Customer satisfaction with brick and mortar retailers is at an all time high, up now three years in a row. Has retail finally figured out customer experience?

Retail Store Customer Experience
Photo by Martin Azambuja

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), customers are feeling more positive about their interaction and service experience in retail. At the same time, customer satisfaction with online retailers broke the recent trend and actually saw lower customer satisfaction ratings according to a report from 247WallSt.com.

So has retail finally figured out customer experience and been able to deliver it to their customers? I’m skeptical. I think that there’s been some improvement, but I don’t see enough to make me a believer in retail getting it right anytime soon.

Brick-and-mortar [stores] didn’t have the most exciting holiday shopping period last year…foot traffic declined and sales growth did not meet expectations. However, this led to customers finding shorter lines and more products in stock.

-David VanAmburg, Managing Director – ACSI

I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but until I see some of the larger retail brands really make an effort to enhance the customer experience, beyond pumping more money into advertising, I’ll have to hold off from jumping into the retail band wagon. Brands can spend millions in nice TV and Web advertisements, but the second you step into their stores, you know it’s for show.

Walmart, for example, leads the worst of the worst when it comes to retail. Not only did Walmart rank the lowest of any retail store, they also ranked last in their core business, groceries.

Customers continue to hand over money at record rates due to low prices, but I think they do it begrudgingly as the retailer suffers from poor customer relationship ratings.