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Are you being served? Part I

Are you being served? Part I

Is customer care in the GCC up to scratch? Communicate magazine investigates. Part I

November 7, 2009 2:55 by

“The findings of our report will not make for comfortable reading for retailers in the Gulf region,” she says. “Across the Gulf, retailers are failing to create customer loyalty and missing sales opportunities. Our survey found that one in four shoppers said they would not return to or recommend the outlet visited based on the service received.”

The survey shows retailers in the region place a lot of emphasis on advertising, public relations, and glitzy and fancy stores with polite and friendly staff. Unfortunately, retail outlets fall short of offering any depth.

“Though staff may have a positive attitude, they are short on sales skills and initiative,” says Sparks. “Forty percent of staff did not recommend or guide customers to a relevant product or service, and 41 percent did not check that customers had what they wanted or needed.”

Aubrey Ghose is founder and CEO of AIS Brand Lab, a strategic branding agency that also provides staff training. He says the findings of the report are very intuitive and “totally right,” and that the problems revealed in the survey reflect a brand promise not being delivered.

“One of the big misconceptions about what a brand is, is around the elements of the brand,” he says. “People sometimes think it’s the logo or the environment. But whenever we do research after developing stores, the really surprising thing that transpires is that the staff are the brand. In many ways, the staff on the floor is your core brand deliverer.”

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1 Comment

  1. Anupama V. Chand on November 8, 2009 8:06 am

    Nothing we didn’t know already, but how true this finding is! Invariably when you go to any of the hypermarkets, supermarkets and even groceries in Dubai today, you encounter the same stony stares, even apathy from sales staff, who are supposed to really represent the brand, and ensure the customers stay and shop through their warmth and politeness. Is it too much to expect these outlets to motivate their staff enough to keep a smile on their faces and in their step as they approach customers, and give them the service which I believe, they are certainly entitled to, the minute they walk into the given outlet? It seems like courtesy and consideration, despite being such an integral part of the Arab cultural psyche, have still not managed to get reflected in the retail psyche of this bustling metropolis…..a sad state of affairs indeed in a city that prides itself on being the retail hub of the Middle East.


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