Putting the customer first in retail drove dramatic growth


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Net Promoter Score


Staff Friendliness


Employees trained

+1.5 m

Square feet of selling space

The Opportunity

Primark is a leading international fashion chain. They identified instore customer service as an opportunity for improvement. Senior management urged store managers and their teams to ”improve service” but there was no specificity about what ‘improved service’ looked like. Store managers interpreted the instruction in a different way. The opportunity was to define the organisation’s unique ‘brand’ of service and to deploy it across every store world-wide.

The Solution

  • We formed a cross business Working Group charged with defining the company’s unique service experience and implementing it company wide
  • By reviewing the available customer research, conducting face to face interviews with customers and studying competitor (and comparator) companies, the WG developed a customer promise designed to persuade customers to visit their stores more often
  • The promise was based around three key themes design to make the shopping experience more pleasurable
  • Four critical shop floor touchpoints were identified and with an internal team of retail experts we developed a range of creative service improvements
  • The biggest challenge: rolling out a behavioural change programme to 70,000 employees across 11 countries and in 8 languages
  • Working with the internal L&D team we developed and delivered a face to face training solution for the store management teams and above (right up to the leadership team – 5000 people in all)
  • This approach was not an option for colleagues working instore because of cost and operational constraints. The solution: a digital version of the face to face workshop – founded on some key principles to make it fun, engaging, relevant and motivating – which was deployed to all 65,000 store colleagues globally

The Results

  • The company has continued to experience faster growth than its near competitors in a tough trading environment
  • According to the UK Institute of Customer Service July 2017 annual survey, the company’s Net Promoter score improved by 15 points, staff friendliness improved by 10% and ease of doing business and trust in the organisation continued on an upward path
  • Qualitatively, the training helped create a positive, energetic buzz around the business and spawned lots of store level activity which brought the customer promise alive
  • The digital format ensured the consistent delivery of learning content and on-brand behaviours, roll-out costs were low
  • Ownership and accountability was driven down to store level. The coaching capability of store management teams has improved

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