Superdrug case study

High street brand Superdrug, part of the A.S. Watson Group, wanted to make its customer service stand out.


People Management Awards 2016


Best Learning & Development Initiative: Superdrug

That Superdrug Feeling

Everyone at Superdrug is riding high with ‘That Superdrug Feeling’, an employee empowerment and customer service training initiative co-created with Mary Gober International which puts customers at the heart of everything.

Superdrug logo

Mary Gober International has been working with Superdrug to deliver this initiative training 160 Retail Leaders, 1,600 Store Managers and Assistant Managers and 270 people from the Healthcare Team:

  • Combination of video, online and face-to-face learning delivered by MGI’s own Trainers
  • Customer complaints have dropped by 9.2 per cent
  • Customer satisfaction has risen from 76 to 81 per cent
  • Employee engagement scores have shown a steady increase

The Challenge

The Challenge was set and MGI was chosen as the business partner.  High street brand Superdrug wanted to make its customer service stand out.  Research had informed them that 35 per cent of customer complaints could be resolved with better staff training and greater customer acknowledgement and the challenge was set to find a business partner to work with.

Jo Mackie, Superdrug’s Customer & People Director, was frustrated initially with the L&D programmes on offer: “Typical customer service training would tell people to adapt their body language and smile.  I felt we needed something more.  Telling staff to smile at customers wasn’t enough.  Beyond improving diversity – it’s nurturing talent.”

MGI was selected and together we created ‘That Superdrug Feeling’. 

The Training

The training and embedding approach have been co-created.  We’re really proud of what we created.  Based on the Mindset, Language & Actions of Service™, ‘That Superdrug Feeling’ was a combination of video, online and face-to-face learning that immersed employees in an interactive customer experience. Training has been a real partnership between MGI's own trainers and online with Store Managers, delivered to all colleagues including the Executive Team.  Some of the videos were filmed in the style of popular TV show Gogglebox, featuring ‘viewers’ in conversations about a customer experience they were watching on TV.

The idea was that employees could relate this back to the experience customers would get at Superdrug and interactive text and questionnaires built into the videos reinforced the key messages.

The Results

Employees feel better equipped and more confident and this has resulted in engagement scores rising and internal promotions have been bolstered hitting 73 per cent (a 9 per cent year-on-year increase).

Customer complaints have dropped by 9.2 per cent and customer satisfaction rose from 76 to 81 per cent.  This has translated into business success too.

CIPD Award

In November 2016, Superdrug won the CIPD People Development Award for Best Learning & Development Initiative.  Judges were not only impressed by how employees reviewed the training – 98 per cent said they understood it, 99 per cent believed it would have a positive impact on the store and 99 per cent said they felt motivated to deliver ‘That Superdrug Feeling’ and also the deliverables it created.

“The programme has been so successful because it focuses on a whole mindset not just one element of the customer experience” 

Jo Mackie, Customer & People Director

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