Grocery Retailer Increases Multi-Channel Customer Engagement With CEM And Social CRM Solutions

  • July 26, 2012 at 5:00 AM EDT
  • By Alicia Esposito
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Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions allow organizations to take a more consistent and tactical approach to customer feedback and Voice of the Customer (VoC) initiatives. Best-in-class retailers utilize these tools to track and analyze shopper insights across channels, from web-based and printed surveys to mobile, social media and call centers.

Grocery Outlet – Bargain Market — a U.S.-based discount grocer — successfully capitalized on customer feedback, including comments via social media, by partnering with Agility Metrics, a provider of CEM and CRM solutions. As a result, the merchant has increased overall engagement across multiple channels, including its 150-plus brick-and-mortar locations. Feedback is tracked and distributed to all team members, including executives, store managers and front-line associates such as customer service operators.

Due to the partnership, Grocery Outlet’s average Net Promoter score — the industry standard for measuring customer loyalty and sentiment — has increased from 77% to 79.8% within the last year, a notable increase for the company.

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To keep pace with the growth of social media feedback, Grocery Outlet also adopted Clik2Tell, Agility Metrics’ Social CRM application. Since implementation, the grocer “can see specific insights from social network sites and use it to better train store associates on the benefits and drawbacks of social media feedback,” Tom McMahon, VP of Sales and Merchandising for Grocery Outlet, told Retail TouchPoints. “Overall, garnering feedback across these social networks is new territory for us.”

“Today we react to store-level issues more efficiently, and are maintaining a higher level of customer service,” McMahon added. “Our store managers now have the tools to gather feedback and respond personally to customers, and better relay what our brand represents.”

Grocery Outlet’s local store operators now receive real-time notifications of negative Net Promoter scores, allowing immediate customer follow-up and better response times to specific questions and concerns. The retailer can garner feedback via web, interactive voice response (IVR) and mobile phones, all of which is integrated with POS, CRM and ERP systems.

Online reporting technology, role-based performance scorecards and instant customer rescue alerts all ensure that key Grocery Outlet stakeholders constantly are up-to-speed on customer sentiment across all channels. These insights also allow managers to determine overall employee performance in stores, ensuring optimal scheduling and training processes, as well as other benefits, according to McMahon.

“We can access a segmentation analysis report that allows managers to see all the answers to a specific question,” McMahon said. “This report also charts the quality of service for each question per time of day, which assists specific locations in improving employee scheduling. We also utilize a zip code analysis report with which our marketing team can subdivide our customer base, leading to a more efficient advertising spend.”

Customers have more shopping options than ever before, McMahon stated. “Customer service plays a huge role in keeping current customers and driving positive word-of-mouth to create new business,” he said. “Real-time information allows us to reach out quickly to our customers to resolve issues at the store level, giving us an edge over other retailers that do not have this level of service.”

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