Health looks good on you is the new motto dedicated to the Whole Foods Market clients willing to take good care of themselves enjoying a good centrifuged juice or a smoothie while chilling with their friends or working on their laptop.
This principle is present on every corner of the megastore – there is also a spa near the entrance – and is conveyed by all the staff. In fact, the numbering in the hallways were removed and replaced by the sales force to accompany the client to the product and give additional information rather than just addressing them to the requested shelf. And the very first clients to be excited about this approach are the young team members.
Obviously the 20% discount on all the products encourage the staff enthusiasm and make them the best ambassadors of the brand’s concept and products.
Therefore we asked a young saleswoman where we could find the classic toothpaste from the Crest brand but she told us why they did not have it and recommended more natural and healthier products instead.
Our overall sense is that the staff is well trained and qualified to inform about the benefits of using certain products and food and the impact on general well-being.
The client relationship management is the brand’s priority: for example if a customer wants to try a product for the first time, he will bring back home for free with a special label on it. Such operation generates a double competitive advantage:
- It softens possible bad experiences with the tested product – de gustibus non disputandum est – eliminating the economic impact.
- It generates trust and encourage consumers to test new products and disclose the benefits.
Another vintage though relevant aspect we noticed related once again to the Customer service is the presence of two members of the staff during the checkout process, one at the cashier machine and the other dedicated to carefully fill the client’s basket. This is an old habit which got lost over time even though it allowed to keep a living relationship with the client, especially during the toughest part of the journey, ie. the face to face at the cashier.
Another great instrument is the app which lets you scan in store the desired products and receive them at your house thanks to a deliver partner company.
Michael Gordon, the South End store manager is very careful to the training and motivation of the staff and we can see the impressive results!
The store is housed in a historic brick building of South End, one of Boston’s most beautiful neighborhood and most cultural diverse. Its opening in January 2015 had a strong impact on the district, since until then low price Chinese markets had dominated the area. In fact, even though there is no competition on prices, product ranges and identity, Chinatown is just a stone’s throw away.