Home » The Fresh Market’s Goal To Provide ‘Friendliest Curbside Experience’

The Fresh Market’s Goal To Provide ‘Friendliest Curbside Experience’

Fresh Market

While The Fresh Market is rated among the best in customer service, it is always looking for room to improve. When it came to its curbside pickup service, which became available at all 159 stores in June 2020, The Fresh Market Team wanted it to be hailed for excellence, as well. 

“We strive to be one of America’s most loved brands, and for us to do that we have to touch every contact point with a guest, whether it’s curbside or delivery, it all has to be part of the same brand,” said Gerrick Polinsky, e-commerce manager of curbside and catalog. 

“We needed to take a step back and rethink from the ground up. How do we make curbside just as good as the in-store experience? Through a lot of work, research and collaboration within The Fresh Market across different teams, we developed what we now call the ‘Friendliest Curbside Experience in America.’”

Asked what makes The Fresh Market’s curbside service so special, Polinsky described it as “white glove service.”

“There are things that you’re going to get with The Fresh Market that you’re just not going to see somewhere else,” he said.

For example, when a guest places an order for curbside, they are greeted by their shopper via text.

“The shopper is going to try their best to make sure you’re happy,” Polinsky said. 

When the guest arrives at the store, they are going to have a seamless experience. After notifying the store of your arrival, the order comes out quickly. 

“It’s all about timing with curbside. We also give our team members a license to go above and beyond,” Polinsky said. “We provide them with stationery to write a little thank you note, just as a personal touch, and put it in the bag. We encourage them to give little gifts here and there. On a hot day, you might get a free bottle of water.”

Another way to go above and beyond is to have every order double checked, verified and signed by the manager on duty. 

A recent innovation allows guests to pre-approve substitutions for certain items. However, if the guest didn’t do this or one is not available, The Fresh Market shoppers are trained on how to select the best item.

The response to the upgraded curbside service has been positive, Polinsky said, as the stores receive thank you messages, such as how a shopper did a “fantastic job” with an order or the shopper made it “more of an experience than a transaction.”

In-house shoppers provide curbside service

The Fresh Market provides its own personal shoppers for its curbside program. The company has developed an in-house training program that Polinsky said “covers all the bases, everything you need to know from the basics to the things that we’ve developed to be above and beyond other retailers. It is specific to curbside.”

He is in communication with the shoppers every day.

“They’re very engaged,” he said. “If something isn’t going the way they expect it, they call me and we fix it together. I think just having that open line of communication empowers them.”

Chocolate makes Mondays better

The company has made one gift – a 0.3-ounce square of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt Dark Chocolate – a permanent occasion on Mondays.

The Chocolate Lovers Monday promotion began on Aug. 30, 2021.

The idea came from the marketing and merchandising teams, Polinsky said. The operations team helped to execute the idea.

“It was a total company effort,” he said.

Since the program began, there has been growth on Mondays for curbside service.

“I think today it’s something our guests both love and expect,” he said. “It’s really become a staple of the curbside experience.”

Again, customer service is the key. As The Fresh Market strives to provide “impeccable guest service” to its guests in the store, that goal also transfers to the curbside program.

“Looking back, every single thing we did for innovating the ‘Friendliest Curbside Experience in America’ was for the guest,” Polinsky said. “It’s all we talked about. And we ended up with a really impressive experience.”

For more information, visit thefreshmarket.com.

To view the full section on The Fresh Market from The Shelby Report, click here.

About the author

Treva Bennett

Senior Content Creator

After 32 years in the newspaper industry, she is enjoying her new career exploring the world of groceries at The Shelby Report.

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