Thursday, July 22nd, 2010
Customer service in Australia has improved, according to the latest benchmarking data from
The Realise Group, compiled from over 36,000 mystery shops conducted in the 2009 – 2010 Financial Year. Key areas of improvement were in selling, building rapport and improving customers’ perception.

“The results are encouraging and demonstrate how seriously retailers are now taking the whole issue of managing the customer’s experience. Many have realised that happy customers become advocators and promoters of their services,” said The Realise Group’s Director, Katie Miles. “85% of customers said that they would be happy to recommend the store to friends and family.”

An average of 86% of staff members in all sectors led the way by making customer service their top priority. This is an increase of 5 percentage points from 81% (FY 2008 – 2009 results) to 86% (FY 2009 – 2010). ‘Customers feeling welcome’ rose by 2 percentage points from the previous year, scoring a high 88%.

89% of staff members in Apparel asked questions to determine mystery shoppers’ needs, followed closely by General retailers with 81%. 92% of both Apparel and General retailers made appropriate product recommendations. This is a drop of 2 percentage points from the previous year.

In the Apparel sector 100% of payments were handled by staff members in an efficient manner. This was closely followed by those in the Food sector with 97%. In the Food sector, 91% of mystery shoppers said that the food met their expectations and that their orders were prepared in a timely manner.

In all sectors, staff members attempting to close the sale rose to 63%, up by 7 percentage points. However, only 48% of sales assistants attempted to upsell or add-on.

“The results show that retailers are doing the basics well most of the time, but need to take further time in training and equipping staff with the skills needed to maximise the sales opportunity. There still is a big opportunity there to convert browsers into buyers”, added The Realise Group’s Director Katie Miles.

88% of mystery shoppers said that they would return to the store based on their experience, up by 1 percentage point from FY 2008 – 2009.

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The Realise Group

The Realise Group is a boutique market research and mystery shopping company with a focus on the measurement and evaluation of customer experience. We offer a suite of integrated services to help businesses understand and provide their customers with outstanding in-store experiences.
Davina Noakes
P: 03 9687 2360


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