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      Shoppers buy less if customer service stinks, study says

      Consumers are less likely to buy at a business with inadequate help.

      Let's face it, we've all been in less than ideal shopping situations: searching and searching but no manager to be found, rude cashiers, gossiping coworkers and the list goes on and on.

      But findings from a customer experience study may have business owners think twice before they hire Debbie Downer: 75 percent of consumers will walk out of the store or buy less if there aren't enough knowledgeable associates available.

      The study, conducted by Axsium Group, the world's largest independent workforce management consulting firm, also found 80 percentof consumers indicate a positive impact on their shopping experience when staff appear motivated and eager to serve them.

      In all, 40 percent said a lack of access to managers had a negative impact on their shopping experience.

      "We all have stories about how an associate made a difference in our personal shopping experience, changing the course of a purchase. And while these stories reinforce how important we think the associate is to the customer experience, they have historically served as mere anecdotes," said Bob Clements, a senior principal in Axsium Group, in a PRNewswire article. "To date, there has been no study or survey to back up these great stories with hard data. That is, there haven't been any studies until now."

      About 5,000 consumers were polled with specific questions about shopping behavior and the impact of associate and management interaction on their buying behaviors.

      Do you buy less at a store if there aren't enough knowledgeable associates available to help? What's your worst customer service experience? Leave your comment below.