In Retail, Who Wins the Customer Relations Battle?

By Harris Poll, Special for US Daily Review.

While several department stores forfeited profit by deep holiday discounting, Kohl’s won the hearts and mind of the customer with the highest overall Customer Relationship Score compared to other mid tier department stores.    Kohl’s edges jcpenney on two of three Customer Relationship metrics – Emotional and Behavioral – while sharing the lead with jcpenney on the Rational dimension.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,237 adults surveyed online between December 5 and 12, 2011 by Harris Interactive.

The newly released People’s Pick award recognizes the strength of consumers’ bonds with mid-tier department stores and reflects the customers’ connections and future intentions. Looking at the three elements, the first, rational, takes into accountsatisfaction and the degree to which expectations are met while the emotional aspect is determined by how valued a customer feels and their overall level of trust for that department store. Finally, the behavior element explores a consumer’s likelihood to continue shopping and recommend the department store, as well as perceptions of the stores competitive advantage in the marketplace. Together these metrics form the overall Customer Relationship Score.

Kohl’s (5.7) achieved the highest overall Customer Relationship Score, followed by jcpenney (5.6), Dillard’s (5.5), Sears (5.5), and Macy’s (5.4).  “While neck and neck with jcpenney on several metrics, what really stands in Kohl’s favor is the customer’s perception of the unique benefits offered by the department store, as well as their advocacy for Kohl’s as demonstrated in theirlikelihood to continue to shop at and recommend the department store to friends, family and colleagues,” said Mike Chadsey, Senior Consultant for Harris Interactive’s Customer Relationship Consulting team. For example, a particular competitive advantage is Kohl’s performance on providing unique benefits (5.4), scoring significantly higher than other mid tier retailers (jcpenney (5.1), Dillard’s (4.9), Sears (4.9) and Macy’s (4.8). “Kohl’s has earned the desired behaviors that retailers seek in a long term customer relationship. The challenge will be to find ways to maintain and leverage that level of engagement while striving to improve store profitability.”

Over half of the respondents (59%) indicated a holiday spend similar to that as last year, while 29% planned to spend less and only 11% planned to spend more than last year.

*The Harris Poll Customer Relationship Series is a new collection of ranking studies that measure the strength of a brands relationship with their customers based on scores in three key dimensions:  Emotional Affinity, Rational Performance and Behavioral Intentions.  The People’s Pick Award is provided to the highest ranked brand in the series.

TABLE 1
RATIONAL, EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORIAL SCORES
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
Rational Score 5.8 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6
Emotional Score 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3 5.3
Behavioral Score 5.8 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.3
Overall Score 5.7 5.6 5.5 5.5 5.4
Note: The scores are indices of the Simple 7 questions

TABLE 2
LIKELIHOOD TO CONTINUE TO USE
“How likely are you to continue to shop at [RETAILER] in the near future?”
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
% % % % %
TOP TWO (NET) 76 75 70 68 63
7 – Extremely likely 51 46 46 39 35
6 25 29 24 29 29
5 15 14 17 16 22
4 6 7 9 11 10
3 2 1 2 3 4
BOTTOM TWO (NET) 1 2 3 2 1
2 * 2 1 1 1
1 – Not at all likely * * 2 * *
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; * indicates less than 0.5%

TABLE 3
TRUSTWORTHY RELATIONSHIP
“How well does the following statement describe [RETAILER] – Ensures a trustworthy relationship with you?”
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
% % % % %
TOP TWO (NET) 58 58 53 50 48
7 – Describes Very Well 28 25 19 22 15
6 30 32 35 28 32
5 22 22 24 25 32
4 14 14 16 17 12
3 4 3 2 4 5
BOTTOM TWO (NET) 2 3 5 4 4
2 1 2 3 3 2
1 – Does not describe at all 1 1 2 1 2
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding;

 

TABLE 4
VALUING YOU AS A CUSTOMER
“How well does the following statement describe [RETAILER] – Valuing you as a customer?”
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
% % % % %
TOP TWO (NET) 60 58 50 53 47
7 – Describes Very Well 31 25 20 23 19
6 29 33 30 30 28
5 21 23 29 22 33
4 14 13 15 16 14
3 3 3 3 5 4
BOTTOM TWO (NET) 2 2 4 4 2
2 2 2 2 2 2
1 – Does not describe at all 1 1 2 2 1
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding;

TABLE 5
OVERALL SATISFACTION
“How would you rate your overall satisfaction with [RETAILER]?”
Base: Shops at one of three discount retailers
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
% % % % %
TOP TWO (NET) 69 72 67 63 63
7 – Extremely satisfied 35 32 28 29 26
6 35 40 39 34 37
5 20 18 21 23 24
4 9 7 8 10 9
3 2 2 3 3 3
BOTTOM TWO (NET) * 1 1 2 1
2 * 1 1 1 1
1 – Not at all satisfied * * * *
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; “-” indicates no response and * indicates less than 0.5%

TABLE 6
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPEND
“Approximately how much do you intend to spend on your holiday shopping this year?”
Base: All Adults
Total Shopped at one of the 5 mid tier stores
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
% % % % % %
Nothing 14 7 7 4 8 5
Between $1 and $249 29 23 24 17 24 23
Between $250 and $499 17 16 19 15 17 16
Between $500 and $749 21 25 24 18 25 23
Between $750 and $999 3 5 5 8 6 5
$1,000 or more 15 24 21 38 21 28
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; “-” indicates no response

TABLE 7
HOLIDAY SHOPPING SPEND CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS YEAR
“Generally speaking, is that…what you spent last year?”
Base: All Adults
Total Shopped at one of the 5 mid tier stores
Kohl’s jcpenney Dillard’s Sears Macy’s
% % % % % %
Less than last year 29 26 28 29 31 24
About the same 59 62 60 61 60 62
More than last year 11 11 12 10 9 14
Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding; “-” indicates no response


All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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