SERVING THEM RIGHT
Welcoming the wealthy with service
It turns out the rich really are different from you and me - and not
simply because they have more money, as Hemingway claimed. Higher-income
consumers (and this will be no surprise to some) demand better service from
stores than those who are less well-heeled. That's not all - service is
more likely to be an integral part of a wealthy patron's overall perception
of how good the store is - an essential element in the concept of retailer
These are findings from a study designed to correlate consumers' demographic
characteristics with their perceptions of retail stores. Respondents were
asked to rate the importance of such factors as sales associates' willingness
to help and the accuracy of retailers' records in determining a company's
The study, published in the Journal of Customer Service in Marketing
& Management, found that the higher the income, the more likely
that consumer is to regard "instilling confidence in customers"
as a determinant of store quality. Rich people are less likely than the
less well-off to become regular customers of a store with service they find
unsatisfactory. On the other hand, high-income people are less likely to
tell others about good service they received than their lower-income brethren.
The research also examined differences between men and women in judging
retailer quality. Women think "willingness to help customers,"
"prompt service" and "error-free records" are more important
than men do.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.