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Published on April 8th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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April 12th: A new era of customer service in the making

“it is a great boost for us to have all their doors open again, and for the staff to get back to work”

“…consumers will want to continue the new service options they have become accustomed to during the pandemic” 

Hughes Electrical has said it will continue with the customer services offered during lockdown when the business’s stores reopen on 12th April.

The retailer, which has 32 stores across seven counties in England, understandably suggested that some consumers may be “wary” about coming into a store. But it has also been noted by industry commentators that many consumers will want to continue the new service options they have become used to during the pandemic, most of which stemmed from the massive shift to online shopping.

Hughes’ web, trade and rental divisions have been fully operational during lockdown and some of its larger stores have been offering click & collect and other essential services. And while Robert Hughes, Chairman of the electrical chain, said “it is a great boost for us to have all their doors open again, and for the staff to get back to work”, he added that the business “will continue to offer a delivery service, either to the doorstep or where necessary we will remove old equipment and install new while maintaining strict hygiene and distancing protocols.

“If anyone is wary about coming into a store they can telephone or continue to use our website,” he said.

Hayley-Jayne Cone, chief customer officer at experiential relationship management firm JRNI, said: “Consumers want to be out and about after months of having their movement limited, and shopping is an ideal solution. 

“However, alongside this excitement at returning to the shops, many customers will still be risk-averse and have concerns about having to physically queue for long periods or entering overcrowded stores.” 

Cone added that retailers should take proactive steps to lessen consumer anxiety, including the management of in-store capacity, allocating staff properly and staying ahead of cleaning concerns, but she also pointed out that many consumers will want to continue the new service options they have become accustomed to during the pandemic. 

“We know just how important it is for our customers to be able to visit their local store, where they can gauge picture quality for example, or maybe see how effective a vacuum cleaner is first hand, while having the opportunity to have questions answered face to face,” said Robert Hughes.

“On entering customers will be required to use hand gel and wear a face mask, there will be social distance markers on the floor and display items will be regularly sanitised.”

Pictured: Hughes store manager Louise Culyer and area manager Darren Clements get ready to welcome back customers on 12th April

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