Apply to be a mystery shopper

ABa Pulse 2018-19 - Retail Roundup

In 2017 we launched a new initiative - ‘Pulse’ - and for the last 2 years our Assessors have helped us track CX trends. Pulse is a real-time data source captured across the whole of the UK by our committed Assessor team and is based on any (non-assessment) face-to-face interactions they carry out. Here’s our round up of what customers have experienced in the last 12 months in the Retail sector.

Retail Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Retail Net Promoter

Friendliness is the X Factor

“There was no apology for the ten-minute wait in service. No greeting and warmth and smiles were lacking from the colleague. A friendlier approach would have helped. The only interaction offered was the cost of the transaction. There was no farewell.”

As consumers we want our lives to be made easier, and we increasingly embrace the convenience of online shopping. However, we still value the human touch; the impact of a personal, friendly interaction is a key factor in turning the dial towards a greater number of brand promoters. There’s an opportunity – across all Retail sectors - for colleagues to develop their service offer and build rapport to create more memorable experiences for Retail customers.

“I visited this store and I was interested in purchasing a jacket that was in the sale, but my size was not available in the store. The staff member was very enthusiastic and offered to check stock at other stores for me. The staff member found the jacket at a store in Fareham and explained that I could pay over the phone and the jacket would be delivered to the Winchester store free of charge. I was so happy and felt that the staff member had gone above and beyond to help me.”

Retail Bar Chart

With its fast-paced environment, retail colleagues often comment that there’s just not enough time to be friendly, but a personal touch and a genuinely friendly manner help create a positive, memorable experience rather than simply a transactional one.

Brands need to drive consistency in their ‘customer experience’

With the weakest performance for ‘Friendliness’, both the High Street/Department and PFS sectors have nearly 1/5 of their customers as detractors (18.6% and 19.5% respectively), and we see an inconsistency in the execution of the customer experience within these markets. This inconsistency is illustrated with 3 our top 5 High Street/Department brands having a negative NPS. Consumers can get a fantastic experience in these brands, but the challenge for these retailers is to bring each one of their outlets to this level in order to guarantee all their customers are feeling valued and looked after.

ASDA, Morrisons, Superdrug and Boots all achieved a Top 2 finish (within their specific sector) for NPS, Meeting Customer Needs and Colleague Friendliness. If Retail companies want to stand out and ensure customers return, service (in simplified terms) can come down to two things for shoppers; are they able to get what they need and are the colleague(s) friendly and genuine? The opportunities for this will vary across the different industry sectors and this is where benchmarking needs to be well thought out. Brands that can effectively master these two service principles can look to dominate their markets and not only make their customers’ lives easier but also happier too.

You can find out more about other industries such as Financial Services and Leisure & Hospitality by visiting our live data feed or contact us to find out how we can help you better understand and improve the experience of your customers.

Simon Walker
Experience Champion / 0161 431 1229

Danielle Sones
Experience Director / 0161 431 1221

(Source: ABa Pulse, 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019, n= 3315)

ABa Pulse Infographic

What is ABa Pulse?

Our committed Assessor team go above and beyond their normal roles by providing us and our clients with valuable ‘real time’ industry data. The information is captured from a huge range of sectors, based on genuine face to face interactions. All of the ABa Pulse data is taken from non-client assessments captured by our Assessor team whilst they’re out and about, across the whole of the UK. Sharing this data allows us and our clients to benchmark performance, share key insights and to keep our finger on the pulse!

Visit the live data feed for more information on ABa Pulse.

Net Promoter Score Calculation

The Net Promoter Score is calculated using the responses (0-10 scale) to the question: How likely is it that you would recommend [X] to friends or family? The figure can be a key indicator of growth and is best used alongside other objective Customer Experience programmes, such as Mystery shopping, compliance audits etc.

The responses are grouped like below:

NPS Chart

  • Promoters – Scores of 9 or 10 and are loyal and enthusiastic, who will promote and speak positively about your business
  • Passives – Scores of 7 or 8 and are satisfied but could potentially be tempted by competitors, likewise they can also be transformed into Promoters and help to fuel growth
  • Detractors – scores ranging between 0-6 - these customers are unhappy. They can be the source of negative word of mouth and be brand damaging to businesses

To calculate the Net Promoter Score, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. The scores can range from -100 (every customer is a Detractor) to 100 (every customer is a Promoter).


Archived Publications