- Giant/Martin’s has introduced new customer service practices aimed at providing a better experience for shoppers, according to Mass Market Retailers.
- These improvements include faster checkout and an offer to sample deli meat slices before buying.
- “We know our customers are busy, so every minute counts when shopping at our stores,” Giant/Martin’s President Tom Lenkevich said in a statement. “We consistently strive to raise the bar on our service.
Most traditional supermarkets aren’t able to compete with the likes of Walmart, Kroger and discounters Aldi and Lidl on price, and they frequently struggle to rival top-notch competitors on store experience. So they’re increasingly focused on the one thing they can control, and that fits into their limited budgets: customer service.
In addition to its faster-checkout promise, which includes buying the groceries of anyone who sits fourth in line, and its deli meat sampling, Giant/Martin’s is also offering no-questions-asked refunds and guaranteeing any item that doesn’t scan correctly at the register is free.
The initiative is similar to a service commitment that Stop & Shop, which is also owned by Ahold Delhaize, made last month. That initiative included a fresh product guarantee on store perimeter items, along with a pledge to invest more in associate training.
Giant/Martin’s commitment to giving away free groceries if it fails to uphold its guarantees should catch people’s attention. The initiative also touches on a real pain point by addressing checkout speed. Research has shown that slow checkouts remain one of the biggest customer annoyances out there. Retailers across the industry are addressing the issue through associate training, front-end technology and even skip-the-line mobile apps.
Giant/Martin’s desperately needs to retain customers and stand out in the markets where it operates. In Richmond, Virginia, Martin’s struggled to win over customers after it assumed ownership of the city's Ukrop’s locations, with many shoppers citing Martin’s lackluster service as the main reason. The chain has since sold off its area stores as part of the divestment surrounding Ahold Delhaize’s merger last year.
The company, to its credit, knows it needs to improve, and seems to be taking steps in that direction with its new service initiative.