Publix customer service brand

Superior Customer Service Burnishes the Publix Brand

If you live in Florida, you no doubt shop at Publix, the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States, with sales of $34 billion and locations in seven southern states. Publix has a brand reputation for offering superior customer service.

The chain dominates the Florida market, but doesn’t take its leadership position for granted, offering two-for-one specials everyday, and active community engagement. Publix has a sign at its entrance proclaiming the amount money you will save shopping there for certain products instead of at competitor Walmart.

Did You Find Everything You Need?

It’s obvious the employees receive training, because they couldn’t be more helpful. When you check out, the casher will always ask, “Did you find everything your need?” The bagger will ask, “Do you need help getting your groceries to your car?” They wear badges that say, “No tipping allowed.”

Employees have a vested interest in serving customers well because they have the opportunity to own shares of the company’s stock. The company employs over 188,000 people, from newcomers to retirees looking to stay active and earn a little money.

The point of this post is not to serve as a commercial for the chain but to demonstrate the kinds of activities that Publix is undertaking to burnish its brand, while engendering customer and employee loyalty. It’s a model others companies could adopt.

Engaging With the Community

Coming from New York, I had never heard of a supermarket giving away free medications, but Publix does. It has filled more than 50 million prescriptions of the most commonly prescribed medications for infections, diabetes, and blood pressure. What a blessing for low-income people in the community.

Publix employees volunteer for Habitat for the Humanity, one of several company philanthropies, and Publix has received numerous awards for being a great place to shop and work. It is also committed to a sustainable culture and planet.

The company is actively engaged with customers on social media. Its Facebook page is a beehive of customer exchanges with Publix employees.

Fun at Publix Cooking Schools

What I like about Publix is that you can get free food samples! Each store has a cooking corner with an employee chef who is making a delicious dish to sample. Their recipes are created and tested in their own kitchens, and the recipes are displayed on racks in the stores.

Also, the chain conducts the Aprons Cooking Schools, where customers can sign up for classes. From their website, “Our classes are meant to entertain, amuse, and inspire you, giving you confidence no matter what you’re cooking up.”

I haven’t attended the classes yet, but I’m a devotee of the recipes you can pick up in their stores. The other day I sampled the cheeseburger casserole and I plan to make it this week for my friends after “movie night.”

As long as I’m giving out kudos, I’d like to recommend that you visit my friend Susan Cooper’s site Finding Our Way Now where I just discovered her green been hamburger casserole recipe. She’s created dozens of mouth-watering recipes for entrees, appetizers and desserts. I’m happy to recommend her.

I’m also pleased to recommend Publix which goes out of its way to make shopping not a “must do” but “like to do” experience.

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Comments

  1. Never heard of Publix but from your description, I can certainly understand why they have such a positive reputation. I’ve seen stores get involved in various fundraisers, but it sounds like that are really proactive about it. Thanks for sharing with us Jeannette!

    • Publix is not well known outside of Florida and several southern states. But it is the 10th largest grocery chain in the nation. I find their customer service and employee engagement to be exemplary.

  2. Living in the sunny UK, I have not heard of Publix. Great customer care impacts positively on your shopping experience. Yes, some organisations may go a little overboard to ensure customers are happy but they are only doing their job.

    The other day I picked up a box of chocolates in a confectionary store and the price was different to that on the shelf. The assistant seemed totally uninterested and stated I would need to pay the price tallying on the tills which was more expensive. Had this been in another store I would have received the chocolates at the lower price as it was their error.

    • Phoenicia — I hate when that happens. The assistant was just too lazy to check out the correct price. And that happens all too often from my experience.

  3. From my experience, when customer service is lacking it’s a sure sigh that business will decline. When it’s present the business are happy places to shop.

    Thanks for the shoutout my friend, it touched me. 🤗

    • Susan — agree. Why would you want to return to a business that treats you poorly? Always glad to give you a shout-out for your great recipes.

  4. I’ve heard of, and even seen Publix visiting Florida. Sadly, even though last year they acquired 10 or so Giant/Martin’s in Virginia, they skipped over the Williamsburg area.

    Fortunately, our Harris Teeter, although pricey, gives aways samples everyday. I love that about them.

  5. HI Jeannette. Yes, we have shopped at Publix many times while in Florida and really liked it. I live in Canada, and last year, Save-On Foods moved into our area and I’ve been a happy shopper ever since. They are everything you describe in Publix and more. They have made shopping so much more enjoyable.

    • Doreen — glad to hear that you have a friendly grocery chain, too. It makes shopping so much more enjoyable.

  6. I am unaware of this store, but being employee-owned has me intrigued.
    We have massive companies, run by people who think employees are a commodity to be used, and thrown away when finished. Good to see a store where the employees have a stake in the company, and also treat their customers like human beings.
    I want one to open up here.

    • William — as you live in upstate NY, you wouldn’t necessarily know about Publix. You’re so right about how badly some companies treat their employees. I’ve written posts about this issue. Why do they treat employees like criminals and escort them off the premises with armed guards? Great example for the employees who are left, wondering if they’re next.

  7. Isn’t it great when you can truly recommend a brand? I just had a fantastic, over-the-top experience with Nespresso and am happy to brag about them. My husband lived in Florida for ten years and also speaks to the service at the Publix.

    • RoseMary — it’s nice to be able to brag about a store because, unfortunately, customer service at most stores is average, at best.

  8. We don’t have Publix here in our country but based on what you have written they are very well and respected company with good employees. Certainly every customer will have their satisfaction guaranteed if their employees are well-mannered. Thanks for sharing this article Jeannette!

    • Kathleen — I’m sure you have at least one supermarket in your country that also provides superior service. Just have to find it!