March 30, 2021

How Grocers Can Improve Customer Satisfaction Scores

Computer generated touchscreen image with human finger pointing at five blue stars

Happy customers are loyal customers, which is why customer satisfaction is one of the key aspects a business should investigate when setting up marketing or sales plans.

Not only is customer satisfaction a significant indicator of future purchasing decisions but knowing if your current clients are happy can help save money on efforts to bring in new clients.

Why Customer Satisfaction Is Important

According to an article citing research by Invesp, acquiring a new customer is five times as expensive as trying to maintain an existing customer. This means that focusing on keeping your consumers satisfied can save your business time and money.

Moreover, positive customer experiences are more important than ever, since clients can share everything online through services like Yelp, Google Reviews, and any social media platform. In this way, negative experiences can spread easily and quickly.

Customer satisfaction surveys are a great tool to use to get insights into the customer experience and to get ahead of any problematic issues. They provide businesses with specific information about positive and negative perceptions, which can be used to improve customer service and the overall in-store experience.

Moreover, conducting a customer satisfaction survey is valuable to let your customers know you are working to make improvements and to thank them for their help.

Cleanliness Matters to Customers

For grocery stores, customer satisfaction surveys can help determine areas that need additional attention when it comes to issues of cleanliness. This is especially important now, as the market continues to change, and preferences of shoppers are in flux.

According to a survey done by CB4, the #1 criterion for in-store experience is finding all the products the customer needs. But coming in at a close second place is the cleanliness of a grocery store.

The results showed that 58.9% of participants classified a clean store as extremely important to them, while 38.8% said it is important.

So, it should not come as a surprise that the best-rated grocery stores in America are also the ones that are considered the cleanest. Jane Manweiler, a CR survey research associate states, "Cleanliness has a large impact on the overall opinion of your grocery store...”

Additionally, the pandemic has forever changed the grocery landscape. Shoppers are even more concerned with a grocery store's ability to keep up with frequent disinfecting and sanitizing of carts, baskets, doors, and other high-touch surfaces.

Because of this, grocery retailers may come to rely even more on customer experience surveys to help them stay on top of issues of cleanliness they are missing, and this information could be the difference between gaining loyal customers or losing customers—as shoppers are less loyal now than ever before.

In summary, a dirty store can determine the perception of your brand and possibly turn people off forever.

Consistent Cleaning Is Essential to Positively Impact Customer Experience

The cleanliness of a grocery store directly correlates to the satisfaction of customers. In fact, according to CSG, research shows that general bad odor, dirty restrooms, and dirty and dusty surfaces are in the top five factors that turn customers off from returning to stores forever.

Consistent cleaning is necessary to address these issues and to not let them get out of control. Below are tips on how to get started.

Create A Cleaning Plan

To clean consistently, setting clear guidelines for cleaning staff is important so they are aware of what is expected of them. Planning and creating a checklist will help to support employees with the work and you with speaking to a confirmed clean.

According to an article by the NCR, checklists are a great tool to maintain an overview and help to improve efficiency and aid in concentration.

The checklist for your grocery store should include two main categories:

  • High touch point surfaces such as doors, grocery carts, and displays
  • The floors of the facility

More can be added depending on your facility but ensuring frequent cleaning of these aspects is key in maintaining a clean and healthy shopping environment.

Cleaning should not only be done consistently but also effectively. By creating clear checklists and processes, that even detail the order in which items should be cleaned, like flooring last, your team can be more effective and productive.

Using detailed checklists not only helps staff be more efficient, but also helps keep your store clean so you can create a loyal customer base, maintain a positive image in your community, and ensure you remain the

destination grocer.

1-Proper Cleaning of Shelves and Displays

Highly visible parts of a grocery store are often the shelves, displays, and refrigerators. Keeping these areas clean is crucial to impress customers and ensure they feel safe enough to purchase goods in the store.

When it comes to food, ensuring it is handled in a clean environment is extremely important, especially during a time when people are concerned about daily activities such as grocery shopping. Making sure your store is clean is a crucial step in helping consumers regain confidence in the places they choose to visit.

According to the CDC, cleaning high touch point surfaces should be standard practice in every facility. Shelves and displays can be considered high touch points. Shoppers pick up groceries, move them around to find what they need, and sometimes put them back after touching them.

These surfaces should be cleaned consistently. First with soap and water, then with an approved disinfectant. Aside from shelves and displays, shopping carts, door handles, and ATMs should be cleaned frequently as well.

Not only will consistent cleaning of shelves and displays improve the safety of customers, but it will also give shoppers a feeling of safety, renewing their confidence. The visual perception of clean is an essential part of creating an environment that consumers will feel safe returning to again and again.

2-Proper Cleaning of Doors, Bathrooms, Grocery Carts and Baskets

According to Reader’s Digest, grocery carts and bathrooms are on the list of things most grocery stores are not cleaning sufficiently. Luckily, this does not have to be the case for your grocery store.

Grocery carts and baskets can be cleaned in the same way shelves and displays are sanitized. Wiping them down with soap and water before using a disinfectant will do the job. This can be done a couple of times each day.

Aside from this, providing hand wipes at your entrance can provide your customers with a convenient way to disinfect their carts or baskets before shopping. This might give shoppers a safe and confident feeling when entering your grocery store.

Although not everyone will see them, cleaning the bathrooms in your facility is important. The restrooms are places that are crowded with germs, so cleaning them will not only improve your image but also the safety of your customers.

3- Proper Cleaning of Floors

One of the most important aspects of a clean store is the floors. Not only is this surface extremely visible, but the cleanliness of a floor can also directly affect the health of shoppers.

Dirt that shoppers collect under their shoes can be transferred to the floors of the grocery store and then tracked throughout the space. In addition, dust, and other dirt particles from inside the store ultimately end up on the floor as well.

Due to the constant movement of workers and shoppers, these particles can circulate back into the air that customers breathe. Therefore, cleaning the floors is not only crucial to maintaining floors and keeping them clean but it also helps to improve air quality.

Therefore, consistently cleaning floors is essential to the overall cleanliness and healthfulness of a grocery store and can have a significant impact on the experience of shoppers.

One way to track and manage regular cleaning of flooring is with highly-sophisticated cleaning technology like Cobi 18 by ICE Cobotics. Cobi is equipped with i-SYNERGY fleet management software and is available through an all-inclusive subscription model that incudes parts, consumables and service for a set payment.

Fleet management software like i-SYNERGY allows managers to track machine operation, operators, and the amount of time the equipment is used.

Multiple things are important here:

1) It allows managers and end-users to be more involved in the cleaning process and better able to identify any machine operator issues sooner rather than later. Meaning, that if a shift is missed or a machine is not plugged in to charge properly, a notification is sent, and a manager or end-user can be notified. This helps eliminate machine downtime.

2) It can help managers and end-users track cleaning processes, meaning they can then work with staff to develop better cleaning plans that help to improve efficiency overall.

3) Due to the service and available alert notifications, end-users work with ICE Cobotics staff to keep the equipment maintained and in great working condition, equaling less downtime and overall better cleaning performance.

Overall, a clean grocery store is essential to keeping your customers safe, healthy, and enticed to shop with you over and over. By creating detailed checklists, working with staff to improve the processes, utilizing effective cleaning equipment, and using fleet management software, customer satisfaction scores are sure to reflect your work.

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