Becoming a More Trusted Partner

Customer Story
Community Service/Nonprofit
Regional Food Bank
8-Month Engagement

The Business Challenge

Understanding that the entire food delivery ecosystem needs to work together seamlessly to address the problem of food insecurity, a large regional food bank established a strategic objective to become a trusted partner of their network of over 1,000 food shelf and meal program customers. Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the client felt that it was important to conduct this work in 2020. Trust is never more important than in times of great stress.

A Customer Experience Based Approach

Aveus® partnered with the Agency Relations team to conduct this work. We introduced our trust model that helps dissect the elements of trust: motive, capability, and reliability. Understanding these trust building blocks allows organizations to consistently adjust and improve. Aveus designed, and together we fielded, a baseline trust measurement survey with their network of food shelf customers. We also conducted a series of internal team meetings across the different departments to develop a map of the current and “ideal” customer journey.

The Agency Relations team vetted the potential critical moments that emerged from those journey mapping sessions, and we conducted hour-long interviews with selected food shelf customers to obtain the customer’s perspective on their experience overall, the client’s current performance at the critical moments, and the relative importance of improvement at each moment.


The baseline trust survey indicated that our client efforts to date had already achieved a high level of trust among the vast majority of their customers (NPS of >80). The unique nature of the relationship between a food bank and a food shelf clearly contributed to these high scores. In addition, a number of programs and policies that were introduced to help respond to the growing problem of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic were well received. While the scores for motive (>70), capability (>55), and reliability (>75) were all strong, each was below the overall trust score and it became clear that there was the most room for improvement around capability.

Trust is never more important than in times of great stress.

The Results

Our client had already begun the process toward becoming a more demand-driven (vs. supply-driven) organization. The findings reinforced the importance of this shift, including the growing demand for culturally specific foods. As a result, the client is implementing a process to develop a better understanding of the desired mix of food and programs designed to provide greater choice for produce and culturally specific foods. This includes subsidization of key items to help better meet demand.

The client also is implementing a number of organizational changes to provide a single point of contact for all service-related issues while placing responsibility for strategic relationship management and helping to build capabilities of their food shelf customers with the Agency Relations team.

The trust survey will be repeated on an annual basis to identify progress and impact. A system to obtain feedback on satisfaction with specific transactions to help measure progress in the interim is currently being implemented.

8-Month Engagement Timeline

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we needed to adjust both the sequence of activities and conduct all activities as virtual sessions. Regardless, all work ultimately pointed to a few key opportunities to improve the experience of their food shelf customers to become an even more trusted partner.

Community Service/Nonprofit
My team’s work with volunteers from Aveus to review customer experience far exceeded our expectations! They are wonderful to work with and are really good at structuring both activities and conversations that lead us in the right direction… They have been extremely valuable.

Senior Programs Supervisor

Regional Food Bank
Are you ready to drive BOLD performance?

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