Halfords drops secret shoppers for customer feedback scheme

Halfords: 2011 ad campaign by DLKW Lowe
Halfords: 2011 ad campaign by DLKW Lowe

Car and bicycle specialist Halfords is ditching its secret shoppers' initiative in favour of a customer feedback scheme.

The retailer opted for its customer feedback technology, provided by Empathica, after trialling it at the same time as a secret shopper trial.

Once it has drawn together enough feedback, it will build incentives into store managers' contracts in order to improve its customer service in line with its 'That's Helpful That's Halfords' positioning.

Customers are being asked to give feedback on whether the service was helpful, via a message on the top of receipts.

The message directs customers to a website (www.tellhalfords.com) where they can fill out a questionnaire on how helpful the service was.

Customers are questioned on Halfords' levels of knowledge, service, helpfulness and whether it offered the right products.

Each day the retailer is giving away a £1,000 cash prize and an iPod to those who fill in the questionnaires.

Before providing feedback, customers have to enter the store, till and transaction number, which will allow the retailer to analyse how each individual store is performing.

Steve Marson, Halfords retail operations director, said: "The reality is we don't feel we need to make a big step-change, we feel we need to help our store managers understand their individual store performance."

Halfords began a five-month trial of the Empathica technology in May in 17 of its stores, before rolling it out to all 468 outlets last month.

Next year it is due to carry out a business-wide review of the trends and patterns that have emerged from the customer feedback initiative.

Follow Matthew Chapman @mattchapmanUK

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