Mitre 10 is one of Australia’s leading hardware chains. Founded in 1959, the company sees customer experience as a cornerstone of its brand identity. It provides the same intimate service you can expect from a local neighbourhood store, despite being a sizeable network of more than 350 outlets.
This emphasis on the customer experience is the foundation on which Sunlite Mitre 10, a small chain within the organisation, is built. Sunlite Mitre 10’s Managing Director, Steven Czeiger, places a premium on their in-store experience.
This, together with his unique, forward-thinking perspective on CX and business hierarchy has put Sunlite Mitre 10 up there with some of Australia’s top retailers. “Traditionally within companies, you see [a] hierarchy where MDs and executives are at the top and at the bottom you may see salespeople.
At Mitre 10 we see it the other way around. Our customer-facing team members are the most important part of our experience – [our] most valuable asset,” Steven explains.
Despite this already solid foundation in customer-centricity, Sunlite Mitre 10 is constantly seeking ways to better understand their customers and serve them. Sunlite Mitre 10 knows that with online retail, and the range of options the customer has, the customer experience is vitally important in establishing and sustaining a competitive advantage.
As a result, Sunlite Mitre 10 looked for a way to integrate their customers’ voices into their day-to-day operations. Building on the foundations of that great CX culture they have, they wanted to set their customer-facing staff up to deliver exceptional customer experiences and live out that customer-centric mindset.
Today the customer has many options. They can go online; they can go anywhere they want; they have power. We are at a time when it’s not just about opening up a store and having the entitlement that the customer will come and buy from me. For me to expect and want a customer to shop and stay with me I have to create an environment that is sticky; an environment that they have to want to visit and feel comfortable and connected to - making them want to return.
- Steven Czeiger, Managing Director, Sunlite Mitre 10
Sunlite Mitre 10 implemented RateIt in 2017, to capture feedback from thousands of customers, in-the-moment and in real time, each day.
“At every single counter we have RateIt devices where we collect data and receive useful information based on how customers are feeling and transacting with us. We don’t need to rely on low volume surveys or polls; we get real-time feedback across thousands of interactions every day,” says Steven.
The organisation went a step further than just listening to their customers, and embedded their customer-first mindset into their core business processes. They effectively introduced the voice of the customer into their regular operating rhythms. Feedback and staff specific reviews are used for ‘hero-ing’ staff members, and customer feedback is a core part of employee training and development.
“Our team [members] are very aware of RateIt, to the point where we use RateIt as a feedback mechanism internally and they know that their service is being rated. It’s something that’s openly discussed and [the aim is] to ensure that the majority of our customers are having a great experience and [are] our fans,” says Steven.
Steven explains the results they’ve achived with RateIt: “We celebrate wins and feedback, so the positive comments we get through RateIt and other feedback mechanisms we applaud and share. We reward our team with gift vouchers and promote people who have fantastic attitudes ... a key KPI within our company is RateIt results.”
The organisation’s investment in CX continues with a “store acceleration program”. This aims to fast-track store development through a customer-first methodology. Steven explains that the program involves owners “investing in experience - new fixtures, signage, lighting, training, development and more.” Early results have seen sales increase by 22% in the months immediately after rollout.