Repeat customers are critical to grocery store profits. A recent article at business.com reports that it costs five to ten times more to attract a new customer than to sell again to a repeat visitor. Even better, those returning shoppers spend 67 percent more than their newer counterparts do. That’s recurring revenue just waiting for your stores. If you want to claim it, you’re going to have to create customer loyalty – and that takes brand consistency. The leaders who are most successful at creating a dependable experience for shoppers are those who generate the most thorough, actionable audits.
Making the Transition from Analog to Cutting Edge Technology
Laurence McMulkin is the training and development manager at Healthy Planet, a family-owned Canadian chain of health food stores. He’s always looking for ways to improve operations. When he came on board, one of his first projects was the creation of an audit system that would build a consistent customer experience across his 30 locations.
McMulkin’s original system involved pen and paper. Store managers completed dozens of monthly self-audit forms that were scanned and emailed to headquarters every month. They were then printed out, filed in binders, and put on shelves to collect dust. Home office personnel would have to prepare for spot checks by printing out the sheets they would need and bringing them with them on field visits.
McMulkin tried a cloud-based spreadsheet system, but it was cumbersome and offered little improvement. Then he learned about MeazureUp. After a brief demo, he and his team decided that a partnership with MeazureUp would offer them the centralized data they needed to make fact-based decisions for their stores. The Healthy Planet team implemented MeazureUp’s AuditApp digital field assessment tool and almost immediately began to see a return on their investment.
Convenient Reports Lead to Quick Action
McMulkin finds that digital audits have helped him shave time off a task that used to consume hours each week. That’s time that he and his colleagues can now devote to working directly with their on-site teams. “AuditApp has made it easier. Now I just open my phone and walk around. We’re doing a better job of training people because they have a better understanding of what to look for and what issues a specific store might have. I can follow up with people easily.”
McMulkin has noticed that compliance has improved. He said, “People are doing a deeper dive each month into what’s happening at their stores. They look at certain things that maybe were overlooked before.”
Identifying and resolving issues has become simpler and less time consuming for Healthy Planet executives. “When something’s off, I get a report,” McMulkin said. “I can follow up with the appropriate party to schedule maintenance or repair.”
Photos Offer Proof
When asked what he finds most useful about the app’s features, McMulkin doesn’t hesitate. “The pictures are the handiest part. Action plans and comments are helpful but a picture is worth a thousand words. I just open the portal, add a photo, and add a note. It makes it easier to see how things are going.” Ray Abramson, MeazureUp COO, agrees. He points out that photos can offer important digital documentation of checklist compliance, food safety, cleanliness, and customer experience that no spreadsheet can beat.
Now Is the Time to Digitize Your Auditing Process
The most successful operations leverage new technological breakthroughs as soon as they are considered tested and proven. Think of all the now-standard equipment that was once innovative: real-time inventory management, GPS asset and delivery tracking, even working remotely with laptops and smartphones. Digital audits are your company’s logical next step on this cutting-edge path. With an effective digital auditing program behind your brand, customers quickly learn that they can trust their shopping experience at your store, regardless of which location they choose.
Learn more on how MeazureUp is simplifying audits and building brand consistency for grocery stores around the world by visiting meazureup.com.