Save Mart Builds Stronger Customer Relationships Across All Retail Locations With Achievers

Save Mart

Business Challenge

Save Mart Supermarkets is a regional grocery retailer serving Northern California and Nevada. Since opening its first store in 1952 the supermarket has expanded to operate 221 grocery locations and additional distribution and warehouse centers, employing more than 16,500 people. Save Mart’s enduring business philosophy is rooted in innovation and superior customer service. Over the past few years, Save Mart has extended its innovative approach and focus internally to its employees and delivering superior customer experiences through employee engagement and recognition.

Employee Success Platform™ Solution

In 2012, Save Mart implemented the Achievers Employee Success Platform™ as the core of its internal campaign to align employees with business goals through reward and recognition programs. Reinforcing desired employee behavior became the key driver in creating an exceptional customer experience and driving customer loyalty, which have been proven to increase revenue.

Business Impact

In 2013, Save Mart and Achievers conducted a controlled initiative, based on a third party-conducted mystery shop program, with the goal of identifying factors that lead to increased customer satisfaction.

A mystery shop program is a tactic used by organizations to measure their quality of service and employee interactions, as well as to gather specific information about products or services. Neither the stores nor the employees being evaluated know the mystery shopper’s identity. The mystery shopper provides feedback that represents the experience customers have with that company on a daily basis.

Analysis of Save Mart’s Mystery Shop pilot program showed that rewards and recognition drove a significant increase in customer satisfaction. When Achievers was implemented in Q1 2012, just 33% of the stores met the company-wide Mystery Shop goal of 90% customer satisfaction. After using the Achievers recognition platform for six quarters, Save Mart saw an impressive 70% of stores surpassing the 90% Mystery Shop customer satisfaction goal. This translates into 112% growth in customer satisfaction across all stores, a massive business success for the organization, and proving the relationship between recognition and customer satisfaction.

Further, Save Mart invested additional funding toward their rewards programs in two specific districts to determine if this investment would lead to even higher customer satisfaction results, with both districts receiving twice the available rewards funds per employee. The investment resulted in an impressive 2% increase in customer satisfaction in just three months. It is common for Fortune 100 companies to invest millions of dollars to increase their customer satisfaction scores by a fraction of a percent – Save Mart was able accomplish a far stronger increase on a limited budget.

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Achievers Insight

In today’s competitive grocery retail market (Safeway, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Raley’s, etc.), customer loyalty is directly related to customer satisfaction. Higher levels of customer satisfaction directly translate to higher revenue. Therefore, customer experience is paramount in today’s “Switching Economy.” According to Accenture, 51% of U.S. consumers switched companies they do business with in 2013. Of those consumers who switched, 81% said the company could have done something other than drop prices to keep them—underscoring the necessity for brands to create exceptional customer experiences.

Those experiences, and subsequently customer satisfaction, are directly driven by employee engagement, fueled by recognition. Companies with highly engaged employees boast twice the customer loyalty than companies with average employee engagement scores, and significantly higher Net Promoter Scores (37% for high-engagement versus 10% for average).

Save Mart is committed to creating an unparalleled experience in its stores—a goal that, for Save Mart, began with employee success.