OPTIMISING CUSTOMER MANAGEMENT FOR THE CONVENIENCE STORE MARKET
Convenience stores represent a critical route to the end consumer for Coca Cola European Partners (CCEP). Although these outlets don’t buy from Coca Cola directly they provide a key channel to market for Coca Cola products and the Coca Cola brands and make up a significant share of Coca Cola’s product-to-market value.
CCEP were looking to understand the opportunity to increase market share in non-core products with these customers and therefore wanted to understand how to optimise their experience. They appointed CGA to carry out customer journey mapping, to help them understand pain points in the experience, perceptions of the relationship with CCEP, in particular with their sales representatives, and then to make recommendations about how to fill experience gaps and build value.
In the UK, there are more than 40,000 convenience store outlets carrying Coca-Cola products. Despite the strength of the Coca-Cola brand, CCEP were struggling to establish the growth in product extensions and non-core products that they were targeting in this channel.
Looking to understand what might be causing this, they asked CGA to help them understand the current experience for convenience store customers, so they could tackle any existing issues and then capitalise on the number of product lines stocked and shelf-space in these outlets.
Heartbeat® is CGA’s proprietary experience mapping approach. It brings the voice of customer to life, showing existing pain points from the customer’s viewpoint, in their language. The approach not only maps the experience but measures the actual gap between customer expectations and delivery, identifying where proactive intervention will offer the greatest value to both the customer and the organisation.
CGA’s step-by-step approach identified there were significant differences between the CCEP view of the experience and the customer’s reality. The company saw the journey map as far more complicated than its customers did, and convenience store owners saw signs of arrogance in the way CCEP treated them.
CCEP representatives were seen to be spending a disproportionate amount of time auditing whether stores were meeting their contractual obligations rather than helping owners improve their businesses. Customers did not feel valued, and felt that the reps were there for CCEP benefit, not theirs.
CGA plotted the real end-to-end experience for a convenience store customer identifying all the interactions that mattered to them along the way. We identified a number of immediate pain points for CCEP to tackle, 30 drivers of satisfaction and five experience principles against which CCEP could measure improvements in customer experiences.
CCEP used the insight to improve short-term commercial outcomes and develop long-term relationships with its customers by readdressing their sales representatives’ focus and re-plotting the internal processes to match customer need.
CGA helped CCEP use the knowledge to identify relevant range, promotional materials, POS, display and equipment opportunities to benefit them, their convenience store partners and the end consumer.