For the first time in 14 years, the UK has topped the international Smile rankings scoring 94%, just ahead of Greece, Puerto Rico and Russia with 93%. The Smile report provides a summary of more than 1 million answers by customers to questions on B2C sales interactions with staff in 50 countries during 2017.
The report is compiled by Better Business Worldwide from information supplied by mystery shopping providers around the world on frontline performance. Customers rate their experience using over 30 metrics covering staff professionalism, quality and efficiency, ease of doing business, timeliness, problem solving, complaint handling and attitudes towards trust and reputation.
Jill Spencer, President of MSPA Europe/Africa, and Director at mystery shopping specialists ReactCX UK, says: “The link between service and sales is clear. The value of a simple ‘hello’ alone from frontline staff translates to an increased spend of £5.50 per transaction from research by the Institute of Customer Service. We have been working hard with our clients to demonstrate that mystery shopping – done properly – will positively impact the bottom line. ReactCX clients out performed the add-on sales UK benchmark by 15% in 2017”
The proportion of UK customers experiencing a problem fell by 0.4% points to 12.7%, whereas those whose experience was right first time has grown by 3% points, to 80.8%. Satisfaction with complaint handling is stable.
“It’s welcome proof that vendors are responding with increasing standards of service to the crisis in the High Street and the threat from online, squeezed consumer incomes and rising overheads for retailers, restaurant and entertainment venues. The major differentiator and opportunity for the High Street is in the quality of service and personal interaction delivered; this is vital if customers are to feel good about the brand and the buying experience,” says Jill Spencer.
“Mystery shopping is consistently the best way for retailers and others to identify specifically when and where their staff, systems and processes might be failing to deliver the experience to customers that is planned for them. The UK High Street is performing well in international rankings but we’ve got to remain vigilant and regularly test the quality of service to customers and respond to any findings.”