It’s an exciting day here at Feefo, as we introduce our first ever podcast series! In this brand new series, we’ll be shining a light on everything from the great work our customers have been doing, to new innovations and hot topics in the world of customer experience and beyond. Sit back and listen to the podcast, or hang out here on our blog where we’ll be sharing every single conversation we have with our wonderful customers, colleagues and guests.
To kick off our first ever episode, we chat to Feefo customer Rachael’s Kitchen to find out how they use their customer feedback to develop their product, build their brand and maintain their excellent levels of customer service.
A big welcome to the very first instalment of our Spotlight series! Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your business.
Rachel: Hi! I’m the founder and MD of Rachael’s Kitchen, an online cupcake delivery company. We have a central eCommerce website where you can order cupcakes to be delivered all around the country. We pride ourselves on having a full menu of 40 different flavours, always presented beautifully, and most of the time we can deliver next day all over the UK!
Lucy: I’m the Customer Service and Marketing Coordinator, so I deal with customers day in, day out (the good and bad) and I look after our social media and help with our marketing strategy. I joined the company two weeks before lockdown, so it’s definitely been an interesting few months!
Wow, you’re busy!
So, you’re an online only service. What made you choose to step away from bricks and mortar and focus solely online?
Rachael: Oddly, I started out as purely focusing on the eCommerce side. I saw an opportunity, through the platform of an eCommerce business, to find some way of delivering cakes all across the country, just in the same way that we’re all used to sending flowers. I felt that approaching the eCommerce side of sales rather than bricks and mortar was lower risk and much safer in terms of the investment and the commitment. You can create something online, gradually build your presence and grow your customer base in quite a steady way. I felt that if I were to just focus on bricks and mortar retail, I’d have to work so much harder to build that customer base, whereas if I could nail the national delivery element, then the marketplace would instantly be huge! Along the way we have had a couple of shops, and we gave straight retail a go. Some of the appeal of having bricks and mortar is you become known locally as a brand, which is lovely. In actual fact, I found connection with my customers was at a pre-Covid height at the point of which we had physical shops.
I think that, particularly if you’re starting an eCommerce business now, whether you’ve got bricks and mortar or not, it’s all about that community element. You need to replace that physical contact with your social channels – that’s how you communicate every day with your customer base.
So, that being said, without that interaction of people popping into your store, what role does your customer feedback play in the way that you run your business in that eCommerce model?
Rachael: Customer feedback as part of our customer service offering is really important. I love the fact that Feefo is an independent platform - I think it gives people the ability to be quite subjective and quite well rounded in their feedback, whether it’s good or bad. Collecting the feedback is just one element, though. The most important part is what you do with it!
Communicating with our customers is so important to us, and we generally have lots of interactions with them, even more so since Covid. We’ve never felt such strength of bond with our customers. Having Feefo alongside our customer service lines has given us another touchpoint and helps to break down any barriers. It’s all too easy for an eCommerce business to be seen as faceless or corporate, and it’s the brand’s responsibility to bring forward their own tone of voice and some colour to their personality. The connection between your products and your customer is your customer service!
"I love the fact that Feefo is an independent platform - I think it gives people the ability to be quite subjective and quite well rounded in their feedback, whether it’s good or bad. Collecting the feedback is just one element, though. The most important part is what you do with it!"
So, you collect both product and service reviews with Feefo. How do you use the feedback from your customers to advise any changes that you might make in your business?
Lucy: For me, the product and the service feedback is equally as valuable. Feefo has been such an insightful tool that I think is absolutely brilliant to work with. Customers feel like they can have a slightly more candid opinion, and so from that we can really glean some great customer insight. We’re really fortunate to score quite well and get great feedback from customers. I’ll make sure that I read through every single comment, checking that every review is replied to and each comment is personalised. If somebody has commented or given some feedback on perhaps a flavour or the way it was packaged, I will always draw out those points. As a small business we can be reactive, so I can liaise directly with the bakery and the packing team to make any tweaks if we spot any reoccurring issues in our feedback.
"Feefo has been such an insightful tool that I think is absolutely brilliant to work with. Customers feel like they can have a slightly more candid opinion, and so from that we can really glean some great customer insight."
Rachael: We use Feefo so that, one; we can make sure that we are responding to customer needs and picking up on any current themes, and two; so we can let our customers see the bigger picture. People go looking for reviews on businesses when they’re making purchase decisions. I, personally, really like to see businesses reviewed at a product level and a service level, otherwise it’s just all a bit vague. Breaking it down between product and service is really important for us. It helps to build trust.
Lucy: I think the fact we take the time to respond to the comments strengthens our customer proposition. The fact that there might be a review that’s slightly more negative doesn’t deter me at all, because if I’m a customer and I’m looking through feedback, I can see straight away how any issues have been handled.
"We use Feefo so that, one; we can make sure that we are responding to customer needs and picking up on any current themes, and two; so we can let our customers see the bigger picture."
Do you think that reaching out for customer feedback via invitation means the information that you get back is a little more considered?
Rachael: There’s something really genuine and honest about saying ‘we realise not everything went to plan with that order, but we’re still asking you for your feedback’. There’s something very transparent about that. It would be easy to just filter out those people that we know had a bad experience and not ask for feedback, but every review makes us better at what we do.
The great thing about being a small business is the fact we can make real changes based on feedback. We can go back to a customer and say, ‘you were right, and we changed it!’ It’s really nice to be able to do that.
A lot of people have recently been forced to take on an online only model. You made that move quite a long time ago - have you got any advice for smaller retailers who have suddenly found themselves relying on that online presence?
Rachael: I think it’s a really great opportunity. Since Covid, we now have this fantastic new audience for our marketing strategy leading up to Christmas. Being online in front of all of these customers is almost like having a big tourist bus pull up right outside your shop, or taking your shop off a local high street and sticking it on Oxford Street!
I’m sure a lot of traditional retail outlets are limited to physical footfall, but that’s obviously not the case when you’re solely online. I can imagine that making that step is big, but it’s just learning how to ‘dress your window’ differently or how to have that check-in conversation with a customer in a different way.
Do you ever use positive feedback on your channels to showcase what you offer?
Lucy: Yes, definitely. As part of our social media strategy, once a week we’ll do a ‘testimonial Tuesday’, and we share not just the customers’ own words, but the story behind the feedback. If there’s something we think will resonate well with our customers and our followers, we’ll share it. something we’re really trying to build on with our social channels is that sense of community, it’s not just a sales tool, it’s connecting with customers on a different level.
It’s all about human connection, isn’t it? That’s why people find confidence in review content or they engage with a social post…
Lucy: Absolutely, and it’s not just about our customers. If we get some fantastic feedback on Feefo, or if we have a lovely customer story, we share that in-house as well. The guys in the bakery are busy producing these beautiful cakes, and for them to hear how well received a box has gone down is a real morale booster within the team. Feedback can be used as a tool to improve, but it can also be used in a really great way to share with the team just how well everything has been going.
"Feedback can be used as a tool to improve, but it can also be used in a really great way to share with the team just how well everything has been going."
Looking forward and away from Covid, how are you using your customer feedback to improve the way you do business?
Rachael: Personalisation is a huge ongoing trend for us, and at the moment we’re looking at all of our Christmas ranges and developing the next version of our website. As part of that, we’re listening to some of our feedback from customers saying that they want to be able to customise their own cupcakes – switching up the flavours, the sprinkles and the colour schemes. In that way, our feedback is directly affecting our offering. We’re tailoring our products in accordance with the feedback that we’re receiving. From a customer targeting point of view, going forward, some of the feedback we’ve had about service is really shaping how we reach out to customers, how we invest in those relationships.
It’s one thing to sell what you want to sell – you need to sell what your customers want to buy.
Is customer testimonials something that you’re thinking about working into your website design?
Rachael: Definitely. The next website will integrate our Feefo reviews directly at a product level, so customers don’t have to go looking for it – it’s a rubber stamp right there under the product.
What does the future hold for Rachael’s kitchen?
Rachael: We’re busy planning our Christmas corporate offering and trying to predict what the marketplace might look like in a few months’ time. We’ve broken down quite a lot of our planning into short term, agile responses so things aren’t too set in stone. Much of our planning right now is the new version of the website and tweaking it from a UX point of view. The new product offerings will all take place on the new website. I just want to capitalise on all these new customers we’ve got – how we can engage with them, how we can build relationships.
Lucy: From a service point of view, it’s about really honing our customer service offering and having a strong direction of where we’re going with it. Something that I strongly believe in is the connection between trust and familiarity, so when a customer becomes familiar with our brand, they will be more likely to trust us. That will come with the new website development and some products that we’re working on with regards to the look and style of our cupcakes.
For me, customer service is really about how that customer feels when they leave us. There’s a quote that I really like from Maya Angelou which says ‘people don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they always remember how you made them feel’, and that’s something that’s really important to me.
Thank you to Rachael’s Kitchen for taking the time to speak with us and share their story. You can find them here!
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