For grocery retailers, customer service reputation is strengthened by maintaining an everyday practice for listening and responding to shoppers’ concerns, feedback and praise.
Showcasing best practices for “active listening,” the National Grocers Association (NGA) and the Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART) released the first work product from their newly-launched Innovation Center at the 2013 NGA Show last month.
The new white paper, “Shopper Service Encounters: Discovering Best Practices for Grocers,” was researched and prepared by CART with sponsorship support from The Retail Feedback Group (RFG), provider of an automated customer feedback system used by research respondents. Essential cooperation was provided by NGA member retailers, Coborn’s, Gerland’s and Yoke’s.
Through a series of structured interviews, grocery store managers provided key insights as to how they successfully track and respond to customer feedback using modern tools. The goal of this research centered on identifying successful practices adaptable across their own organizations and by other food retailers.
Respondents were asked about:
• Methods of utilizing the customer feedback system on a daily basis;
• Techniques for integrating these ongoing practices into normal work flows;
• Effectiveness of various types of responses at store level;
• Anecdotes of customer wins enabled by the process; and
• Measuring and describing success using customer feedback tools.
The findings revealed numerous practical and effective methods used by store managers to apply active listening to the everyday challenge of delivering excellent shopper experiences.
Respondents identified diverse winning practices, ranging from the empirical (review shopper survey scores with store associates) to the highly personalized (respond individually to every shopper comment received). Several respondents addressed time management practices, appropriate delegation and use of the feedback results to instill a positive employee culture.