Retail and hospitality businesses relying on legacy systems are failing consumers according to new research from K3, with a quarter of respondents to its latest survey stating that it takes 3 or more interactions to resolve a customer issue.

Retail expert K3 has conducted The Big Retail and Hospitality Customer Service Survey, an in-depth analysis of the critical issues now facing the retail and hospitality sectors. The survey comes at a time when, according to marketing research company Rare, trust in a company or brand is consistently the number one factor for driving loyalty. With service providers now commonly failing to achieve first contact resolution when settling a customer service issue, the ability for retail and hospitality businesses to be enabled to provide first contact resolution is more important than ever.

The ongoing survey from K3 is part of an extensive research programme, with the company working alongside Microsoft and market research specialist Forrester. Initial findings have identified a number of critical issues which are consistently preventing businesses from achieving first contact resolution. One of the recurring themes highlighted in the study is that, it takes on average 10 weeks for a business to get a customer service agent up to speed. This is having a significant impact upon the level of service, with retailers unable to provide a consistently high level experience as a result.

Speaking about the importance of businesses providing a consistent service to consumers, Alison Brown, Marketing Manager at K3, commented: “Technology has had a significant impact upon the retail and hospitality sector over recent years. As the choice of platforms has widened, consumers are becoming a lot savvier, with an expectation of a strong and consistent approach to customer service. The demand from the public to be able to shop and also be able to communicate with companies at anytime and anywhere is a demand which businesses need to take seriously or risk being left behind.”

Speaking about the benefits for retailers and hospitality providers utilising a Microsoft Dynamics solution Alison Brown continued: “Microsoft Dynamics provides businesses with the ability to streamline business process and improve visibility of their customer data. Crucially, this information is available in one place for an entire business both in store and online. The impact of this means that field service agents and customer service representatives are able to access the same information, helping retailers to provide the high levels of customer service that consumers now demand.”

K3’s survey, the most extensive research programme undertaken by the company, will continue into November with participants receiving a free Forrester Report worth over £1000.  In addition, K3, in conjunction with Microsoft and Forrester will be hosting a free webinar on 9th November, with guest speaker Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, Senior Analyst Serving Customer Experience Professionals at Forrester Research. The event will explore how businesses can use customer journey analytics to anticipate customer needs.

The full findings of K3’s Customer Service Survey will also be unveiled as part of the webinar, with businesses having the opportunity to assess not only the critical issues facing the industry as a whole, but also provide retailers with the ability to determine the concerns of their peers, with the interactive webinar offering a platform for attendees to converse with one another.

For the opportunity to be part of the free webinar, register your interest here: http://k3crm.com/journey-analytics-webinar-sign-up/.

There’s also still time to have your say in K3’s Big Retail and Hospitality Customer Service Survey. Find out more and take part here: http://k3crm.com/the-case-of-the-returning-customer/