A recent survey shows that U.S. retailers have missed the mark two years in a row when it comes to customer satisfaction.
What Does the Report Say?
According to a 2018-2019 report from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), consumers are increasingly becoming dissatisfied with most U.S. retailers. The report, based on a survey of more than 62,000 customers chosen at random, shows that U.S. retailers, including both brick-and-mortar and online stores, are “losing ground for the second year in a row.” According to the survey, which was released on February 26, there was a drop of nearly 1 percent in customer satisfaction when it comes to the retail sector.
Why are Consumers So Dissatisfied?
According to NBC News, ACSI Managing Director David VanAmburg attributes consumer dissatisfaction to the “lackluster” and “underwhelming” customer service they often experience. “Things like courtesy and helpfulness of store staff, call center support and even availability of merchandise on the shelves … have seen drops from a year ago,” he added. This is especially true for supermarket shoppers, who say that food quality has decreased over the years, the stores are dirtier than they used to be, there aren’t that many sales and promotions, pharmacy services are poor, brand name products are not as widely available, the checkout process is slower, and service personnel are less helpful and courteous in person and over the phone. What’s worse is that the report shows that “ALL elements of the grocery shopping experience are worse compared to a year ago.”
And, even though Americans prefer shopping online, the survey showed a drop (down 2.4 percent from last year) in customer satisfaction in the internet retail sector as well. In fact, overall satisfaction with the checkout and payment process decreased from 2017 by 2 percent. According to NBC News, consumers say that not only has the online shopping experience not improved at all in the last year, it has actually declined. Areas of complaint include desktop checkout, navigation, and site performance. About the only thing consumers are satisfied with when it comes to the online shopping experience is mobile apps, which earned high marks for both their quality and reliability.