Boots looks to customer experience to help maintain share

Boots has introduced a raft of training and development initiatives as it looks to become “number one in customer care” and ward off increasing competition from the major supermarkets.

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The retailer has introduced a “massive shift” in the way it trains and rewards staff performance. Instead of shop floor staff being rewarded based on sales performance, they are rewarded based on customer care measures.

It has also established personalised performance plans and e-learning programmes for all of its 70,000 staff so that they can deliver better customer service.

The supermarket talks directly to 30,000 customers each week asking them to rate their experience on a five point scale. The ambition is to get 80% of customers ticking the “top box” for satisfaction in the next two or three years.

Two years ago only 45% of customers were “very satisfied” with the Boots customer experience. It currently stands at 68%.

Simon Roberts chief commercial officer at Boots says that providing “a level of care that customers cannot access elsewhere” is the best way to differentiate itself from supermarkets.

“Becoming number one in customer care is all encompassing in our business. It’s about everything we do – a cultural and organisational shift.”

Tesco is introducing department store areas in-store selling health and beauty products.

Boots claims that it can correlate a 1.5% increase in like for like sales for every 5% improvement in customer care measurements. It will be hoping that customer experience initiatives help boost sales from its health and beauty business, which increased by 0.4% in the six months to 30 September.

Read our feature on how to improve customer experience, and Marketing Week editor Mark Choueke’s view on the importance of customer experience.

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