By Grant Shepherd

Choice recently conducted a Shadow Shopper survey for the top ten retailers in Australia to see how their customer service skills stack up against one another.

The retail stores visited include: Big W, Bunnings, David Jones, Dick Smith, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Kmart, Myer and Target.

In the overall rankings, Bunnings and Big W topped the list. Bunnings was commended for its easy to find staff, good product knowledge and easy returns policy. Big W’s helpful staff and no-fuss returns policy were also applauded. Neither retailer had negaitve traits listed.

Dick Smith and JB Hi-Fi were rated well for staff that had great product knowledge and customer service / customer engagement. Athough they both had some examples of poor customer service and the lack of ‘change of mind’ returns was a downside.

Target had good staff engagement, fast checkout process but the staff had poor product knowledge. David Jones had mixed examples of good and bad customer service, but was rated well for returns policy. Staff also demonstrated examples of poor product knowledge.

Myer was given a tick for its returns policy and quick customer engagement, while poor product knowledge and some examples of poor customer engagement were recorded.

Kmart was promoted as being storng for ‘self reliant’ shoppers and an overall no fuss experience, while a shortage of staff on the floor was a negative.
The Good Guys had examples of both good and bad customer service. It was rated negatively for inconsistent product knowledge and the lack of ‘change of mind’ returns.

Harvey Norman seemed to get the worst wrap, with no positives highlighted. The negatives included poor customer engagement, inconsistent product knowledge, evidence of pushy sales tactics and not accepting ‘change of mind’ returns.

This survey was compiled after four shoppers visited a variety of stores in Sydney at different times of the day over a two week period. They then had to ask for a specific item costing $100.

If the shopper wasn’t approached or offered help they had to try and find a staff member to ask for help.

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