Professional Jeweler Archive: The Future of Pleasing Customers

March 2005

The Store | Managing Your Customers

The Future of Pleasing Customers

Consumers still like to go to stores – when they’re well staffed – but they want online options too. Recently, the top 100 specialty retailers were surveyed for their 2005 customer service plans. One of their top priorities is using technology to make it easier for consumers to shop seamlessly online and in the store. LakeWest Group, an independent retail management consulting company, said its survey shows retailers are placing heightened emphasis on consumers’ growing desire for a multichannel retail experience (for example, online and in-store shopping).

More than one-third of the multichannel retailers offer in-store kiosks as tools for online shopping, product information or employee support. More than 70% offer the use of stored value cards. Both trends reflect the growing influence of tech-savvy Generation Y, which is reaching its 20s in record numbers.

A separate survey of retailers and consumers by the National Retail Federation found the number of sales associates at a store is more important to shoppers than their level of education or how well they know their customers. Though about half of consumers still care about having sales associates who know them and are familiar with products, consumers would rather be waited on quickly.

Copyright © 2005 by Bond Communications