Supermarket sweep – customers want choice and convenience

27th Jul 2015

Reacting to news that Morrisons is rolling back self-service checkouts in favour of staffed express checkouts, Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, comments:

“Customers’ expectations have evolved rapidly in recent years, leading to an ever-growing desire for convenience. Interpreting this as a ‘need for speed’, many brands have relied on technology to introduce faster service, without always focusing on the service experience that their customers require.“The fact is that they want choice. Sometimes this means talking to the person behind the till, sometimes it’s about a purchase made in a hurry. There is also a difficult balancing act to be made as diversity of customer needs and behaviours continues to evolve and this means catering for customers who will be satisfied by a return to traditional shopping and those frustrated by a move away from it.”

Latest figures from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index* reveal that 25 percent of retail food customers are seeking excellent service and are prepared to pay a premium price in order to get it. Asked about whether they are easy to do business with, consumers scored retail food organisations 8.2 on a 10-point scale.

Causon adds:

“Within the retail food sector, customer service clearly is one of the main influencers of people’s choice. The sector has such strong competition that customers can, and often do, vote with their feet if they are not satisfied, a strong and immediate motivator for companies to focus on customer service.”


Notes to editors

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About The Institute of Customer Service

The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers' experience and their own business performance. The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 400 organisational members - from the private, public and third sectors - and over 5,000 individual memberships.

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