Customer service shadow shop

Our customer service shadow shop produces mixed results for major retailers.
 
 
 
 
 
 

04.Discount department stores

Australia’s major discount retailers, Target, Big W and Kmart, all claim to provide everyday items at a reasonable cost. While the shopping experience here promises to be vastly different compared with department stores, customer service is still important.

Big-W

Big effort

Emma, Kathryn and Alexander reported that Big W was a strictly straightforward affair, where helping yourself was standard. However, Gloria found a very helpful sales assistant who went out of her way to try and help despite admitting she didn’t know much about the products in question.

Returns

All shadow shoppers reported that the return process was simple, fast and no hassle.

K-Mart

OK, but lonely

While our shoppers reported a similar experience to Target and Big W, they did comment on how few staff were on the floor in the Kmart stores they visited, as well as the number of self-service checkouts. Emma described her store as being like a “supermarket for homewares and clothes. I managed to buy the kettle without any interaction with another person.”

Gloria managed to find a staff member who was helpful, while Alexander described his experience as being a “no-worries operation. Kmart did what I’d expect and did it well’.

Returns

All shoppers reported a no-fuss experience.

 

Sign up to our free
e-Newsletter

Receive FREE email updates of our latest tests, consumer news and CHOICE marketing promotions.

 

Target

On target - mostly

Overall our shoppers had a positive experience at Target, finding it easy to help themselves or track down a staffer and ask for help. All the staff approached were friendly, although none were knowledgeable about the products.

All four shoppers commented on how quick and easy it was to pay for their items and be on their way.

Returns

With a dedicated service desk, all four shoppers processed their returns with a minimum of fuss.