Ahead of Tesco’s full year results announcement tomorrow (18 April 2012) and CEO Philip Clarke’s expected recommendations to revitalise the company, Jo Causon, CEO at the Institute of Customer Service, argues the UK’s biggest supermarket must focus on increased customer interaction
Causon said: “The UK retail sector is highly competitive and while many consumers continue to feel the pinch, value for money remains a key footfall driver.
“But it is not just low prices motivating consumers, as the recent successes of Waitrose and John Lewis over the Easter period demonstrate. The whole customer experience influences loyalty and patronage.
“The Institute of Customer Service’s most recent UKCSI report highlighted a correlation between those companies scoring highly in terms of customer satisfaction and those with the highest market share.
“When market share falls, or companies identify they have gone adrift of their value proposition, it is imperative to reconnect with customers.
“Efforts have already been made by Tesco to move away from a purely price lead proposition with the rebranding of its value line.
“Mr Clarke must continue to ensure Tesco listens to and truly takes on board feedback received by shoppers at every touchpoint. But he must also evaluate the customer journey to identify what is important to real Tesco shoppers: from the layout of the store, to product choice and interactions with staff who are well trained, responsive and engaged.
“Complaints, whether online or offline, must be viewed as an opportunity to improve, and these need to be responded to and dealt with proactively at both operational and board level.
“Service delivery must be consistent across all touchpoints. A focus on Tesco’s online services is welcomed, but this must not be at the expense of its other services.”