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.