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Big-box shoppers wonder if concerns are heard

TORONTO — A study of big-box retail consumers, released Thursday, found that only two in five consumers believe that retailers value their input, and just 29% believe it is acted upon.

According to the Consumer Insights Panel survey conducted by customer experience management solution provider Empathica Inc., 85% of the 6,500 consumers surveyed have provided some form of feedback to big-box retailers, yet only 46% believe that brands actually use this feedback to make constructive changes to the customer experience.

In addition, only 52% believe that feedback is shared with individual locations – even though the majority of consumers (81%) feel that feedback should not only be shared with local managers, but with all of the brand’s employees.

The shortfall of confidence in brands’ willingness to implement changes rooted in customer feedback is a serious concern for retailers, said Empathica. In fact, 83% of consumers agree or strongly agree that they would be more loyal to a brand if they knew the brand would act on their feedback.

“Our research proves that consumers really do want to provide feedback and engage in conversations with brands,” said Dr. Gary Edwards, chief customer officer, Empathica. “But at the same time, they are clearly disappointed by not having any visibility into what happens afterwards. Feedback remains a one-way street and what consumers are yearning for is two-way dialogue. They want to know that their feedback is being acted upon in ways that will drive meaningful changes to the customer experience at the locations they frequent.”

The Empathica Consumer Insights Panel also revealed key insights into the motivations and delivery methods that drive customer feedback. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming two-thirds of consumers prefer to share feedback online. The next most popular feedback delivery method was in person, but this was reported by only 13% of consumers.