If you want good customer service, go to Pep: Research

Pep has come out tops in the latest SA Customer Satisfaction Index for Clothing Stores.
Pep has come out tops in the latest SA Customer Satisfaction Index for Clothing Stores.
Image: Supplied

Local retailer Pep has beaten competitors in customer satisfaction ratings, according to research.

The retailer has come out tops in the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SA-csi) for Clothing Stores, conducted by Consulta.

The 2018 SA-csi for clothing stores ranked Ackermans, Edgars, Jet, Mr Price, Pep Stores, Truworths and Woolworths based on "highly" scientific insights into the overall level of satisfaction of customers.

Pep scored 79.8 on overall customer satisfaction, followed closely by Truworths with 79.5 and Ackermans at 79.2.

Woolworths scored 78.9, Jet 77.5 and Mr Price 76. Edgars, at 74.7, missed the mark when it came to keeping customers satisfied and loyal to their brands.

Consulta said as consumers increasingly looked for value, quality and ease of shopping under the dire economic conditions, even luxury brands riding on a "quality" ticket are finding that customers increasingly question the link between perceived quality and perceived value, and whether the pay-off justifies it.

“Dreary results have been coming through from South Africa’s major listed clothing stores as local market conditions, increasing competition from international brands and rapidly changing consumer preferences culminate to bite into their bottom line.

"Edgars has been through the mill in recent months in terms of its dire financial position, while Woolworths has taken a number of big reputational hits in the court of public opinion with regard to alleged copyright infringements with small businesses. It is likely that these highly publicised events also played a role in how consumers relate to the brands and there is much work needed to restore the trust deficit,” said SA-csi founder and chairperson Prof Adré Schreuder.  

According to Schreuder, consumer spending is under "tremendous" constraints, while GDP growth is out of control. 

"The expectations that consumer confidence would pick up again post elections has not materialised in an increasingly uncertain political and economic environment," Schreuder said.

“Anecdotally, it has been interesting to note that even consumers in higher income brackets, who are less exposed to financial knocks, are questioning the link between perceived value and quality, and whether the price paid justifies it. 

"Clothing retailers will need to invest in understanding how the current socio-economic and technological environments impact consumer behaviour, and how they will create exceptional shopping experiences for their customers."

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