April 19, 2016

High-tech platform uses customers to fight off competition

In today’s economy with ever-increasing operational costs and competition, it’s never been more important for businesses to provide the best customer experiences possible. Ryan Townsend’s You Review is a new patented platform giving businesses the tools to do just that by turning instant customer feedback into business intelligence.

When Ryan Townsend’s family business was threatened by the entry of giants Coles and Woolworths into the petrol/convenience store category he fought back – by enlisting his customers.

He went straight to customers, surveying them as they filled their cars and in stores asking what the business did well but also where it could do better, then used the feedback to improve the offering and beef up customer satisfaction levels.

The result? The business increased its market share in the face of major competition.

“This was a significant disruption of the industry and we were very concerned,” says Townsend. “So we asked questions of our customers and we listened and, most importantly, implemented what they were looking for.”

The result sparked in Townsend a passionate appreciation of the impact customer satisfaction can have on business success – and ten years’ later has led to the launch of a new product that uses the latest technology to help businesses easily turn customer feedback into intelligence to improve performance.

On the spot feedback

Launched into the market in December, You Review is an instore customer feedback platform that measures customers’ satisfaction within a business. It’s now being used by a range of businesses around Australia to capture feedback at the “coalface” via a simple app.

“This is a refined, electronic version of that process we utilised back then but embracing new technology,” says Townsend.

The You Review system uses devices placed in accessible customer locations within businesses such as POS or on counters to gather live responses from customers to 15-second surveys.  Customers are asked to rate businesses out of 10 across two key components ranging from customer service to the quality of the business or brand offering.

The business can then log in to see the daily or historical feedback quantified into tangible information that can be tracked over time and used to target underperforming parts of the business and increase customer satisfaction.

Townsend says a key advantage of You Review is its ability to easily quiz customers where they’re interacting with the business. “The most significant difference is that You Review captures customer feedback live and in the store, clinic, restaurant or lounge where it matters most – at the coalface,” he says.

“It’s lightning quick and acts like a continual pulse gathered by many customers rather than say a mystery shopper who just takes a single snapshot in a single moment in time or a five- minute static survey received 48 hours after the fact when customers have moved on and too consumed with life to embrace it.”

Stand out with service

In today’s economy, with retailers under attack from both bricks and mortar and online competitors, being able to deliver outstanding customer service and satisfaction has become a crucial business attribute – and one that’s entirely in the businesses control.

“With increased operational costs, increased levels of disruption, online products and diluted margins, it’s never been more important to provide your customers with what they want and to ensure it’s done with a smile every time,” says Townsend.

“Customer service is one of the fundamentals in business and remains the most important, but unfortunately, it’s one that is sometimes overlooked. And people are now less tolerant of bad service or business offerings – they can and will simply go to the competitor next door.”

Business results

Townsend says the fact that all of You Review’s test businesses have continued to use the application shows it delivers results.

You Review client Ella BachéMackay credits the platform with significantly improving the business’s client satisfaction, client focus and profitability. “It’s almost like an additional staff member inviting clients to share knowledge with us,” says the skincare company’s Business Owner Eloise Manning.

“It keeps us on track and constantly reminds us that pleasing our customers is our biggest priority,” she says. “It’s like a bridge between where you are and where you want to be.”

Manning adds that You Review allowed the business to pinpoint several key areas that could be improved and then measure the impact when changes were implemented. Customer waiting times was one. “Being able to track this made us more disciplined in ensuring we didn’t overbook our staff and this resulted in increased productivity, staff morale and client satisfaction,” she says.

“You Review has helped in the way it measures so many aspects of our service where before we would just assume or guess. It’s helped us make brave decisions and measure the outcomes.”

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