Fast Moving Consumer Goods: From a Customer Service Perspective

James Purcell/ October 12, 2015/ blog

Providing Great Customer Service through a Contact Centre

 

The Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry is also known as the Consumer Packaged Goods or CPG Industry. It is a multi-million Euro industry that is as fast paced as the products that are sold within it. It includes a massive range of famous brands for consumers to choose from. They are household items that we use in our everyday lives from the coffee we drink to the detergent we use on our clothes. These products are referred to as ‘Fast Moving’ simply because the demand for them is so high, which means that they are snapped up quickly. Consequently they need to be replenished quickly for the next wave of customers. FMCG products move in high volume for low cost.

The FMCG industry has been, and still is being, dissected from a number of different angles. Marketing has become a dominant force in the sector. As companies expand they want new brand extensions whilst also trying to enter new markets. A clever marketing campaign can give companies a new perspective for their sales team but customer service is the bedrock that retains existing customers whilst creating brand advocates. Essentially; good customer service is what helps brand expansions and new brand ranges flourish. Also the role that third parties such as contact centres play in product quality (Product recalls) is very much important in how your brand is perceived.

The Figures…

The profit margin made on FMCG products is relatively small but this is countered by the sheer volume of sales. The top FMCG companies (think Coca-Cola or P&G) have the highest demand. These brands are easily recognized and have taken up residence in homes throughout the globe.  To put a figure on this, Steel Media stated that “The red and white Coca-Cola logo is recognized by 94% of the world’s population”. That is quite the statement and it is a measure on the massive market that a colossal brand such as Coca-Cola can reach.

On May 19th of this year Nielsen stated that the FMCG sector hit a 6 year high, increasing by 2.4% in Q1. This shows that the industry is only going to get bigger, and this means competition for customers is white hot.

nielsen

3 Ways a Contact Centre Can Help

 

Edge above the competition

Your competition will always claim to be better quality or better value but the only way of judging who cares most about the customer is how the customer is treated when they contact you. Whilst the price of the goods being offered may sway a minority of customers when choosing who to buy from it is the quality that can set a company apart from the competition, in particular the quality of customer service. Consumers want quicker and easier solutions when it comes to buying, inquiring, giving feedback and making complaints. The top FMCG companies offer premium customer service. For example a campaign that runs on Twitter such as #WeAreHereToHelp advertises your brand as consumer friendly and unique from your competitors.

Product Quality

Along with sales calls and general inquiries, product quality calls make up the vast majority of exchanges. It can vary from a product not living up to the customer’s standards, missing items to more serious situations. These types of calls need to be relayed to a company’s product quality manager as soon as possible as a product recall may need to be put into action.

The most important factor is that the customer can reach your company on the first attempt 24 hours a day 7 days a week. A call centre makes this possible by having a mass of trained agents at your disposal. This first contact with the customer is vitally important and information is the key. A call centre is there to follow your script; where they bought it, when they bought it, the barcode, personal details and more. Then it is up to the company to contact the supplier of the product.

Product Recall

Fast, thorough, accurate. These are some of the words that spring to mind when a contact centre executes a product recall. The contact centre allows a FMCG company to carry out a product recall effectively and at a lower cost. All it takes is list of numbers for the stores that sell the product and information such as product code and batch numbers. Hundreds of stores can be contacted in an afternoon with minimal to no downtime at the FMCG clients end.

Whether it is through SMS text response or a phone call, employing a third party for product recalls diminishes the workload considerably. Here at Arema Connect we handle these kinds of situations on a regular basis. For this reason we always have a team off blended agents on standby so the process can begin immediately after our client contacts us.