Quality and Customer Satisfaction

The Customer Service ChainCustomer satisfaction and loyalty represent a company's long-term financial success. Without first understanding the reasons for lack of customer loyalty, no amount of planning will lead to success. Here are some facts:

- A typical supermarket customer in the Northern California region spends an average of $65 a week on groceries, so the value of that customer over a I0-year period (adjusted for inflation) is $40,600.

- Research on grocery shoppers (Progressive Grocer) has shown that 69% stop shopping at a particular store because they are dissatisfied with its service or employee attitudes. Rather than discussing the problem with a store manager or clerk, 98% of dissatisfied customers simply go to a competitor's store.

- A customer who experiences a "moment of truth," or an unpleasant incident, will tell five to seven other people about it. This negative word of mouth is obviously very damaging to a company's reputation and goodwill.

Considering these facts, it is of utmost importance to continuously improve customer service. The success of a company is contingent on measuring customer satisfaction, developing action plans to close service gaps, and redesigning the work process to streamline operations.


Quality and Customer Satisfaction Commitment

Supermarkets emphasize superior service as one of their key competitive strategies. Everything a supermarket employee does affects other employees (internal customers) as well as shoppers (external customers). In addition to continuously improving their technical expertise, employees focus on customer relations and satisfaction. Achieving superior service is the most important job of everyone -- whether in a retail store or other parts of the organization, such as manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, finance or human resources.

As an example, Safeway's service culture targets four pillars of success in the 90's. These pillars are price, service, quality and selection. Sustaining this service orientation among the 110,000 employees is a long-term effort that involves the commitment and dedication of everyone.