An Interview with a Great Grocery Store Client

What issues are your grocery store clients facing and combating? What are you clients measuring more than anything these days?

Two trends really dominate what we’re seeing from consumers.  First, consumers are more value-conscious than ever.  That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re looking just for low prices – rather, they’re looking for prices that feel fair in return for excellent quality and a great shopping experience.  The way our associates treat our customers is integral to how much value the customers feel they’re getting from shopping at Roche Bros.  We’ve always held ourselves to the highest standards, and mystery shopping helps ensure we deliver consistently on this promise.

Second, consumers increasingly seek information on special diets and using food to treat a range of ailments and wellness concerns.  Roche Bros. led the way early, as one of the first supermarkets to create a gluten free section, complete with shelf tags to indicate gluten free products.  As the food and wellness landscape grows increasingly complex, however, we’re continually challenged to train our associates and keep them up-to-date on how to address special diet concerns.  Here again, mystery shopping will be the best way for us to measure our effectiveness in growing our knowledge and service to meet this increasingly important customer need.

What “trends” in grocery stores are you seeing (emphasis on produce, employees who will drop everything to help you, focus on clean stores, etc.). In other words, what has changed/evolved over the last 10 years.

  • Packaged food and perishables are now available in more types of retail outlets than ever – dollar stores, drug stores, hypermarkets, farmer’s markets, and online – in addition to the traditional grocery store
  • Price is driving decision on commodity items and national brand products
  • Consumers are increasingly seeking artisanal and local products
  • Penetration of private/store brands continues to grow, even as the economy has been strengthening
  • At the same time, shoppers are looking for unique shopping experiences
  • With this in mind, Roche Bros. commitment to the Golden Rule has never been more important.  The helpful nature and product knowledge of our associates provides an experience that can’t be replicated in other channels
  • With customers eager to engage at service counters in particular, such as meat, seafood, and deli, mystery shopping helps ensure the quality of those experiences continues to meet and exceed Roche Bros. stringent standards.

What do your best customers say your mystery shopping programs have helped them accomplish (*** The best case studies, results, data, and having a customer you can name will all rise to the top in my outreach to grocery publications ***)

Practicing the Golden Rule has been the foundation of our company culture from day one.  Our stores are emblazoned with this quote from Pat Roche, co-founder of Roche Bros.: “I think the big thing, really, is treating people with the Golden Rule.  Treat them the way you want to be treated – customers, associates, suppliers, everybody.”

“As a small company, our associates easily recognize our leadership team when they’re in the store,” said Maribeth Grant, Customer Service Merchandiser for Roche Bros. “Mystery shopping services from Customer Perspectives helps make sure our high standards for our customer experience are maintained and exceeded, even when the associates don’t know anyone is looking.”

“I find this a very friendly store from Managers to the wonderful people who pick up the shopping carts and help the elderly (me). The store is very clean, the produce very fresh and their sales are phenomenal. They are very customer friendly–wouldn’t dream of shopping elsewhere!” – Barbara K., Quincy MA

“We would like to commend Louis at the butcher shop at the Westwood store. We went in last Friday at it was busy. I wanted some steaks cut and there was only two guys in the whole department. Louis, along with completing his other duties made it a point that my order was completed in a fast, efficient manner and I was on my way. It is people like Louis that keeps me coming back.” – Jim T., Westwood MA