Qualtrics conducted a recent survey of 1,700 shoppers including respondents from Singapore. Findings show that 40% of the time, shoppers in Singapore believe that feedback never reaches the relevant department or right employee that would be able to assist them, while online shoppers believe the same holds true 39% of the time.
Singaporean shoppers see little distinction between the efficiency of feedback channels and believe that complaining via social media, surveys or directly to an employee has no significant impact to their feedback reaching the right people within the company.
Despite that, Singaporeans still expect retailers to respond promptly to their questions and complaints especially on social media. When sharing feedback on an offline retailer’s social media page, 31% of shoppers expect a response on the same day, and 78% expect a response within a few days. For online retailers, 36% of shoppers expect a response on the same day and 74% expect a response within a few days.
Creating a positive retail experience for shoppers is key to customer acquisition. With 61% of shoppers stating that their expectations of offline retailers are shaped by social media, friends and family referrals, retailers need to be able to live up to customers’ perceptions. When it comes to online retailers, 68% of shoppers indicated that their expectations are influenced by social media, friends and family referrals.
The Qualtrics survey reveals that delivering an ideal brick-and-mortar experience lies in the availability of a wide selection of products and the least important is automatically emailed receipts. The most important element that makes for a stellar online shopping experience is easy-to-see product pictures and details while the least important factor is the ability to receive email support.
Other data points reinforce the urgency for online retailers to listen to and act upon customer feedback:
• 16% of shoppers expect retailers to respond to their email question or complaint same day while 22% of shoppers expect the same from online retailers
• 28% of shoppers will drop a retailer without notice if they experience a major service failure while 29% of shoppers will do the same when it comes to an online retailer
• 50% of shoppers like a retailer more than before if their problem is quickly resolved while 51% of shoppers would feel the same when it comes to an online retailer
• 72% of shoppers blame a retailer if one of their employees provides unfriendly or unhelpful service while 68% of shoppers would blame an online retailer for the same incident
“Companies are witnessing what we call an “experience gap” which refers to the gap between the experience that companies believe they are delivering and the experience their customers are actually receiving, said Bill McMurray, Managing Director for Asia-Pacific and Japan at Qualtrics. “The challenge for companies is to close this gap through the use of an experience management solution, which makes it easy to capture, gain insights and take actions from experience data. There are two sets of data: operational data “O data” and experience data “X data”. X data is the human-factor data, the beliefs, emotions and sentiments that tell you why things are happening and that help predict what will happen next. For too long organisations have only focused on collecting O data, and often fail by not leveraging their X data. To address the experience gap, shown in the survey results above, the retail industry must improve the level of customer experience they provide. When they are able to do this, they will satisfy and retain their customers, generate increased revenues and grow faster than their competitors.”