NTUC FairPrice has scored the highest Customer Satisfaction ratings in the supermarket sub-sector according to the Customer Satisfaction Index of Singapore (CSISG) administered by the Institute of Service Excellence at Singapore Management University (SMU) this year. FairPrice scored the highest points (71.4) among local supermarket chains which was above the national average score of 70.0. The improvement of 3 basis points from last year resulted in the highest-ever score achieved by FairPrice since the study was introduced in 2007.
CSISG Scores over the past 5 years
Mr Seah Kian Peng, CEO (Singapore) of FairPrice said, “We are very pleased that we have continued to top the CSISG results for the supermarket category and have improved our score significantly by 3 basis points. This is especially meaningful for us as FairPrice marks our 40th anniversary this year. This achievement will spur us further as we strive to serve our customers well in all aspects. We are committed to uphold our service promise as we serve customers from the heart. We will also continue to stay relevant to customers’ changing needs and stay true to our social mission of moderating the cost of living for Singaporeans.”
The stellar CSISG results also supports FairPrice’s own customer compliment to complain ratio results which has reached a record 107:1 in April this year compared to 82:1 over the same period last year.
Keys to Maintaining High Service Quality
FairPrice attributes the following key factors to the increasing satisfaction of its customers:
1. Staying Relevant to Customers’ Needs
FairPrice conducts regular customer surveys and market research to better understand customers changing needs. This led to introduction of new retail formats such as FairPrice Finest and FairPrice Xtra which have been very well received by its customers. It also imports products from over 70 countries so as to provide a comprehensive range of products for its customers.
2. Maintaining High Level of Food Safety
FairPrice’s own in-house Food Safety and Quality department runs a comprehensive Food Safety Management System that comprises development and implementation of food safety and quality standards, implementation of quality audit programmes, product assurance programme, food protection programme and training programmes. FairPrice is also a primary Food Safety Partner with AVA.
3. Creating a Service Oriented Culture
The “Service from the HEART” motto is the epitome of FairPrice’s service DNA. The programme was launched in 2010 to create a common understanding and expectation for staff on what it means to deliver excellent service. Using the acronym HEART, the service motto helps staff to understand what it means to deliver excellent service to its customers, by being Helpful, Empathetic, Attentive to details and Reliable so as to win customers’ Trust. This programme has helped to increase staff awareness and support of service excellence initiatives.
4. Effective Handling of Customer Feedback
In an effort to better understand its customers, FairPrice has multiple feedback channels which are used to listen and engage its customers. The co-operative pays attention to each feedback and use a mix of channels including in-store feedback forms, customer service hotlines, emails, online, and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
FairPrice also uses technology to reach out to its customers like its use of the Customer Experience Management (CEM) system. Implemented in 2008, the CEM system serves as a seamless contact point between customers and FairPrice. This ensures that all customer feedback is recorded and monitored closely and any service lapse is recovered quickly. The system also enables FairPrice to better track customer compliments and staff are accorded due recognition based on customer feedback.
5. Enhancing Service Quality through Staff Training
FairPrice also holds various training programmes for its team of about 9,000 employees. In 2005, FairPrice was the first retailer to train its frontline staff under the WSQ Retail Competency Framework, which covers customer service, retail operation and management. FairPrice has also participated in the GEMS service training for frontline staff. Further, FairPrice has developed in-house training for all frontline staff that focuses on service coaching, winning customers and service standards.
FairPrice also looks to instill a culture of continuous learning and a roadmap for career development, so that every employee has the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential. It has committed to achieve an average of 40 hours of training per employee annually by 2016, compared with the current average of 33 hours of training annually.
6. Happy Employees = Happy Customers
FairPrice’s main asset is its team of about 9,000 employees; FairPrice seeks to build a Wonderful Workplace, by valuing and investing in its employees. It believes that happy employees would mean happy customers and hence an overall increase in productivity.