Grocery brands require retailers to be the face of their customer service. So what happens when shoppers are increasingly left feeling disappointed by the stores selling your products?

Recent results from The Grocer 33 annual mystery shopping competition recorded a 10% drop in customer service scores across all major supermarkets, driven mainly by availability, falling store standards and parking. Shop floor service, layout and tills & checkouts are also to blame.

This means your brands aren’t on shelves, are merchandised incorrectly or are being sold at the wrong price. Suppliers must ensure they have a strong communications plan in place to be part of the solution.

Getting the message right

Supplier need to communicate availability issues in good time and in a way that gets the message to as many people who are affected as possible. Retail staff must be given access to information about the products you offer. Time should be taken to ensure they believe in the power of your brands and understand how they drive sales.

Suppliers should also ensure they are engaging independent retailers. You may not be able to win the hearts and minds of all of them, but by making certain influential retailers advocates for your products, you can get your message out in an authentic, organic way and build loyalty amongst consumers at a local level.

As the IGD analysis in this month’s top story argues, there’s a bright future ahead for grocery retail beyond these short-term challenges, so suppliers who focus on these important components now will reap the long-term rewards.

As experts in trade, consumer and crisis comms, MTJPR juggles these priorities for our clients every day. Grocery clients who have all their comms activity under one strategy are the ones that are the most coherent. It’s a strategy that enables us to gain traction with key titles too. Our volume of coverage is up 11% on last year by ensuring our clients are part of the conversation.

Five key FMCG stories this month

  1. Talking Retail: Future bright for convenience despite inflation challenges, says IGD

  2. betterRetailing: Khan Review calls for mandatory tobacco licences and rise in minimum age of sale

  3. The Grocer: Customer service slumps in supermarkets as supply chain crisis hits home

  4. Talking Retail: A coalition of 400 global organisations have named the five ‘biggest plastic polluters’

  5. Asian Trader: ‘UK at risk of falling behind in meat alternatives,’ says think tank