Study shows customer satisfaction a main driver of retail sales

According to the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), retailers with better customer service report higher sales.

According to the Institute of Customer Service (ICS), retailers with better customer service report higher sales. Analysis of the 2012 United Kingdom Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) revealed that customer service is increasingly important for consumers and can play a significant role in determining a business' success when retailers face challenging conditions.

The UKCSI first made a direct correlation between excellent customer service and high sales performance after analyzing the relationship between the two over the course of the 2011 holiday season.

"Our research proves that customer service is the key to sustainable growth in the retail sector ... it’s not just being the cheapest, or having the best products, that drives growth. Delivering an experience that meets the needs of your target customers is essential," said Jo Causon, the chief executive of ICS.

The study found that non-food and food sectors are the best and second-best performers in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Non-food retailers earned a score of 81.9 out of 100 and food retailers were rated 81.3. Businesses in other industries can increase sales and performance by evaluating customer service and redirecting initiatives to improve weaknesses.