A new consumer survey has found shoppers around the country – including Brisbane – are fed up with poor customer service.

Retail experts say it’s a much-needed wake up call to an industry already struggling to cope with the rise of online shopping.

Zac Street reports.


When it comes to shopping from the customers’ point of view customer service, Choice magazine found there’s room for improvement.

Do you think it could be better?

Vox 1: “Generally, yes.”

Vox 2: “They could be more motivated and want to do their job.”

They’re not alone.

Choice asked shoppers to secretly rate the customer service at 10 of our biggest retailers.

The results were far from flattering. Staff were too busy chatting, poor knowledge of the products and Myer, David Jones and Harvey Norman scored the worst.

QUT News conducted its own mini survey.

10:28am: we entered a cafe in Brisbane’s CBD, waited for eight minutes before being served. But our order did arrive five minutes later.

That’s 13 minutes for a coffee. Retail experts say the buck stops at store managers.

Maxine Cheilyk, Retail Service Trainer: “Unfortunately some businesses see customer service as an expense, the training of it, thinking about those consistent standards. However there’s nothing further from the truth.”

The rise of online shopping has created more savvy consumers.

Bruce Mills, Retailers Federation Qld: “They’re not so much after the pretty shop. It really is more about educated shoppers who are going out there and saying, well hang on a minute, is the service level there to cover that extra couple of hundred dollars. Well, no it’s not.”

While the large national chains are struggling to bring in customers, many shoppers are finding smaller operators, like this one, are a more appealing place to spend.

Paul Mengotti is the owner of a small hardware store. He says customers like to feel like they’re getting special treatment.

Paul Mengotti, Hardware Owner: “Together with that, most of our staff are pretty well trained, they know what they’re talking about, so when they give advice, the advice is generally correct and on the ball.”

And keeps the customers coming back.

Zac Street, QUT News.