Recent negative feedback from Coles’ Australia customers seems to be going unacknowledged by the supermarket giant.
Shoppers have found their meat products vacuum-sealed and don’t appear to be very happy about the changes, using the Coles’ Facebook Page to record their concern.
Confused Coles shoppers have lashed out at the supermarket giant over its new meat packaging.
Customers took to the Coles Facebook page to complain the new vacuum-sealed packages are too hard to open.
Some claimed they couldn’t even access their steak and chicken.
Others complained that using even more plastic – that doesn’t appear to be recyclable – was a step in the wrong direction in the fight against plastic waste.
“Great initiative to cut plastic with bring your own bags, but what is this madness? A tiny piece of steak on this packing with NO recycling symbol?” (customer feedback)
- Can’t open easily
- Dangerous using knives etc
- Using too much plastic even though they’ve removed plastic carry bags from stores
- Not sustainable nor earth-friendly
Positive Defence From Coles
“Coles has used vacuum-sealed packaging for our popular Coles Finest and Graze fresh meat ranges for the past five years,” (a Coles’ spokesperson) said.
The vacuum-seal “increases the tenderness of the beef and lamb, which improves the eating quality”.
“Coles values customer feedback and we are reviewing how we package the meat to make it easier for customers to open, including easy-peel options and introducing cardboard into the packaging.”
The spokesperson also said both Aldi and Woolworths used similar types of packaging for their meat.
- Vacuum-sealed wrapping not new – been done by them before
- Keeps food fresh
- Other companies do the same
Coles Facebook Page
Trouble is, on the Coles’ Facebook page, there are a lot of unhappy customers, and quite a few Coles’ advertisements – and not much else…
Except perhaps the responses to the complaints which kinda sound like they come from a bot (we couldn’t seem to find the posts about the vacuum-sealed meats, interestingly which made us wonder whether the page admins had taken them down*):
Why Make The Disgruntled Customer Work Even Harder?
Scrolling through the page, there seem to be a great number of complaints: mouldy food, crumpled boxes, uncaring staff, climate change denial, you name it…
We at Whizzl were wondering what could be done to address these without a fairly standard:
“Thanks (such and such) we have responded to your private message.”
Or, even worse:
“Thanks for your feedback, please give our Online Team a call on (number)…”
Why would you want to do even more hard work after being repeatedly disappointed? Most times customers have either spent time and money to order online or arrive physically in the shop, only to be disappointed for a whole series of reasons – poor quality food, uncaring service, expensive prices etc. Then, to have to go to even MORE personal trouble (taking more time and money), in order to reach a feeling of resolution of their issues and ultimately, satisfaction?
This seems to us to indicate a complete lack of customer care, more like customer pass-the-buck. What if the buck stopped here? What if giants like Coles actually had the means and the technological systems to create super customer satisfaction? (More on this later.)
Personal Coles’ Story From One of Our Whizzl Community Members: Abheeti Kathryn Pass
I’m a big fan of shopping locally and supporting local organic farmers and producers where possible. One day, in the proverbial Parent Rush, I went into Coles Fremantle, Western Australia, to get some simple supplies.
I was dismayed to find that, at that time, there was virtually NO organic produce available for purchase, neither fresh or packaged.
I was so disgruntled at having wasted precious time and energy (I had the kids with me) that I:
- Refused to purchase anything at all
- Made a point of waiting and giving my verbal feedback to a management staff member
- Felt completely ignored and unacknowledged by her, so requested to give written feedback
- Was given a ‘feedback form’ that had to be returned to that same senior management team member, where I wrote about my disappointment at their total lack of organic and certified organic product lines and, knowing it would probably fall on deaf ears, asked for a written response to my feedback, having provided contact details
- Never ever heard a thing from Coles after that
- Have never ever set a foot in the supermarket chain again
- So have never ever given any of my money to Coles since
- Actively discourage others who I know share my values re organic produce, from shopping there
Coles effectively lost:
- A customer
- An opportunity to improve services based on my feedback
- A chance to respond and create a happy ending for our shop/shopper relationship
- My friendship network of shoppers (spanning years of casual conversations)
- Income/ profit opportunity
All because of a lack of an effective feedback system that allowed me, an everyday customer to feel:
- responded to with action taken to alleviate my concerns
- apologised to
- that all of this provided for the public and my community to see and comment on
Whizzl Can Help To Solve This Problem For All Involved
Whizzl can help to solve this problem for all involved in the circle: the unhappy consumer, the busy supermarket staff and management, the organic producers wanting to sell wellness foods and products, and the larger community.
If you had the chance to record your concerns in the Coles community section of the Whizzl app, where a Coles dedicated staff member could respond publicly to it, and answer and/ or take helpful action accordingly, wouldn’t that feel better than an anonymous response?
Perhaps even rewarding you for the time and effort taken to report the problem in the app (not to mention – time wasted in the original experience in the supermarket AND not expecting you to do more work) by sending some kind of token or gift to say thank you for your input, and apologise for the inconvenience caused in a meaningful and thoughtful way… what a difference that would make to:
- customer perception of the shopping giant (from uncaring bully to thoughtful customer-first business),
- customer feelings of being heard and acknowledged (you stop criticising them to friends and speak instead about your awesome experience of feeling acknowledged and cared for) and
- the bottom line $$$ for Coles Supermarkets! More happy customers = more income = more profit (and perhaps more money to put towards implementing sustainable packaging and shopping practises)
Advantages for Coles using the Whizzl platform
- Filter social media content – open feedback is visible only, feedback in progress, feedback posts and announcements, jobs which have been completed are removed as well as public announcements like specials to their communities
- They can see what is in progress at the moment
- With attached CRM they can generate data reports about their customer feedback and their own service behaviour, and based on that data, can improve their own feedback services management. By managing their internal resources accordingly Coles can create transparency within their own business management for all departments
- Other social media platforms simply don’t provide these options to organisations
Blockchain Technology Backs Up The Whizzl App
What’s more, because the architecture behind the app will actually be based on blockchain technology in the near future, posts won’t be removed, tampered with, changed or altered in any way since this technology won’t enable those functions.
Along with security and privacy breaches, there’s a whole range of social media issues associated with censorship, fake news and manipulative algorithms, all of which serve to influence our understanding, our thoughts and our developing beliefs.
If we start to believe facts which are not actually facts but are crafted messages which dictate our opinions, where’s truth? Where’s humanity ending up?
Blockchain technology may be just the solution:
“Due to the decentralised nature of blockchain platforms, control and the security of the entire social media ecosystem becomes impenetrable.”
Whizzl, a social media app designed to give communities a feedback-voice to improve life conditions for all, will soon use blockchain technology to create transparency (no fake accounts) and freedom of content flow (no-one gets to remove your posts), so that control goes back into the hands of the user – you.
Coles Facebook Page
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