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Key Challenges Facing the CPG Industry

Consumer packaged goods companies are facing many challenges, not the least of which is regulatory compliance. How can you mitigate your risk, reducing fines and litigation costs?

Today's customers are looking for unique and authentic products and experiences in an increasingly fragmented marketplace, driving large organizations to undertake costly restructuring efforts and SMBs to spend a small fortune on multi-channel marketing initiatives.

In addition, consumer packaged goods companies are supporting a growing number of communication channels. Delivery and marketing are becoming more and more digitized, providing companies with an ever-growing repository of customer data that can be used to inform decisions on purchasing, staffing, and service escalation. 

74% of companies generate new product ideas by mining customer feedback. (Forrester)

Amid all this, many global CPG brands are looking for smarter ways to comply with regulatory communication requirements. They're already spending millions on training for their contact center agents—an average of around $20,000 per employee per year—not to mention one third of their profits annually on litigation. These companies often have trouble with their current customer relationship management systems, struggling to maintain correct, accurate information for agents to use and to capture what agents actually say to customers.

The average cost of a recall to a food company is $10M in direct costs, in addition to brand damage, lost sales, and litigation costs. (Food Marketing Institute)

CPG companies often believe that constant retraining and expensive litigation are just a cost of doing business. But what many fail to consider is the potential cost savings and risk mitigation that come from precise agent guidance, an accurate audit trail, and a system that delivers the right answer every time.

The challenge of regulatory compliance is enough to keep company leaders (like you) up at night, and enough to keep the training team on their toes. In addition to the financial costs, there's the negative word-of-mouth associated with bad press. For large brands that already face a certain amount of public distrust, negative publicity can often be especially harmful. For example, one million people view customer service-related tweets every week, of which 80% are critical or negative in nature. Plus, it takes an average of 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative one.

One million people view customer service-related tweets every week, and 80% of them are critical or negative.

How you can make an impact using technology

If your CRM leverages technology to guide agents, document communication, and report on customer interactions with confidence, you will have more control over your risk of non-compliance and negative press.

The resulting cost savings are significant. For instance, Fortune 500 companies collectively spend $210 billion per year on litigation—$420 million per firm. If the ability to identify and prevent potential issues can reduce your risk by even 1%, your CPG company would save $4.2 million annually.

Here's how Astute Solutions helps CPGs reduce compliance risk and nip potential issues in the bud:

  • Our contact center software guides agents through every step of customer interactions, providing customer context, suggestions for next best action, and consistent answers to customer questions, while reducing escalations and cutting down on training time.
  • A unified, intelligent knowledgebase ensures agents always have accurate answers. The KMS is easy to update, identifies new responses that need to be authored, and can pull in answers from external sources—making it easier to stay up to date with regulatory changes. Versioning controls within the KMS keep a history of every response delivered during a specific date range, so as the knowledgebase changes over time, all changes are tracked and available for reference.
  • The same smart knowledgebase used by agents can also be leveraged to provide customer self-service, ensuring consistency across all touch points without duplicating efforts. Virtual agents use natural language processing to engage in conversation with customers who have questions or complaints, providing reliable, accurate answers. Astute can also automatically escalate urgent interactions to the live agent best equipped to handle it.
  • A central CRM hub integrates all communication channels to provide a single source of customer truth, allowing the organization to both view an accurate audit trail of customer interactions and discover actionable and timely insights.
  • The combination of social listening, sentiment analysis, and threshold reporting alerts companies to an emerging crisis and enables them to identify the root cause and respond in real time. And a CRM system that can be reconfigured on the fly without IT or vendor help allows companies to react quickly by building new workflows in as little as 30 minutes.
Learn how Astute Solutions can reduce compliance risk for CPGs. Schedule a free demo today.