The Coffee Club taps customer voice to boost experience

The Coffee Club sees NPS lift by 20 percentage points after work to improve understanding of the customer experience

The Coffee Club was facing a situation many brands find themselves in today: Meeting rising customer expectations along with the need to harmonise its customer insights.

“We believe the customer should be telling us what their expectation is. One of the biggest challenges we found was we had customer data in lots of different places across the business,” chief operating officer of parent company Minor DKL Food Group, Stephen Hazard, told CMO.

Starting life in 1989, The Coffee Club has grown to 450 stores throughout 11 countries and upwards of 40 million customers. It wanted to unify customer data, such as feedback, complaint tracking and social media data, previously scattered across multiple systems. Due to this disparate data, insights were infrequent and often unreliable, causing corporate teams and franchise owners hesitation to act on them.

The company looked to InMoment as its technology partner to help create the best, and most consistent, experiences for its customers. Using the technology vendor's management platform, the organisation has been brought data together to produce a more comprehensive and actionable view of the customer experience, accessible by all in a simple yet sophisticated way.

It's work that's seen The Coffee Club enjoy a 20-point increase in its Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Hazard explained to CMO the business chose InMoment as an all-in-one tool to bring data into one place. A key feature was its social media scraping tool, which allows social data to be ingested directly into the platform.

"Another big benefit was the natural language programming (NLP) functionality InMoment users, which allows us to analyse what customers are actually saying from a free text perspective,” Hazard said.

In addition to surveys, such as NPS, The Coffee Club places the most importance on what customers are saying themselves, Hazard said.

“Many organisations focus on NPS, and we certainly do, but we make a point in our weekly executive meetings to talk about that last, because it's the richness of the customer data and what people are saying, which is most important. That's a conscious decision," he commented. "The second conscious decision is to actually use the information and have follow up actions weekly.”

The franchise business now has access to an artificial intelligence (AI) engine to perform text analytics on unstructured datasets and optimise keywords to improve capabilities, constantly feeding keywords back through the system to improve machine learning. Employees can check NPS, as well as evaluate actual customer comments with a live, interactive dashboard, helping create a consistent experience throughout each location.

Culture and employee experience

However, Hazard admitted it took some adjustments internally to the new customer feedback picture. “The biggest shift was educating the organisation that scores were not the most important thing, actually. The consistency of messaging from customers was more important and what the platform allows us to do was tag all of our verbal comments,” he said.

The InMoment XI platform features three clouds services: Customer experience (CX) cloud, employee experience (EX) cloud and market experience (MX) cloud. Leveraging the platform, The Coffee Club is informing franchisers and employees across various locations of day-to-day needs and long-term improvements. One key activity is undertaking case management, identifying approximately 30 at-risk customers each month for the business to focus on. 

Franchise partners also have greater access to feedback, enabling them to be more proactive with customers and resolve issues two to three days faster than before, and it’s expanding the reach of the platform.

“We’re broadening its reach across our organisation to our HR function to identify if there are any employee issues or team member issues," Hazard said, adding The Coffee Club also plans to launch an employee experience portal.

"We need to deepen our insight into the connection between any team member experience and a customer experience, which is intuitive and we know there's a strong connection," he said.

Breaking down competitive data on a local level is another important part of the plan because the local landscape is different at each site and brings unique challenges. 

“The final piece is really understanding on a site-by-site basis, what's the competitor experience," Hazard said. 

Friendliness, quality, speed, value for money are all important to the customer experience but they may rate differently depending on the store, and the challenge is to get an accurate picture in each location.

“While we our a national brand, a site-by-site action can be quite different depending on what our customers in that site are telling us,” he added.

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