Optimizing profitability through research amongst retail customers and staff

Date of publication: August 23, 1981

Abstract:

The study provided measures of the standing of W.H. Smith and its competition on specially-collected attitude dimensions. It also identified which aspects of the staff or the service they provide matter most to customers, and showed how the intensity of demand, and the relative priorities, varied between the company's major merchandise types. The immediacy of the use-of-store study revealed the rationalisations of the more detached consumer studies, and assisted overall interpretation. The staff study allowed the company to note discrepancies in perceptions of service and priorities between customers and staff, and revealed staff feelings about their need for both specific training, and time in-store. The company revised staff training and career-planning, and introduced diploma level qualifications and cash awards to incentivise staff to participate.

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