on supermarket customer
 satisfaction.
 
     About ShopperInsight(SM)
     While the data shown above was taken from the national syndicated study,
 Harris Interactive ShopperInsight(SM) is primarily a custom research tool that
 retailers and manufacturers use to address retailer-specific issues within a
 specific geography for a group of custom-defined categories.
     Harris Interactive ShopperInsight(SM) is a unique research application
 that integrates attitudinal insights into the category management process.
 Concentrating on behavioral cues as well as addressing how shoppers think and
 feel about their shopping experience, it's a tool that caters to both
 manufacturers and retailers by helping them to create strategies that enhance
 shopper loyalty.  ShopperInsight(SM) achieves this by providing critical
 consumer feedback regarding why consumers switch retailers when purchasing
 certain product categories, and by examining consumer shopping styles specific
 to those categories.
 
     About Harris Interactive
     Harris Interactive, the global leader in online market research, uses
 Internet-based and traditional methodologies to provide its clients with
 critical knowledge concerning the views, experiences, behaviors and attitudes
 of people worldwide.  Known for The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive has
 45 years of experience in providing its clients with market research and
 polling services including custom, multi-client and service bureau research,
 as well as customer relationship management services.  Harris Interactive
 acquired the custom research group of Yankelovich Partners in February 2001.
 Through its U.S. and Global Network offices, Harris Interactive conducts
 research around the world, in multiple, localized languages, using its
 proprietary technology to survey its database of more than 7 million online
 panelists.  For more information about Harris Interactive, please visit the
 Company's website at http://www.harrisinteractive.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X44545272
 
 

SOURCE Harris Interactive
    ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- If you've ever experienced the
 frustration of having to wait in a long line in your local supermarket while
 other checkout counters lay idle, you're not alone.  A recent Harris
 Interactive (Nasdaq: HPOL) ShopperInsight(SM) study reveals that lack of
 checkout staff is by far the single most important factor affecting customer
 satisfaction with grocery shopping.
     This study, conducted among 5,797 online respondents in late
 February/early March 2001, showed 35% of supermarket shoppers indicated that
 their primary supermarket (where they buy most of their groceries) does not
 have enough check out staff on duty during the times they shop.  The second
 most commonly reported problem that had an effect on customer satisfaction, at
 22%, was a lack of staffing in specialty departments (deli, meat, etc.).
     Respondents were asked how their primary supermarket performed across more
 than thirty attributes, considered to be possible causes of dissatisfaction,
 and to indicate their overall satisfaction with that supermarket on a
 ten-point scale.
     ShopperInsight(SM) uses a proprietary weighting technique to measure not
 only the causes of customer dissatisfaction, but also the effect that each
 possible cause has on overall satisfaction by determining its relative weight
 or importance.  This technique, known as CSMpact(SM), combines retail
 performance measures (frequency of problems cited) with their respective
 importance (effect on satisfaction) to generate a single impact score.  The
 higher the score, the greater the gain that retailers can achieve in customer
 satisfaction by remedying the problem.  "Lack of check out staff" generated an
 impact score of 17 -- nearly twice the score of the attribute with the second
 highest score (9), "keeping shelves consistently well-stocked."
 
                                    TABLE 1
                     Does/Is your Primary Supermarket ... ?
 
           Top ten attributes         Performance    Importance    Impact Score
           impacting customer         (Cause - %     (Effect -     (Performance
           satisfaction               of shoppers    net negative  combined w/
                                       who said      effect on     Importance)
                                       "no")         satisfaction)
 
      1    Have enough check out
           staff on duty at times
           [you] shop                      35.1         0.455           17
      2    Keep its shelves
           consistently well-stocked       15.4         0.543            9
      3    Have efficient customer
           service counter personnel       13.4         0.473            7
      4    Have friendly check out
           personnel                        8.6         0.635            6
      5    Leave enough space in aisles
           for comfortable shopping        15.9         0.338            6
      6    Have enough staff on duty
           in specialty departments
           (deli, meat, etc.)              21.7         0.242            6
      7    Offer the types of sales and
           specials [you] like to use      11.6         0.439            6
      8    Well-organized so products
           are easy to find                12.7         0.399            5
      9    Offer an assortment of
           large, med., & small packs
           that meets [your] needs         15.3         0.316            5
      10   Have [staff] in specialty
           departments that make good
           recommendations                 15.8         0.301            5
      NE*  Frequent shopper programs       32.0             0            0
 
      * NE = No Effect
 
     According to Peter Gold, director of consumer packaged goods research,
 Harris Interactive, "Good customer service is the key to pleasing supermarket
 shoppers.  The proportion of shoppers (about one-third) who experience
 problems with frequent shopper programs in supermarkets is almost the same as
 the proportion who experience problems with adequate checkout staffing.
 Though 32% of respondents indicated that their primary supermarket's frequent
 shopper program does not meet their needs, the effect that this problem has on
 overall satisfaction is virtually nil.  However, remedying the checkout
 staffing problem would have a substantial positive impact on customer
 satisfaction."
     This study clearly indicates that shoppers want improvements in customer
 service most of all.  Four of the top six reasons for overall dissatisfaction
 with supermarket shopping have to do with inadequate staffing and with
 inefficient or unfriendly service.  Paying particular attention to increasing
 the level of service provided and to improving the interactions between
 customers and staff will have the most positive impact on supermarket customer
 satisfaction.
 
     About ShopperInsight(SM)
     While the data shown above was taken from the national syndicated study,
 Harris Interactive ShopperInsight(SM) is primarily a custom research tool that
 retailers and manufacturers use to address retailer-specific issues within a
 specific geography for a group of custom-defined categories.
     Harris Interactive ShopperInsight(SM) is a unique research application
 that integrates attitudinal insights into the category management process.
 Concentrating on behavioral cues as well as addressing how shoppers think and
 feel about their shopping experience, it's a tool that caters to both
 manufacturers and retailers by helping them to create strategies that enhance
 shopper loyalty.  ShopperInsight(SM) achieves this by providing critical
 consumer feedback regarding why consumers switch retailers when purchasing
 certain product categories, and by examining consumer shopping styles specific
 to those categories.
 
     About Harris Interactive
     Harris Interactive, the global leader in online market research, uses
 Internet-based and traditional methodologies to provide its clients with
 critical knowledge concerning the views, experiences, behaviors and attitudes
 of people worldwide.  Known for The Harris Poll, Harris Interactive has
 45 years of experience in providing its clients with market research and
 polling services including custom, multi-client and service bureau research,
 as well as customer relationship management services.  Harris Interactive
 acquired the custom research group of Yankelovich Partners in February 2001.
 Through its U.S. and Global Network offices, Harris Interactive conducts
 research around the world, in multiple, localized languages, using its
 proprietary technology to survey its database of more than 7 million online
 panelists.  For more information about Harris Interactive, please visit the
 Company's website at http://www.harrisinteractive.com.
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X44545272
 
 SOURCE  Harris Interactive