How General Mills Builds Extraordinary Customer Engagements—Interview with nibblr

General Mills is a large enterprise covering dozens of brands. One of its newest brands, nibblr, is building its reputation on positive customer interactions.

At this early stage of deployment, positive word-of-mouth is critical. nibblr must work twice as hard as General Mills’ more established brands to ensure its online customer experiences are positive and burden-free.

That’s why nibblr is so interesting to all of us.

In this interview, Maria Chapellin, marketing manager at nibblr, shares with us how she and her team are developing truly memorable customer experiences.

Keep reading to discover her real-life experiences- challenges, solutions, tips and best practices.

CXperience: Please tell us about yourself and your involvement in General Mills’ customer experience.

Maria Chapellin, nibblr: I have been with the nibblr team since its beginnings.  We have always strived to have a “consumer first” approach on everything we do, and have worked closely with our partners to make sure that every single touchpoint we have creates a delightful moment for our consumers – from the delicious snacks our team has crafted and our packaging design to the interactions with our customer service team.

CXperience: Customers order nibblr online- they can control what they get and how often. How does nibblr make this online experience enjoyable for its users?

nibblr: We try to make the experience enjoyable from the very beginning.  We made sure to include great photography of our delicious snacks to let our customers discover them, even in a virtual setting.  

Because we are trying to introduce a very new concept to our customers we also made sure to devote significant real estate in our website to explain how the service works and address many of the questions our customers might have when they are trying to figure out if our service fits their needs.

CXperience: What work was involved in simplifying the online experience for customers so that the online process is easily understandable?

nibblr: We have made a few iterations.  In the early stages, we tested with our own team to make small, but significant, improvements.  We then tested with potential customers and that proved to be very enlightening! 

Things that seemed obvious to the team were not obvious for people that had never seen our site before.  Our technology platform has limited flexibility in some parts of our sign-up process, but we continue to think about small changes that we can make to continue to improve the customer experience every day.

CXperience: Snacks are delivered based on a user rating system.

In what other ways does General Mills and nibblr engage its online visitors?

nibblr: We are trying to strike the right balance here.  On the one hand, we want to make sure our customers know that we care about what they have to say, but on the other hand, we don’t want to bother them.

We reach out to our customers on a regular basis to find out how we are doing, and that has provided us with great insights on how to improve our service. 

We also have a very active presence in social media to further develop our relationship with them.

We, unfortunately, aren’t doing enough right now with people that visit us and decide not to subscribe.  We have done a bit of “retargeting”, but very minimal. It’s certainly an area where we have tons of opportunities to grow.

CXperience: How important in online customer engagement?

nibblr: We believe social engagement plays a big role for us. 

Building a new brand is not easy, and we need to get energy behind it to build our loyal fan base.  Social media plays a critical role in defining the voice of our brand, and helping our customers get to know us better.’

After all, it’s not just about the product and services we are selling, but what the brand believes in and stands for, as well as the people behind the brand. 

We experience great joy in creating our “reality bites” (a postcard that we include in our boxes to build on our promise to let our customer discover something delightful™ on every box), and we take our consumer contacts to heart – positives and negatives.

CXperience: What is your biggest challenge in providing satisfying customer experiences?

nibblr: We are still in the early stages of our business, and the subscription space is a complex one.  One of the biggest challenges we face is delighting our customers in an era when they are used to 2-day “free” shipping from some companies and extremely quick turnarounds.

CXperience: In what other ways does General Mills/nibblr provide unique, simple, engaging online customer experiences?

nibblr: Something we do that we are proud off is driving one-on-one conversations with some consumers. 

We call it “spreading some #nibblrlove.”

We take the time to recognize people and give back love whenever we receive it.  More generally, we take the time to welcome everyone that joins our service with a hand-signed postcard, and include a hand-signed welcome poster on their first box to show that we care.

CXperience: What changes do you see in the future of this product?

nibblr: We will continue to evolve with our customers.

We are listening to what they are asking for as well, and are open to trying new things.

We will continue to grow our portfolio to provide an even wider variety of snacks. 

Ultimately, it’s all about surprising and delighting our customers in any way we can.

CXperience: There are many customer experience managers and experts reading this interview. If you could offer 1 tip to improve their practices, what would it be?

nibblr: Your customer is always right.  

That should always be the starting point.

So the best thing you can do is to listen, and continue to listen, always with an open mind.


Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.