The New Service Desk

The Lempert Report
May 27, 2014

Millennials and Boomers have a deeper, more personal relationship with food purchases.

For example, where food comes from and what’s in it is more important than ever before.  According to recent studies, Millennials want more natural foods from safe, humane origins, and Boomers are seeking quality and nutrition, and all shoppers are seeking more socially responsible brands. In fact, according to the recent Good Must Grow survey, 30% of consumers are shopping with more social responsibility in 2014 than in prior years.

So what do these trends mean to retailers?  How can stores click in and make the most of today’s new shopping habits?  The Lempert Report believes the longer stores stay silent and act as passive gateways to products on their shelves, the less they become destinations for socially responsible shoppers, the more business they cost themselves, and the less opportunity they have to differentiate.

As a solution, we suggest an upgrade at the customer service desk.  Staff the desk with employees who are knowledgeable and articulate in the social-responsibility efforts of brands and manufacturers in the store.  Intelligent, friendly people stationed at desks with computers and internet ensures that any specific customer question can be answered and shoppers can be guided in their purchase decisions.  As staffers share insights, they demonstrate caring, and they have a chance to describe the store’s own social-responsibility initiatives.

We’re not suggesting that customer service reps try to fill the roles of nutritionists, or specialty food experts at the stores.  Rather they would fulfil consumers interest in the corporate behavior of suppliers.  Such a service provides retailers an opportunity to be transparent with the shopping public, and to be perceived as being more on their side.