Mattress retailers could be doing better—and could be doing worse
In a rating of 22 types of stores, industries and services, mattress retailers stand solidly at No. 11, with a score of 80 on a 100-point scale. Credit unions topped the customer satisfaction list with a score of 90, followed by auto insurers and brokerage firms (both with scores of 86), pharmacies (85) and fast-food restaurants (84). At the bottom of the list were small-appliance retailers (68), Internet and telephone providers (both at 67), and appliance repairers and computer tech support (both with scores of 64). The rankings are based on print and online subscriber surveys conducted since 2012, according to the September 2015 issue of the publication.
In a separate survey, the Consumer Reports National Research Center asked 1,016 adults to categorize a list of customer service complaints on a scale from 0 (“not annoying at all”) to 10 (“tremendously irritating”). Most troubling to consumers is being unable to “get a live person on the phone” and customer service workers who are “rude or condescending,” both of which highly annoyed 75% of respondents. Getting disconnected irked 74%.
Most of the top irritants reported by consumers were related to customer service telephone help lines, but a few experiences unique to shopping in brick-and-mortar stores made the list. Some 71% of respondents were highly irritated by rude salespeople. And, interestingly, 64% were peeved by salespeople who ignored them, while 60% were bothered by salespeople who were “too pushy.”
An article accompanying the survey results noted that, overall, “whether they interacted in person, by phone or by email, fewer Americans were agitated over lousy service than they were in 2011”—the last time Consumer Reports conducted a similar survey. But that news may not be all good. Another accompanying article points to recent research from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, that shows the percentage of “Americans who think that complaining is worthwhile has fallen to 50%, from 61%, since 2011.” Millennials, retail consultant Jack Abelson tells the magazine, have grown up with less-than-stellar customer service and don’t know to expect better. Meanwhile, the article notes, “other experts suggest we’re less irked now that we’re becoming accustomed to serving ourselves, whether it’s at a grocery store checkout line or banking online.”