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Empathica feedback programme will provide insight into execution of new retail strategy

Halfords, a nationwide retailer of bicycles, car parts and accessories, recently retained customer experience management consultancy Empathica, to analyse feedback from its new, ‘That’s Helpful, That’s Halfords’ strategy.

The customer experience management (CEM) programme will be implemented across all 466 Halfords stores by Empathica, a specialist in the measurement, reporting and improvement of customer experiences.

The approach includes flashboard reporting, which the provider said delivers clear focus on store performance and identifies areas that can be improved, as well as successes to celebrate with staff. Customers will be encouraged to provide feedback online through printed invitations actively handed out by Halfords staff, with the added incentive of a prize draw entry for all respondents.

Engaging in customer-targeted feedback

The move follows a successful three-month pilot at 17 Halfords stores, which gained over 8,000 responses from customers. The pilot was run concurrently with a mystery shopper programme. Halfords decided Empathica’s approach was more specifically targeted to customer behaviour and needs.

Steve Marson, retail operations director at Halfords, said: “It’s important that we deepen our understanding of our customer needs in order to build an appealing brand personality and remain competitive. Empathica’s approach tells us what our customers feel about our products and customer services. It will ultimately ensure that we provide the best shopping experience possible and help us develop and deliver on our Helpful promise.”

During the pilot stage, Empathica said Halfords gained important insights into customer behaviour, including the fact that about 80% of customer visits to stores are to purchase a specific product; about a third visit its e-commerce site before entering a store, and over 60% are keen to give future feedback.

Halfords also intends to implement GoRecommend, Empathica’s social networking application, which allows satisfied purchasers to recommend a brand or product via Facebook, Twitter and email.

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