Confusion at the checkout

“Albert Heijn sued for receipt errors.” These words recently appeared in large letters on the Consumentenbond website. In the accompanying article, the consumer organization addressed a problem that has long affected the supermarket chain’s customers: the prices at the checkout often do not match the prices on the shelves. You can imagine this causes a lot of frustration among customers. This issue is a prime example of an organization falling short in its service, a situation we unfortunately encounter more often. But don’t worry! A well-thought-out strategy can provide the solution. We will tell you all about it in this blog.


Clear communication

The problem Albert Heijn faces is a communication issue. The miscommunication from the organization creates incorrect expectations among customers. This has several unpleasant consequences for the supermarket chain. It leads to uncertainty among customers, decreases customer satisfaction, and reduces trust in the supermarket chain. All reasons for the customer to look for an alternative supplier. And as an organization, you don’t want to see your customers buying products from your competitors.


Unfortunately, this problem is not new. It doesn’t just happen at Albert Heijn but at multiple supermarkets. For years, customers have noticed that prices at the checkout do not match the prices on the shelves. A lot goes wrong with the receipts at Albert Heijn, Jumbo, and Plus. The last two have now taken measures. Yet, the errors at Albert Heijn continue to pile up.


Addressing customer needs

To truly offer value to customers, you must first find out what their needs are. We are not talking about the need for a specific product or service but the underlying need. What helps the customer? What makes them happy? What keeps them up at night? We call this the job to be done. In our Customer Discovery blog, we discuss this in more detail.


If we zoom in on the job to be done for supermarket visitors, it is generally to efficiently and pleasantly obtain the necessary products for preparing meals and performing household tasks.


The problem Albert Heijn has with receipt errors prevents the supermarket from effectively addressing this job to be done. An incorrect receipt makes a visit to the supermarket inefficient and unpleasant. With each visit, customers have to constantly wonder if the price on the receipt is correct.


Light at the end of the tunnel

It is not too late for Albert Heijn to address the problem. In fact, this insight can help improve the supermarket’s service. However, a clear strategy is needed, one that focuses on the needs of customers and aims to create an optimal shopping experience. This starts with a focus on honest and transparent communication to restore and maintain customer trust.


A second strategic pillar could be creating a positive customer experience. Good customer service is essential for this. Albert Heijn must ensure its staff is well-informed and that there are concrete solutions for customers with problems, providing them with added value.


Albert Heijn’s future

Albert Heijn’s receipt errors are a prime example of a situation where an organization fails to properly address the needs of its customers. It is crucial for organizations, in general, to understand what makes customers happy. Only then can you create value for them. Not only with the products you offer but certainly also with the service you provide.


A strategy can help to make the right choices in creating value for customers. It serves as a guide and ensures that everyone within the organization knows where the focus should be.


Hopefully, the article by the Consumentenbond will open Albert Heijn’s eyes and will help to improve its service so that every customer leaves the supermarket with a big smile.


about the author
Lisette Klein
Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve gained some valuable insights from the article! I’m Strategy Designer at Stay Future Proof. Want to learn all about strategy, innovation and transformation? Reach out and let’s talk!
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