Customer insight programme.
Debenhams has over the last year and a half received feedback from over 230,000 of its customers using a customer insight programme. Operating across all 161 stores, the programme has enabled Debenhams to get a clearer view of what their customers value from their experience, it also helps the retailer to drive in-store improvements based on real customer feedback.
Kate Whittaker, Strategy Manager at Debenhams, said, “The idea was to replace our mystery shop programme to get feedback from actual customers, rather than paid-for mystery shoppers, on all aspects of their experience with Debenhams, in real time. Since the launch of the programme, we have increased the overall customer satisfaction level from 47% to 56%, and we are focused on continuing to improve this score.”
Debenhams prompts customers to provide feedback, using the till receipt to direct them to an online survey. The survey asks them for their thoughts on product range, value for money, the quality of service provided by staff, shop displays and other customer experience-related questions. Data is then collated and analysed by a secure online reporting site. Debenhams can access this site 24/7 at various levels within the organisation – head office can log on for insights on all areas of the business, whilst individual stores have their own action-focused reports to drive improvements at the location level.
The data collected allows Debenhams to understand their overall customer service level and also enables store managers to look at individual staff performance. Customers are asked if there was a member of staff that particularly influenced their in-store experience. If the customer indicates that there was such an individual, they are then asked who the employee was and what made their experience exceptional. An email is then sent directly to the store manager so that they can congratulate the individual staff member. This initiative is known as the ‘Customer WOW’ and helps build programme momentum by focusing and motivating staff through appreciation of their continual efforts in providing great customer service. Whittaker said: “We currently get approximately 50% of customers telling us that a member of staff went above and beyond their expectations.”
To build on the Customer WOW programme and to foster customer advocacy, Debenhams uses a GoRecommend social media tool which prompts customers who have indicated high intent to recommend to actually do so and voluntarily trumpet their great experiences with Debenhams to their friends via Facebook, Twitter and email. Within just a few months of launching GoRecommend, Debenhams customers’ recommendations have reached over 1.3 million of their Facebook friends.
Whittaker added, “A big benefit of the programme is that we can give customers the opportunity to opt into our future marketing newsletters so we can contact them again, enabling us to build our marketing database. Over half of the respondents surveyed so far have agreed to opt in, so out of over 230,000 people that have taken part in the survey we have stored details of almost 130,000 of those respondents. Obviously this marketing database is hugely valuable to us and we are able to inform them of upcoming events and special offers as well as build an on-going dialogue with these customers.”