It’s About Trust and Transparency
Companies must listen and respond with transparency and integrity when consumers raise concerns.
Jeanne Jones is director of consumer affairs for ConAgra Foods and oversees 85+ employees who handle consumer contact, social media, analytics, claims mitigation and private brands customer support. She reports to chief global food safety and quality officer and is responsibility for all aspects of the consumer experience: driving actionable insights, ensuring early notification of trends impacting food safety and quality, implementing closed-loop processes and cross-functional continuous improvement initiatives. She introduced a new best practice into the industry: utilizing social media as a risk mitigation tool, and received a “Voice of the Customer Award” for this initiative.
Are there major trends in customer care that you see taking shape or continuing in 2014?
Consumers have already been utilizing social media for a number of years as a new communication channel to share their feedback and concerns. Recently they’ve been leveraging social influence in the form of blogs and online petitions to force change on important topics such as chemicals in food and beverages, policies and more.
This influence has led to major changes in products and services, and more importantly how companies do business. Companies must listen and respond with transparency and integrity when consumers raise concerns. And companies are beginning to engage consumers directly —especially those with influence—in an effort to establish trust and transparency.
What are the most important job skills customer care professionals need today?
Adaptability is essential, as is accountability. Our customers and consumers drive what our role entails on a day-to-day basis. As their expectations, preferences and forms of communication change, we must change with them. And with consumers demanding transparency as a means of building trust, being accountable every day becomes increasingly important.
What unique challenges do you face as a consumer package goods (CPG) company?
As a company that prepares food for our consumers, we always have food safety and quality top of mind. For years ConAgra Foods has prided itself on having a culture of food safety with high expectations for our employees, including the saying, “Food safety is everyone's responsibility,” and consistently having employees challenge themselves to ask, “Would I feed this to my loved ones?”
The CPG industry will be challenged with demonstrating even greater transparency to ensure our consumers, who are now more fully engaged than ever and using social media to impact and influence, have the information they need to feel confident about their choices. In consumer affairs, we work hard every day to capture the voice of the consumer in an effort to ultimately build trust and transparency.