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When Dixons recently posted a five-fold increase in underlying profits for the six months to October 2014, their Chief Executive admitted that customers gained following the collapse of the Comet Group had helped Dixons to return to profitability for the first time in six years. However, with other competitors out there who could have equally taken a share of the Comet business, Dixons attributes the main reason for their success as the fruits of a “relentless drive for better value, choice and service for customers.“
Indeed, customer service comes out strongly in all of CEO Sebastian James’ interviews. Mapping customer interactions via heat map cameras has been helping Dixons to better design store layouts to meet customer requirements. Setting this alongside a ‘Showhow’ service which offers individual product demonstrations and an emphasis on ‘really nice’ staff to provide customer service have all resulted in raised customer satisfaction ratings from 44% two years ago to 83% now.
Dixons admit that they are still having to work hard to overcome a thirty year legacy of being a “low service business” and that it will take at least another five years to truly turn around perceptions. Sebastian James comments that they are still scoring badly in surveys such as that conducted by Which due to ingrained perceptions and that “when customers come in and get good service their overriding emotion is one of surprise”. With continued emphasis on customer experience and satisfaction, set alongside a desire for continual evolution to meet changing customer needs, Dixons is a business whose progress we will be watching closely in 2014.