Early Sale Frenzy could spell disaster for unprepared retailers

Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom (PressExposure) November 21, 2008 -- As major retailers across the country slash their prices in a bid to give the high street a much needed boost, many may be setting themselves up for an even bigger fall due to poorly implemented processes which could actually reduce spend further, warns Customer Service specialist Derek Bishop. In a recent article for Executive Magazine, Abeo Consulting’s MD Derek Bishop predicted the ‘battle of the nerves’ behaviour now being seen from major retailers such as Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and BHS, as they face the dilemma of who will break first and start promoting their sales even earlier than before in the race to win more customers. “With disposable income down, customers are even more likely to want to take advantage of bargains and retailers have realised they need to take action now, or their customers will simply continue to hold back on spend until the sales kicked in”, explains Bishop, a former Head of Customer Service and founder of Abeo Consulting, a consultancy specialising in delivering sustainable change in customer service and retention.

Bishop says “Christmas is one of those peak times when broken processes, or inefficient customer handling becomes evident. Those that have reviewed their processes and customer experience in light of upcoming (and rapidly changing) demand will be those who benefit from a good reputation and word of mouth advocacy from customers and hence achieve greater sales despite the credit crunch”.

Hughes Direct successfully achieved this last Christmas by implementing their online Q&A service, which reduced email enquiries by 40%. Bishop believes that retailers need to be flexible and ‘nimble’ with their staffing and be capable of increasing staffing to cope with increased demand, whilst not being hugely over staffed, as profit margins continue to come under strain and prices are lowered.

Bishop says “those that will win on the customer service front this festive season are those that can react effectively and quickly to the changes in customer demand. Retailers are bound to find this trading period tough, but if they can focus on improving their processes and streamlining the customer experience, they will see that customers are still buying, albeit a little more selectively”.

For more information visit [http://www.abeoconsulting.co.uk]

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Press Release Submitted On: November 21, 2008 at 7:26 am
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