Consumers expect retail staff to be trained to manage abusive situations, finds research | RetailTechPodcast

Consumers expect retail staff to be trained to manage abusive situations, finds research

The poll found 45% of the customer-facing businesses which were also surveyed said that they are not actively taking any measures to protect their staff. The survey found 40% of consumers would be just as likely or even more likely to visit a store again if an incident was handled well, while 14% would be put off by a poorly handled incident at somewhere they regularly visit, and 26% would be put off somewhere they are visiting for the first time. The NFU Mutual study also found that 80% of consumers would either physically or verbally intervene if a member of staff was being attacked by another customer. Men and women are almost equally likely to verbally intervene if a customer is being rude to a member of staff, while men are more likely to physically intervene if a staff member was being attacked. The vast majority of consumers agree with potential legislation changes that would provide better protection for retail workers, with those in Scotland, East of England and the South West most likely to agree. Frank Woods, retail specialist at NFU Mutual, said: "Many retail staff are young people taking their first steps into the working world, often doing so for minimum wage, and these sorts of encounters can crush their enthusiasm to pursue a career in retail which is a particular threat while Brexit approaches, and questions about recruiting talent remain unanswered. No-one deserves to be spoken to rudely or feel threatened at work, no matter their profession." "Consumers have a clear, perhaps idealistic expectation that retail staff are trained to keep themselves and customers safe. While this may not always be possible, a well-handled incident - perhaps with the use of a panic button or a security guard - could even help to improve reputation and encourage visits. It's the responsibility of the management to keep people safe and although insurance can provide cover against legal action, the best option is always preparation. Property damage and damage to security systems is also a common issue of violence in retail premises, which can be limited by following certain precautions." Read more