With the news the JD Sports has joined forces with TruRating, RetailTechNews spoke to both parties about the partnership. In this piece, Wayne Davies, retail director, JD Sports and Georgina Nelson, CEO, TruRating, discuss how the store is improving customer experience through data.
RetailTechNews: JD Sports has recently partnered with TruRating to enhance your customer ratings capabilities at the point of sale. How does this work?
Wayne Davies: Historically, we used receipt-based surveys coupled with mystery shopper surveys. These represented such a small sample size with low response rates that the data wasn’t very actionable. We also found that, more often than not, the findings didn’t align with what we could observe in the stores. With TruRating installed on our payment terminals, each paying customer is now asked a single anonymous question and they press one button to rate from 0-9 on the payment device. The questions rotate between transactions, so we can ask about different aspects of the customer experience. It means we get mass, genuine, paying customer feedback.
How do the insights gathered help improve the customer experience?
Wayne Davies: Service is hugely important to us; and we wanted to be able to understand customer perception and expectations based on how much they spent. TruRating enables us to tick all of the boxes – linking in-store experience with spending, an easy-to-use dashboard, and a customised reporting system. It means we can easily measure the impact of store-level initiatives in order to calculate ROI on our efforts.
Which performance targets can the data gathered help attain, and how can it help reach these?
Wayne Davies: We can finally prove the old adage: “Happy customers spend more.” And we now know exactly how much more, as well as which aspects of our customers’ happiness have the strongest link to spend. We also know exactly where and when this is happening, down to the store-hour level.
The heatmap is really powerful – on this chart, colours indicate performance across different times of day. At a glance, we can quickly identify sweet spots and sour points. Store managers find this really useful, as they are now empowered to make quick decisions without waiting for reports based on lapsed experiences.
Measuring customer experience can sometimes make us feel a bit like big brother, but with TruRating’s sample size, we’re getting a fair and much more accurate pulse of our stores, which has been tremendous for staff morale and business confidence. Our regional sales teams are also using it to help provide context to their area and store-level strategies, as all managers can see the same data at the same time – meaning they can explore findings on an even footing.
How can data gathered in-store at the POS help optimise experiences on other customer channels, such as mobile and desktop?
Georgina Nelson: There are a number of ways that data gathered using our in-store solution can help optimise other channels. For example, through custom questions, a merchant can ask the customer if they’re aware of their online store, or if they’ve downloaded their app for special promotional discounts. A merchant can also get a better understanding of their own brands’ relevancy – how a customer views their brand – across every channel. All this data can help a brand focus on their online presence, or how they communicate with customers, all the while helping the business deliver a more continuous experience.
In what other ways can retailers make more effective use of data gathered offline to inform online experiences, and vice-versa?
Georgina Nelson: Our solution is beneficial for any retailer that wants a truly omnichannel approach in a number of ways. They could track online purchases to get a feel for the best place to put a new outlet, or see whether new online customers rate differently than in-store ones, and so much more. There’s a real opportunity to connect both physical and digital channels into a connected brand experience that ultimately benefits everyone.