You are here
OMAHA, Neb. -- A NGA Convention workshop in Las Vegas provided details on how No Frills Supermarkets here has been able to leverage relatively inexpensive, reliable customer satisfaction surveys to build a solid community of loyal customers.
"At No Frills we not only receive hundreds of surveys each month, we quickly act on them," said the supermarket's v.p. of marketing, Lonnie Eggers, at yesterday's workshop, "When our customers Speak. . .We Listen -- and Respond." "By using the 'Constant Customer Feedback' (CCF) program, we engage in dialogue with our customers on a daily basis."
The ability to open and maintain that dialogue has not always been available, noted Eggers, adding, "But now the technology exists for us to cost-effectively listen to our customers in a meaningful way, which helps determine marketing and operational decisions. Actively listening to our customers positively impacts our bottom line."
Using register tapes, in-store signage, and bag stuffers No Frills invites its shoppers to take a short online or phone-in survey. The supermarket rewards respondents by entering them in a monthly drawing for a $250 No Frills shopping spree.
The survey employs nine key factors in determining shopper satisfaction, from general areas such as "overall satisfaction" to more specific categories like "price on sales and specials" and "checkout speed." No Frills additionally encourages shoppers to provide constructive feedback.
Computers administer the survey to participants and post the results to a Web site accessible to No Frills management. Since conventionally administered surveys are costly, in the past the supermarket could offer them just once or twice annually. But since the cost of the CCF survey is minimal, No Frills offers it to customers daily.
Customer comments posted daily permit store managers to review real-time feedback and incorporate the suggestions as part of their regular routine, ensuring that problems are addressed immediately.
Each store receives an average of hundreds of surveys each month, and reliable ratings in the 19 areas are available for every store. Store directors can see and compare data from all stores, and spot trends illuminating challenge areas. They can also compare their results against norms of a national survey of other supermarkets and national supercenters.
The CCF data allows the grocer to compile detailed demographics on its shoppers, including the ages, incomes and household composition of their most loyal customers. The survey also gathers such information as the other supermarkets visited by No Frills shoppers.
No Frills plans to upgrade the program in the near future to further improve management response to customer comments. The upgrade will offer the company a faster, more comprehensive way of answering its customers, whether by letter, e-mail or phone.
"Establishing a dialogue with our customers is essential in producing more highly satisfied customers," noted Eggers. "And more highly satisfied customers translate into a more profitable business."
No Frills operates 16 supermarkets in Nebraska and Iowa.