Tesco has become a household name for millions of UK supermarket shoppers
over the years. It’s one of the first supermarkets that pops into your mind
when you want to carry out some grocery shopping.
Their marketing campaigns as well as their famous slogan: “Every little helps”
has become iconic in the retail market. Their Chief Customer Officer,
Alessandra Bellini has stated that ‘The customer is bigger than marketing’
whilst speaking at ISBA’s annual conference on the 27th of February.
As a result of a few business issues over the last decade, Tesco has been trying
to find its identity again. Bellini feels that perhaps where they went wrong was
that they took out the most important element of their market: the customers.
“It is about really having the courage of listening to customers and looking
brutally at the reality of what they say, taking it in and working on it and being
relevant.” Said, Bellini.
Chasing results rather than the customers was a mistake Tesco made; taking its
eye off what really meant to the customers. Tesco’s history has been solely
focused on the customer. They were the first to produce self-serving tills, an
online store as well as their customer loyalty scheme (Tesco Clubcard).
“The history of Tesco is one where when it put customers at the center of what
it did it has been a very innovative company. When Tesco was brave enough to
put customers first, it was brave enough to invent things that hadn’t been
done before in the UK,” Bellini explained.
Tesco is now back and aiming to put its customers first. They have made small
in-store changes as well as online changes. Their social media channels can be
the first point of contact should a customer have an issue with an item they
have purchased. Focusing on the value of items rather than promotional
activity is also another change they have implemented.
The changes have proven to be making positive steps towards Tesco want to
be. According to YouGov BrandIndex data cited by the company, it’s the overall
quality and brand perceptions are back where they were in 2011. And the
retailer is back to growth and profitability.
Alessandra Bellini believes that Tesco is gradually going back in the right
direction, however, she acknowledges that there is still some way to go for
Tesco to be ahead of their current competitors.