12 December, 2017
Peace & joy over the holidays? Not during the 3+ hours poor retail service costs gift givers
IFS survey reveals some revelers waste as much as 10 hours or more on gift-related delivery, product and returns/exchange issues
IFS, the global enterprise applications company, announces the findings of the Holiday Season Customer Engagement survey, which sheds light on how people around the world view customer service when finding or exchanging Christmas gifts. Over 4,400 people took part in the survey conducted by the research firm YouGov.
Brits and Americans struggle the most with Christmas gifts
The holiday season does not mean peace and joy for everyone. Finding and possibly exchanging gifts can be a struggle. When respondents were asked how many hours they waste during the Christmas gift giving season because of poor service (struggling to find the right items, coordinating deliveries and returning/exchanging items) the average time was 3 hours and 6 minutes. Brits are the ones wasting the most time, with an average time of 3 hours and 48 minutes. Americans spend on average 3 hours and 7 minutes, and Swedes only spend 2 hours and 20 minutes. These gift-related hassles are big time-wasters for some—12 percent of respondents in the UK waste over 10 hours as do 10 percent of those in the US and 4 percent in Sweden.
Long waiting time on the phone a major source of frustration
It’s clear that returning of exchanging unwanted Christmas gifts and the process of exchanging them can cause significant annoyance. When asked what the biggest frustration is while resolving gift-related issues with retailers, 20 percent cited long periods spent on hold waiting to speak to a customer service representative. Other significant sources of frustration were the inability of customer service to solve issues at first contact and long waits for a company to finally resolve an issue, each cited by 13 percent of respondents.
Personal contact preferred for customer service
While digital technologies and e-commerce are of critical importance to the retail industry, respondents prefer traditional channels such as personal contact, phone and e-mail. When contacting a retailer on a delivery issue, product return or other gift-related problem, a significant percentage of 47 percent prefer personal contact in-store. This is followed by phone contact with 34 percent, and e-mail with 27 percent.
“It is clear that poor customer service is an issue that genuinely frustrates people, not least during the hectic Christmas period. To create a better experience, companies need to identify the preferred channels within their specific industry, show agility in capacity and processes and adopt technology solutions that satisfy increasing consumer expectations,” said Mark Brewer, IFS Global Industry Director for Service Management.
About the survey
The survey was conducted online by the research firm YouGov during 1-3 December 2017. The sample includes 1,017 persons in the United Kingdom, 2,320 in Sweden and 1,126 in the US. The respondents were randomly selected persons 18 years of age or older.
IFS™ develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of our people and solutions, together with commitment to our customers, has made us a recognized leader and the most recommended supplier in our sector. Our team of 3,500 employees supports more than one million users worldwide from a network of local offices and through our growing ecosystem of partners. For more information, visit: IFSworld.com
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