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Customer experience study reveals grocery incompetence!

26th Jul 2011
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While an overwhelming number of consumers report that they value good customer service at grocery stores, less than half of stores are delivering on that expectation.

The Empathica Consumer Insights Panel surveyed more than 16,000 consumers, specifically looking at what consumers value in their grocery experience and how those expectations are being met by grocery stores across Canada and the US. Consumers indicated the in-store grocery store qualities that continue to disappoint and "never" or "only sometimes" meet their expectations include the following:
  1. Checkout lanes and lines (55.9%)
  2. Customer Service (44.1%)
  3. Selection of fresh meats (42.2%)
  4. Selection of fruits and vegetables (42.1%)
  5. Selection of fresh seafood (41.7%)
  6. Modern updated stores (41.5%)

Empathica found that 97% of consumers stated they value good customer service at a grocery store, but only 44% said that today’s grocery stores are delivering.

While grocers as a whole have their challenges in delivering an optimal customer experience, the research showed that when asked specifically about their grocer of choice, consumers for the most part are being better satisfied as more than half of respondents (57%) indicated their primary grocer is increasingly making active attempts to cater to their needs.
"It’s important for grocery stores and supermarkets to focus on developing excellent customer experiences today," said Brian Jones, vice president of grocery and consumer packaged goods at Empathica. "Supermarket chains, in particular, often maintain similar prices and offerings. Experiences are what differentiate one retailer from the next. Understanding the key elements of the experience that drive loyalty can give a supermarket the edge, enabling them to build out better offerings."
Furthermore, the study underlined the importance of the customer experience for word of mouth marketing. Nearly three-quarters of consumers said they would promote a grocery store or share positive experiences with others if they had a great experience - 72% of women and 66% of men indicated they would make a recommendation if they had a great experience.

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