The new programme, thought to be a first in the industry, allows Bents to capture feedback and act upon it immediately, helping to improve quality and service on a continual basis. Information gathered is from actual customers as opposed to pretend ‘mystery shoppers’ who visited the centre each year as part of its previous programme.
Having worked with a traditional mystery shopper programme, which measured service levels based on pre-determined questions and situations, Bents wanted to radically transform the situation and generate direct feedback from actual customers by asking what they considered to be good service.
The team from Bents approached several companies with their idea and joined forces with Shopper Anonymous who shared their expertise and together helped create a new tailor-made programme. The new programme is split into three distinct categories with data collected three times per month.
Customer service manager Dawn Chalmers said: "We wanted to create a completely new initiative which would allow us to engage more closely with our customers. The new programme provides us with the opportunity to generate direct feedback helping us to respond quickly and effectively to whatever comments are put forward. It is already proving very beneficial to the business and our customers both in terms of immediate service levels and future planning."
The new programme involves an on-site audit, which checks basic service standards such as parking, trolleys, cleanliness; a telephone survey; and exit surveys with customers which ask three questions about their experience ending by asking ‘if there was one thing they could change about Bents what would it be?’
Chalmers said: "By asking this question we are empowering the customer; allowing them to give direct feedback about their visit which is immediately fed back to the management team and, if needed, we can act straight away."
Bents has already been approached by other brands with a request to share information and feedback on the new programme.