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Large format retailers falling behind in customer satisfaction

HarveyNorman-exteriorLarge format retail chains are unable to keep up with smaller players in regards to customer satisfaction, according to research by Consumer NZ.

The annual retailer satisfaction survey found 82 per cent of customers who purchased a major appliance from 100% Appliances were very satisfied with the level of service they received, as opposed to 70 per cent of Harvey Norman customers and 68 per cent of Noel Leeming customers.

“When we give up our hard-earned cash, the shopping experience should be pleasant – or painless at the very least,” the report reads. “Unfortunately, that’s too much to ask for many retail chains.”

Part of the consumer frustrations come from large format retailers being more likely to pitch extra costs on product purchases, with more than two-thirds of customers having been offered extended warranties when purchasing whiteware or cooking appliances.

“Selling extended warranties is a nice little earner for retailers. But if you’re buying goods for personal use, you’re paying for protection you already have under the Consumer Guarantees Act,” Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said.

It was also revealed that large format retail staff are generally less likely to be “experts” in their products, with three quarters of Magness Benrow, Kitchen Things and 100% Appliances customers believing the respective staff are experts, as opposed to half of large appliance shoppers on average.

These trends of customer satisfaction also lead to further business, according to the report, which noted that two thirds of 100% Appliances customer returned after a previous good experience.

Apple Store was rated as the favourite provider of computers and mobiles, with over 80 per cent of customers scoring the retailer highly, with consumer trust buoyed by the fact they were buying direct from the manufacturer.

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