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Front-Line Retail Workers Bored, Tired of Dealing with Rude Customers

Survey of such employees details frustrations, offers possible solutions



Brick-and-mortar retail is experiencing a post-pandemic resurgence, driven by consumers craving physical connections with the brands they love. This has created a conundrum for retail leaders: how to deliver personalized, convenient and digitally integrated cross-channel shopping experiences with an unhappy workforce that’s dwindling daily?

To help find answers to those concerns, queue-management firm Waitwhile conducted a national survey of 1000 frontline retail workers to better understand their (un)happiness at work and to identify solutions that retailers could use to improve the experience they offer to both their employees and their customers.

Some key findings:

* Only a little more than half of retail workers say they’re happy or find their work meaningful. 72 percent are regularly bored.

* Incivility is a problem. Nearly 70 percent of retail employees report regularly having to deal with frustrated or angry customers.

* Long wait times are the number 1 reason customers get upset. 73 percent of frontline workers say that long lines or long waits are a persistent problem.


* The use of technology in-store is largely not up to par. Nearly 1 in 2 retail workers want more automation and 54 percent of employees wish their companies invested more in better tech.

“The best retailers will find ways to harness excellent tech solutions that bring key efficiencies to their workflows, improving employee satisfaction while crafting standout experiences that today’s cross-channel consumer will love,” the Waitwhile report concludes.

Click here for more survey results and suggested strategies.


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