How Superdrug boosted word of mouth by 12%

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on November 2, 2010

How Superdrug boosted word of mouth by 12%

With the announcement of the UK government's 'Comprehensive Spending Review', combined with the forthcoming Christmas shoppig period, retailers are feeling renewed pressure to build customer loyalty. With this in mind, Superdrug recently set about putting customer service at the heart of its strategy, being rewarded with a 12% increase in customer recommendations.

The health and beauty retailer teamed up with customer insight agency SMG to develop a programme of customer service improvements throughout all 900 stores in the UK and Ireland, resulting in the 'Easy to shop, easy to pay, hard to forget' campaign which not only improved customers' shopping experiences but also identified new opportunities for improvements and the growth of customer loyalty.

Superdrug had historically used a mystery shopper programme to collect customer feedback, but the limited visits per quarter that the programme provided were considered insufficient to collect a meaningful volume of reliable data.

According to Jeremy Michael, managing director for SMG, "We worked with Superdrug to develop recommendations to increase customer loyalty. Customers are now 10% more likely to return to Superdrug than they were before the start of the initiative."

Based on a continuous customer feedback programme, Superdrug developed new service standards in three key areas: staff training, staff shift times, and till interaction:

  1. Staff training The company developed new training processes that reflected customers' feedback, better preparing store teams to offer a consultative approach with beauty and fragrance products. Not only did this have a positive impact on the business but the staff who received specialist fragrance training said they found it rewarding and were encouraged and motivated by the 13% increase in customer satisfaction.  
  2. Staff shift times Superdrug also benefited from insights into customer satisfaction levels at various times of the day, a study of which revealed a fall between the hours of 12pm and 2pm - a time during which many customers used their lunch breaks to enter the store. Obvious as it may seem, Superdrug changed its staff shift times to ensure that more staff were working at lunch time, which resulted in customers reporting a 5% increase in checkout speed and efficiency.  
  3. Till interaction Superdrug also developed standard processes and behaviours at the checkout. Team members were given suggested talking points, such as asking whether customers had found all of the items they were looking for, mentioning new products, and thanking them for shopping at Superdrug. The focus on till interaction had a significant impact as customers reported a notable increase in staff friendliness.

According to Alan Johnson, retail operations director for Superdrug, "SMG provided us with a tool that delivers instant feedback for all of our stores throughout the year, and gives us large volumes of feedback about what our service is really like."

SMG also works with other brands including Burger King, TK Maxx, and Pets at Home.

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