And rubbing salt into the wound is the fact that Guernsey and Alderney, which were classed as a single location in the poll, topped the table with a 95 per cent satisfaction rating from visiting shoppers.
Like Jersey, the Isle of Man also scored badly, while the Hebridean Islands came last in the survey, which has now featured in a number of national and regional newspapers.
Brand intelligence firm Retail Eyes interviewed 50,000 ‘mystery shoppers’ in 123 locations using a standard list of criteria such as staff friendliness, cleanliness and product presentation.
Jersey came in at a lowly 114th.
Retail Eyes marketing manager Simon Boydell said that the low scoring centres like Jersey tended to fall down on service in the high street.
‘We found in Jersey that the service on the hospitality side was generally high but it lost ground when it came to retail.
Our mystery shoppers found a poor level of interaction.
They had, for example, to go into a shop and ask for a product.
In the high scoring locations they were personally taken to the item and given help and advice; in the low scoring places like Jersey they were pointed to where it might be.
‘Jersey is a lovely place and people want to go there but it needs to improve its level of customer service if it wants to provide a better experience for locals and visitors alike.’ But a large retailer in Jersey has defended the Island’s customer service record.
‘We are surprised that Jersey has come so low in this survey,’ said Clair Lawlor, the head of general merchandise at Marks & Spencer.
‘From our perspective, we take customer service very seriously and staff are not only trained in it when they join but throughout their careers.
‘But because of the competitive nature of our business, we also monitor the local competition and we feel that the level of customer service has improved generally over the last 12 months.
‘I’m aware of the common complaints in Jersey – for example, staff talking to one another when they are serving – but we have a clear policy at Marks & Spencer; when our staff are on the floor, their focus is the customer.’ Fotosound managing director Barry Jenkins said he was astonished by the survey’s findings, although he conceded there were cases of bad customer service in the Island.
‘Generally I think the standard is high.
Certainly among the smaller retailers there is a recognition that treating the customer well is paramount because it can take a second to loose one but a lot longer to get them back.
‘To be honest, on the hierarchy of jobs in Jersey, retailing is not regarded as particularly high, which means that we have to make it interesting and make sure that our staff get the most out of their job.
And a way to do that is to ensure that staff enjoy their jobs, are well trained and interact with customers in a positive way.
‘But I have to say that in my experience some shops in Jersey do not put the same emphasis on customer service.
I was chairman of the Retailers’ Training Network and that had to fold because we didn’t get enough response from businesses.
So, on reflection, perhaps there is some truth in the survey.’