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Morrisons puts customer service at heart of turnaround efforts

| International retailers

Morrisons is to launch a new staff bonus scheme which puts customer service at the heart of the struggling retailer’s turnaround efforts.

According to Retail Week, the UK’s fourth-largest supermarket chain will implement a scheme next March that takes into account the levels of customer service and overall performance delivered by each store. This is the first time that these two measures have been included by Morrisons when rewarding its employees with bonuses equating to up to 3% of each staff member’s gross annual earnings.

The report said the grocer’s food manufacturing workers will also be incentivised, with product quality levels measured by customer feedback to determine their bonuses.

The plans are part of a shake-up being implemented by new Chief Executive David Potts to simplify the group’s management structure and focus on improving its stores by listening to suggestions from customers and staff. Last week he revealed plans to cut up 720 roles in its head office, whilst adding another 5,000 shop floor staff to improve customer service, increase product availability, and open more checkouts.

Stressing the importance of customer service to the business, Morrisons group HR director Emily Lawson told Retail Week: “We have changed the bonus scheme so that staff can influence their reward by using their judgement to deliver the best possible customer service.”

All the major multiples appear to putting improving customer service high on their list of priorities to create a distinct point of difference with the discounters. Tesco has already invested millions in putting more staff on the shop floor, whilst Sainsbury’s yesterday announced a shake-up of its store management structures. It said around 800 jobs will be cut with the removal of department and deputy managers from some stores, whilst offering shop floor staff more hours and additional shifts to improve customer service and product availability.

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