Customer Service

Leading Our Co-ops Beyond Customer Service to Cooperative Service

By Brittany Baird, Rebecca Torpie 194 Jan.-Feb. 2018 As food co-ops forge ahead in the “the new normal,” they often find themselves in the precarious place of trying to both differentiate from and conform to competitors. From the consistent progression of conventional grocery stores towards natural products offerings, to the growing threat [...]

Fresh Convenience is Recipe for Growth

Customizable meals at fast-casual restaurants that offer made-to-order tacos or noodle bowls have found a sweet spot among consumers who want variation, portability and convenience at a great price point.  Likewise, this same demand has made its way into the grocery retail sector, blurring the lines between retailing and food [...]

Expanding Fresh Food Convenience

Eastside Food Co-op Minneapolis, MN Year founded:  2003 Member equity:  $100 Number of members:  6,500 Number of employees:  100 Retail square feet:  9,500 Eastside Food Co-op in Minneapolis, Minn. had one of the highest sales per square foot in the nation, but this wasn’t all good news.  The store’s small [...]

First Impressions and Long-lasting Relationships: The rewards of great customer service

By Michael McCary 186 Sept-Oct 2016 Providing an unbeatable shopping experience is no longer optional for cooperatives—it is imperative. In the growing and increasingly competitive world of natural foods, cooperatives need to perform better than their competitors, especially in providing outstanding customer service. Customer service is one of the key [...]

Front End is Customer Service

Customer service is the top priority for the Front End department - everything we do in the Front End is customer service.  Having a well trained staff working interdependently ensuring that your customer's experience is an excellent one is the goal for every store.  How do you achieve this while [...]

Make your store’s front-end service top notch

You can have great merchandising, selection and product knowledge. But customers’ experience checking out through your front-end can make or break your store. How people feel after that interaction determines how they feel about your company. This puts a premium on front-end department management—hiring people with the right fit, and [...]

The Co-op Difference Starts with Staff

Sean Doyle, General Manager Seward Community Cooperative, Twin Cities, MN   Sean shares his perspective as a St. Mary's Graduate and long-time GM on how to invigorate the co-op culture at your store. In brief: It starts with investing in staff.

Building a Customer Service System

By Marilyn Scholl 073 November - December - 1997 The key to exceptional services lies in building relationships, and in the quality of relationships, with customers and with employees. Over two-thirds of customers (68%) who seek a new store do so because they are treated with indifference at their current [...]