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In the news – w/c 20th August

In the news – w/c 20th August

This week: news that consumers still rate traditional retailers highest for service, and demand for consumer-facing roles at airlines are set to rise over the next two years.

Traditional retailers still the best at customer service

A new report from Salesforce, has revealed that consumers still prefer traditional retailers when it comes to customer service, but online marketplaces and brands are edging ahead on every other factor.

Its global Shopper-First Retailing study found that consumers are increasingly turning to marketplaces, such as Amazon and eBay, and brands – which Salesforce defines as those that sell direct to consumers through their own channels, like Apple or Nike – over traditional retailers for product variety, availability, quality and innovation. However, the strength of the old guard’s customer service offering means that half of consumers are more likely to shop with them for first-time purchases.

The research assessed the digital behavior of 500 million shoppers and 1.4 billion ecommerce transactions worldwide. It graded 70 physical stores by making visits and surveyed 6,000 consumers in six different countries, analyzing their shopping experiences.

It also looked at personalization and its impact on consumer choice. The small number of ecommerce visits that include engagement with AI-powered recommendations – just six per cent – drives 37 per cent of retailers’ revenue.

The report argues that, with 64 per cent of shoppers feeling that retailers don’t truly understand them, AI-driven personalization will be a critical tool for driving future sales. Read the full report here.

Airline demand for customer facing roles set to rise

An International Air Transport Association (IATA) survey of hiring managers working at airlines, has found that 75 per cent expect the number of consumer facing roles to grow in the next two years.

Customer service skills are a priority for major airlines, as consumer expectations for a higher and more efficient level of service grow.

Brendan Noonan, Vice President, Talent Development, Qatar Airways Group, who contributed to the report, said: “As an airline, we need to find out where the new touch points are that we can bring in customer service to support and complement technology to make the overall customer experience quicker and more enjoyable. There is an expectation from customers and we have to meet that.”

The report says that although technology is changing the customer service role it’s not replacing it and hiring people with good human interaction skills remains a priority. Read more here.

Cell phone operator promises a more personalized customer experience

UK cell phone network operator EE is the latest brand to announce that it will be offering a more personalized level of support to its customers. Its new smartphone delivery service aims to help consumers to get the most out of their device as soon as they receive it.

It’s teamed up with tech experts Enjoy, to deliver phones to its pay-monthly customers within two hours of ordering. They will then stay with the customer and help them to set up their phone and answer any questions about problems they’re having.

It is all part of EE’s ambition to provide the UK’s best and most personal local service for customers. However, this isn’t the first time that this service has been trialed, with American firm AT&T entering a similar partnership with Enjoy last year.

The article also cites new research that revealed more than a third (34 per cent) of Brits delay upgrading their device because it’s too much of a headache. Read the full story here.

The 4,000-year-old customer complaint

Shoddy customer service is thought to be a phenomenon of the consumer age, but Quartz has featured a story about what’s thought to be the first ever customer complaint – and it’s written in clay.

The 3,800 year-old tablet, which is held at the British Museum in London, dates from the Babylonian-era to the city of Ur in Mesopotamia, which is now Tell el-Muqayyar in Southern Iraq. It was sent by Nanni to Ea-nasir who was furious at receiving the wrong grade of copper ore and by the delay of a further shipment.

The complaint, which is engraved into a piece of clay that is 11.6 cm high and 2.6 cm thick, must have taken a huge effort to carve, with a furious Nanni demanding that the recipient should refund him in full.

It’s unknown whether Nanni got a response to his complaint, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be shopping with them again. Read the full story here.

Author: Editorial team Future. Customer.

Tags for this article Customer Experience (88) Customer Service (98) Retail (11)

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