A study conducted by the Commonwealth Bank has shed light on what customers expect from the retail and foodservice sectors, and efficient, personalised service is at the top of the list.

Conducted by a third party market research firm, CommBank’s Retail Therapy research surveyed 1,000 consumers, looking at the emotional and rational drivers behind ‘perfect’ in-store and dine-in experiences.

It found that 68 percent of customers list inefficient customer service as the biggest contributor to a poor experience, with queuing the next biggest complaint (53 percent). Half of the respondents claim they would leave a business if they had to wait to make a payment.

Technology is also crucial, with just under half (47 percent) of respondents believing that businesses which use the latest technologies are more in-tune with the needs of their customers, and 74 percent of people suggesting they would stay loyal to a business that offers personalisation. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they feel retail businesses should do more to personalise their shopping experiences, with 77 percent of shoppers more likely to return to an outlet that offers loyalty programs or customer offers.

 Eighty-four percent of shoppers are more likely to buy from a business they feel connected to, with 82 percent likely to spend more when they feel like a valued customer.

Dr Johann Ponnampalam, Deakin University behavioural scientist, said “Much of our daily life involves habitual, autopilot behaviour. When in this mindset, we crave faster, simpler, easier service interactions and when we don’t receive them, we experience friction which often leads to us avoiding purchasing altogether.

“Our lives are more complex than ever before and consumers have an abundance of choice … This leads to choice paralysis, which in-turn leads to avoiding purchase decisions and buyer’s remorse. The study shows that businesses need to work harder to help customers make informed, confident choices by providing personalised and relevant information during the retail experience,” he said.

Payment insights

When it comes to point of sale, 75 percent of those surveyed use a credit or debit card as their primary payment method. Other payment methods include cash (66 percent), PayPass/PayWave /Tap&Pay (49 percent) and digital wallets (six percent).

Seventy-eight percent of people want splitting bills to be an easy service provided by business owners, with 69 percent claiming they hate it when it’s not made possible. Seventy-seven percent say they find it awkward when one person has to pay the bill for everyone.

When paying the bill, 65 percent of people feel anxious/pressured if they get asked to tip by a waiter/staff member, whereas 46 percent feel less anxious/pressured to leave a tip if prompted by an electronic payment terminal.

“With recent advances in technology now available to businesses of any size, small and medium retailers have a new opportunity to transform point-of-sale and in-store experiences to drive sales and encourage greater customer loyalty through repeat business,” Claire Roberts, executive general manager, Local Business Banking, Commonwealth Bank, said.


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