Belfast Telegraph

Shop staff's stress levels rise 'due to customers who are rude'

Survey: Chris Johnston
Survey: Chris Johnston

By David Young

Rude customers and panic buyers are the chief causes of stress for UK shop staff during the festive sales rush, a survey has indicated.

As shoppers look forward to hunting down traditional Boxing Day bargains, retail workers are filled with apprehension and worry, according to the poll gauging emotional responses.

Only one in four say the post-Christmas sales put them in a good mood, the study found.

The research was conducted by Adoreboard, an analytics firm based at Queen's University, who surveyed 1,460 people working in customer service roles in the UK.

More than half of those who responded (52%) believed their mood and personal feelings impacted the customers they served.

Rude customers were the chief source of stress for shop staff, with 70% of respondents saying bad manners were most likely to put them in a foul mood.

Long queues and panic shoppers were the two other main causes of concern.

Sign In

Chris Johnston, chief executive of Adoreboard, said: "The study shows that emotions not only play a role in the decisions that customers make but also how people treat customers.

"Understanding the emotions of both employees and customers is key to unlocking how businesses can help people improve how they treat customers to achieve better results."

The survey coincided with the launch of CX Academy, an initiative launched by Adoreboard to explore how customer experience can help businesses become more competitive.

It is being backed by Queen's University's business forum - the Chief Executives Club - and is supported by business support organisation InterTradeIreland and Zappos, the online American shoe and fashion retailer.

Dr Alex Genov, Zappos head of customer research, said understanding how employees feel was hugely important.

"Fundamentally, it's hard to have unhappy employees and happy customers," he said.

Belfast Telegraph