Kelowna survey reflects provincial trend of poor service for shoppers

Kelowna, BC – A public online survey conducted by Sales Ninja Academy, an Okanagan based customer service training centre, reports Kelowna retail customers are still experiencing poor customer service, a trend found in stores across the province.

The survey reveals that 95 per cent of customers admit to sharing a bad customer service. More than 70 per cent shared that poor experience with an average of five or more people, or posted to social media. Customers sharing their service experience on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, instantly amplify their complaints to reach from 100 to 300 people on average.

“I am surprised how exponential customer service experiences become when shared on social media,” says Rick Maddison, CEO of Sales Ninja Academy. “Customers who post their bad experiences can impact customer choice and the negative social media exposure reduces potential sales and impacts the reputation of the business.”

Photo: Sales trainer Rick Maddison believes reports of poor service is a wake call for retailers.

The survey conducted in November 2015, reveals what bothers customers the most was the poor attitude of staff (52 per cent). Topping the list for poor service are big box stores, followed by department stores, while sporting goods and health and beauty, both at only two per cent, faired very well.

The survey echoes results from the BC Business/Insights West survey on the state of customer service in B.C. Conducted in June, the provincial survey findings show that 35 per cent of B.C. shoppers reporting worse service than five years ago. Results indicated that 27 per cent found staff to be courteous and kind only some of the time or rarely.

Maddison believes empowered retail sales teams have daily opportunities to turn shoppers into buyers and generate positive referrals by investing in customer service training.

“Reduced sales is a big strategic wakeup call for retailers to invest in solid customer service training for their front line staff,” he says. “Customers want friendly and competent staff and better interactions. Great service is the right thing to do and it makes good business sense.”

The survey showed that more than 80 per cent of customers would purchase a product when a staff member provides good customer service.

For over ten years, the Sales Ninja Academy has worked with more than 300 Okanagan retail businesses to deliver excellent customer service. Their fun, easy-to-follow training videos can be found at