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Mars Food's decision to warn customers only to eat some of its products occasionally is adding to the debate about what customer care really means.
What do your customers mean to you? Hopefully they’re not simply seen as revenue generators, but for many organisations customer care is still geared more towards generating repeat custom rather than as a genuine concern for the well-being of those who take up the products and services on offer.
However, there is no doubt that the company/customer matrix is evolving. Driven by changing consumer habits, the rising impact of technology and the importance of customer collaborations in driving innovation, organisations are increasingly seeing customers as partners in driving business success. This in turn is opening up whole new avenues of customer care in which the business and its customers work together in order to develop products which solve a genuine need and benefit the business and the customer alike.
One organisation which has taken an important step down this new road is Mars Food. With a wide product range which includes Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s, the company has announced that over the next five years it is looking to reformulate its products in order to cut the content of salt, sugar or fat. In the meantime it intends to highlight whether its products are suitable for everyday or occasional consumption, with 5% of its range being marked for occasional use only.
It’s an unusual step for an organisation to actively recommend that customers cut down on using its products but Mars Food believes that this action is a necessary part of its health and well-being ambition which aims to ‘create and promote healthier food choices’. In the process it is adding to the debate about what customer care really means.