When Great Customer Service Isn’t Good Enough
Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor
Every retailer strives for great customer service, so can service levels really differentiate one supermarket from another? Yes, but only if you have a true understanding of what your customers want and provide a point of distinction that truly sets you apart from the competition.
Scott McKain, business leader and author of Create Distinction: What to Do When “Great” Isn’t Good Enough to Grow Your Business, states our connection with customers must transcend the sales transaction. We need to understand that shoppers are more time sensitive and have higher expectations of product quality and service than ever before. In addition, today’s customers focus on feelings as much as product technology and service delivery.
Supermarket dietitians are all trying to leverage nutrition to drive business success, but the way the nutritionist delivers their messages can make all the difference. McKain says we must provide solutions in a commodity, price-driven marketplace. Considering your customers’ values and feelings, do you deliver food and nutrition guidance that makes it easier to do business with your stores? Do your solutions remove the stress of meal planning, healthy eating and special diet management? McKain provides these cornerstones for creating distinction:
- Clarify what you stand for and what you don’t stand for. You must be able to describe how you differentiate.
- Develop one key area of creative service. There are many ways to connect with customers but pick one area where you’ll be extraordinary and stand apart from your competitors.
- Ensure you are providing communication that’s appropriate for the generation of customers you are talking to. Make your shoppers the heroes and consider communicating a story about how a customer improved their life as a result of your efforts.
- Determine what the ultimate customer experience is for your shoppers. Focus on this overall experience and not just the transaction.
Supermarket dietitians have distinct areas of customer contact and are in a key position to help create the ultimate customer experience for their retailer. Identify what you do that makes your approach distinctive enough to attract consumers and keep them engaged and committed. Your efforts will positively impact not only sales, but customer lives.