Trying to get consumers to fill out feedback surveys is more difficult than drawing blood from stone for retailers.
Even when customers do take the time, they’re often spurred by a complaint.
It’s this failing system that Georgina Nelson wants to change with startup, truRating, a UK-based point-of-payment rating system that launched in Australia this week.
Nelson, a former lawyer at Which?, the UK version of consumer advocacy and review group Choice, says the idea for the business was born from the lack of robust customer feedback available for retailers.
“While I was at Which? I realised there were inherent problems in the review space,” she says.
“The first was the insights businesses receive from their customers. I learned that businesses normally hear back from 0.1% of their customer base, just one in a thousand speak up. That’s normally days, months or weeks after the event, and they’re usually complaints.
“The second marker I noticed that was review websites., I guess because you don’t know whether those reviews can be trusted.”
She went on to explain that while most people use websites like Tripadvisor or Yelp regularly, they don’t always trust them because the review could be from the business itself, a relative or a scornful past employee, you never know.
“I began thinking, how can we make the reviewing process easier and how can we make it simple, fast and anonymous… but also from a validated customer?
“That’s when I came up with the idea of putting the technology on a payment terminal.”
But how does it work?
Using the payment terminal, truRating presents customers with a single feedback question, asking them to rate an aspect of their experience using a scale of 0-9 on the keypad. Or, best of all, if you don’t want to provide feedback you can skip the question completely.
That rating is then transferred to truRating’s cloud-hosted API and feed to an online merchant analytics dashboard, to provide businesses with mass-representative, real-time data, and a consumer recommendations website, providing consumers with a quick and accessible review based on the feedback of paying customers.
And best of all the product isn’t just a win for retailers, it’s also a win for the consumer.
Instead of completing a boring survey, or giving the awkward but polite “yes, everything was nice” response as you leave a restaurant, customers can provide honest, and importantly, anonymous feedback on their experience with the touch of a key.
truRating also gives consumers the opportunity to search for a businesses profile online to find out its individual score based on thousands of independent point-of-payment ratings.
“People just don’t have time to read 10 reviews and paragraphs and paragraphs about someone’s chewy steak, and the dodgy local waiter,” says Nelson.
To ensure a business is asking the right questions for its own circumstances, five “core” questions, provided by truRating, are asked at the terminal, based around service, product, and experience.
Merchants can add their own questions to investigate specific issues, test new initiatives and make constant small improvements to service.
The pricing structure for the product is a $100 set-up fee per outlet and monthly fees start from just $25 per month per outlet for companies that have up to 50 transactions a day. This then increases with more transactions with those who have 251-plus transactions a day paying $75.
Australia is truRating’s second market after its launch in the UK two years ago.
After a six-month beta phase Down Under the business has gained over 60,000 ratings locally and has attracted a number of local merchants including Roll’d, the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, TONI&GUY, Crisp and Jones the Grocer.
The company has also secured partnerships with some of the top-tier institutions in the payments space, including a formal partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, as well as PC-EFTPOS to introduce the first iteration of their technology in Australia.
Moving forward it will continue to expand its Australian team, which currently stands as 10 members, and bring on a host of new merchants.
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