Massbuild operates four complementary brands: Builders Warehouse, which operates large DIY and home improvement stores in major urban areas; Builders Express and Builders Superstore, a chain of smaller neighbourhood home and garden improvement stores; and Builders Trade Depot, a chain of building contractor outlets located in industrial areas in peri-urban and urban areas focusing on delivering a core range for all phases of building projects.
The group currently has 105 stores within South Africa and neighboring countries. Massbuild forms part of the Massmart group in which Walmart has a 51% majority shareholding.
Builders stores are characterised by their vast size and enormous range of products and services. This poses a challenge in terms of staffing for the simple reason that it would not be economically viable to have a staff member in every section of the store at all times.
Due to these challenges, unattended customers became a reality which resulted in poor customer experience for the group and potential loss of business. The group was also not able to measure the impact of a possible poor customer experience in-store, resulting in negative exposure on social media impacting the reputation of the group.
Management embarked on a mission to improve the environment by making it easier for customers to get assistance when required and provide valuable input on their in-store experience at the various available touch points.
Service Systems was approached to assist with implementing a range of solutions to best suit Massbuilds’ needs and environment.
Call For Service
Service Call Pads were deployed strategically throughout the stores at department counters, aisle ends, high value cabinets, and store blind spots among others.
This assisted with freeing up staff to continue with other day-to-day tasks and offered customers the ability to quickly and conveniently call for assistance if and when required.
Instant Mobile Notifications
Service Phones are carried by heads of department and store managers. An alert displays on the handset, with an audible alert, to let management know that a customer requires assistance. An escalation alert appears when a customer has been waiting for an unacceptable length of time. This solution keeps management informed in real-time, dramatically improving waiting times across the stores.
Instant Central Notification
A Call Pad Indicator is placed at the information counter as an additional layer to ensure customers are assisted in a timely manner. When assistance is required, information staff are able to notify key department staff of the customer in need. The indicator stays active until a staff member cancels the call on the Service Call Pad.
Service rating pads (1 & 5 question) are placed at strategic customer touch points throughout the stores, giving customers the ability to quickly and conveniently rate their in-store experience. This feedback allows the business to analyse performance by department and teller in-store, to area, region and the entire group.
10” Touch Feedback Kiosks have been deployed allowing customers to provide VOC (Voice of the Customer) Qualitative Feedback.
Instant Mobile Notifications
Service Phones are carried by department and store managers. An alert displays and sounds to let management know that a customer has rated a department or staff member poorly, giving them the ability to provide service recovery in real-time. This method of managing poor experience in-store and resolving customer complaints assists with keeping negative exposure off social media.
Daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports indicate KPI stats at a glance as well as trended information by hour, week or month, by location. Reports are automated by email and are available to view using our online dashboard. This aggregated information gives management the information to strategically maintain exceptional service levels at all times.
The Massbuild store planning team designed the stores with a linear (or snake) queue model for space and service efficiencies. Service Systems Queue Management Systems incorporate digital signage with queue management, perfectly suited for this requirement.
Various departments in the stores require either a few hours or days to complete a customers order such as paint mixing, glass/wood cutting, repairs, Click and Collect, etc. An SMS notification pad was introduced to quickly and effectively manage this task. The notification process has streamlined the process and reduced wait times and costly phone calls etc.
Overall Improvements & Benefits
Our partnership with Builders Warehouse has provided them with valuable tools and customer insights into their business and daily operations. Real-time features such as Call for Service and Poor Press Alerts have resulted in customers being assisted timeously, feeling valued, and ultimately increased basket spend and customer loyalty for the group.
On average, we collect feedback from between 4,000 and 5,000 customers per store, per month, resulting in a substantial amount of feedback on which to make decisions and take action. Our system has been running successfully in their stores for 9 years, with regular maintenance, upgrades, and additional initiatives taking place over this time.
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