RBFF survey: Boaters unhappy with retail experience

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A “Mystery Shopper”survey by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation showed that boating retail stores scored an average of 75 percent on customer satisfaction, lower than the 80 percent average in retail specialty stores.

RBFF’s Mystery Shopper Study targeted big-box, sporting goods, outdoor specialty and family-owned fishing stores, along with chain and family-owned boat retailers in the Houston, Dallas, Orlando, Tampa and Miami markets.

Stores were judged on first impressions, greetings, effective assessment of the shopper’s needs, the overall sales process, closing the sale, product presentation and overall impressions. Shoppers represented all experience levels and consisted of three main customer groups: single females, Hispanics and traditional “non-Hispanic” families.

“It’s critical for customers to have a positive experience to keep them engaged in boating and fishing and coming back to the sport year after year,” RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement. “This study should help boating and fishing retailers and state agencies alike see the incredible potential to improve the retail experience. That can go a long way in retaining customers in boating and fishing, and sustaining our aquatic natural resources for future generations.”

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