It’s always heart-breaking to read of potential job losses because of store closures, as has recently been announced in the UK by Toys R Us and Maplin. It’s especially hard to take when some of the issues were foreseeable and resolvable months ago.

In an effort to cut costs, management cut staff levels in stores, which resulted in lower customer service. Based on Market Force Information’s research, brands that consistently deliver excellence on operational standards in their stores will delight their customers. Delighted customers will not only return but also recommend the brand and store to their friends and family. This virtuous cycle results in more traffic, which drives revenues and same-store sales growth. In fact, in its most recent Fashion Apparel Retail Consumer Preference Study, Market Force found that only 43% of the customers that purchased in-store were actually helped by store staff. This lack of engagement on the sales floor is caused by two issues that currently present themselves in retail formats. The first issue is that many retailers are not investing in their people. Ensuring that front line staff have the latest and best sales process training will give them the confidence to engage and more effectively serve customers who come into the store. The other issue is the fact that, like Toys ‘R Us and Maplin, retailers are making budget cuts to frontline staff in the effort to reduce costs. Having fewer team members in the stores to help customers is not a winning CX strategy.

In Maplin’s case, the reduction of colleagues in the final few feet of the customer’s journey resulted in lower customer satisfaction. Market Force has demonstrated the link between performance on CX measures and financial performance at store level. We recently leveraged our predictive analytics practice to help a client predict and identify sites at-risk of closure due to declining scores on a blended index of CX metrics. The client has been able to take more precise and decisive action to prevent site closures that would otherwise have impacted its bottom line. This ability to link CX measures to financial performance results earned the praise of Forrester in 2017 when they identified Market Force as a Break-out Vendor for domain-specific insights.

To learn more about the power of leveraging predictive analytics to i) understand what matters most to your customers, ii) identify gaps in operational execution, and iii) determine the financial ROI of driving change, please schedule a briefing.

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Victor Chauhan is a Key Account Manager for Market Force Information and consults on CX best practices with clients from a variety of industries.