“We get much more repeat business now”
- King of Shaves
- Buckinghamshire, UK
King of Shaves is a small but spirited challenger brand offering an alternative to the two enormous incumbents in men's personal care products, Gillette and Wilkinson Sword. Major retailers stock King of Shaves products and they've become known for constant innovation and their high profile sporting sponsorships.
We interviewed Managing Director, Andy Hill.
Tell us about King of Shaves
Our sector is men's grooming but we're essentially a wholesale and retail business.
Service has always been important to us and because we're small we can listen and respond to customers.
People like working at King of Shaves because there's a flat structure, it's nimble and lean, and everyone can make a significant contribution - way beyond the equivalent role in a big company.
The feedback has helped us understand much more about how our customers want to buy.
What challenges were you facing?
It's a tough time for the retailers who stock our products because they are facing strong competition from the discounters and online by Amazon and as a result their market shares and profits are declining, along with their share prices!
We believe the answer to tough market conditions lies in understanding our customers better and making sure we meet their needs.
We've always valued customer feedback and we make a point of always responding so customers feel that we give good service. But we'd never sought feedback actively so we saw it as an opportunity to improve.
How did CustomerSure help?
We'd had experience of other feedback companies but felt we were dealing with a pushy salesperson who would then hand you over to someone else. With CustomerSure there was no hard sell, they were very responsive and we felt we were dealing with specialists who would help us from first contact all the way through.
Once we'd decided to go ahead we got up and running very quickly. Integration was seamless, we found it to be a very elegant solution.
We asked to integrate with our helpdesk system so that we could handle any issues arising from feedback within our existing setup. That was really quick.
We buy on quality, service and competitive price, always in that order. CustomerSure ticked all the boxes.
What results have you achieved?
Since we started collecting customer feedback automatically we've learnt a huge amount about what's important to our customers.
We haven't done any hard measures of the improvements, but as a result of gathering feedback and learning from it we get much more repeat business. For example for the online part of our business, shave.com, the feedback has helped us understand much more about how our customers want to buy. We learnt that they like offers and they'll buy more in return for a better deal. We'd had ideas about new offers but when we heard how important it was to customers it spurred us on to do it quickly and so sales came through faster.
Every new customer has the chance to give feedback early on, and because we respond it makes them feel we care about their opinion. They find that there's a human who reviews and responds to what they say and that makes them feel warm and cozy about our brand.
There's great transparency in the business now. We understand a lot better how customers feel, and when we respond the customer feels loved. It changes the customer's perception of you and we see the results in improved loyalty.
The feedback has also taught us that our customers really like us and that's hugely encouraging for the team who work hard to do a good job.
What word or words sums up your experience of CustomerSure?
What advice would you give someone about customer feedback?
Now we've experienced the benefits I'd advise anyone that it would be lunacy not to spend money on getting feedback. Our business is all about the shopper and the customer. If we don't offer the best service it becomes all about price, and then it's just a race to the bottom.
Be clear what you want to know, be clear on the goal. For us it was about making sure we find out why customers shop again, then checking all the time that we're delivering on customer service so we increase the lifetime value of every customer.
What could we do better to ensure you buy again? You're never sure about the reasons unless you ask. It's very dangerous to treat customers as a lump. They're not all the same. We also differentiate between retailers, shoppers and consumers - they are all customers, but they want different things from us.
The biggest benefits are intangible, brand love, brand loyalty. It's the non-rational part of why customers buy, it's about how they feel about you. They like it when somebody listens. We feel it's a privilege when customers talk to us, they give us permission to engage with them and that's valuable.