Case Study: Grocery Aid

1.1.          Grocery Aid

1.1.1.      About our customer

Grocery Aid, the trading name of the National Grocers’ Benevolent Fund, is the charity for the grocery industry. Grocery Aid helps people all over the UK who have worked, or are working, in the grocery industry and have now found that they need some extra support to get by. The help that Grocery Aid provides can make a very real difference and it provides not only monetary support, but also appliances and everyday items that many take for granted.

1.1.2.      The service we provide

The helpline was a new service for Grocery Aid. We set about improving the reach of their valuable service and sought to reach out to the people needing the help and support that they provide.

In early 2010, Connect Assist successfully helped Grocery Aid launch their first helpline via our 24/7 Contact Centre. Today we offer multi-channel solutions via phone, e-mail, knowledgebase, ask a question and live chat.


The multi-channel helpline provides information and support to people and business owners working in the trade – from large supermarkets to corner shops. This includes an innovative ‘incident support’ service following attacks, arson and other incidents that are prevalent within the industry.

1.1.3.      The benefits of our service

A Post Incident Survey (powered by RightNow) allows employees who have witnessed or been involved in (at place of work to get a measure of well-being after the incident). This is linked to and integrated with the case management functionality of Oracle RightNow allowing helpline staff to have a complete case record as well as understand the extent of any issues the service user may have. The survey allows users to self-assess and get an understanding of their well-being following potentially traumatic circumstances. Depending on their responses, the service user is served information or advice relevant to their extent of their issue and prompts an intervention from the Contact Centre only where necessary. This provides a cost saving to Grocery Aid through not providing an expensive counselling response across the board, yet captures those that really need it.

1.1.4.      Successes and achievements

  • Implemented a brand new helpline on behalf of Grocery Aid from a standing start
  • Allowed Grocery Aid to offer a response to potentially traumatic circumstances that only intervenes with higher level support where it’s needed rather than an expensive blanket response for all that is often unnecessary.
  • Grocery Aid have recently launched a service for employees of Tesco. This has given rise to a 120% increase in the number of calls taken since inception of this new offering in April to September where compared with the same period in 2011. Connect Assist has handled the increased call volumes within SLA and have been able to absorb the extra cost of handling the new calls at no extra charge to Grocery Aid.
  • For this customer, evaluation has been all about service utilisation, an absence of customer complaints and the role of the helpline staff in complementing the beneficiary support work of the charity.

 “Connect Assist established a comprehensive helpline which we make available to people who work in the grocery industry nationally. We are delighted with their creative but practical approach, which ensures we meet the targeted needs of our audience.”

Cathy Mercer, Head of Operations, Grocery Aid 

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