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Listening to customers yields serious rewards at Dreams

Bed retailer Dreams’ impressive turnaround in recent years is chiefly down to it listening to its customers through the implementation of a customer experience management tool, SMG, and acting upon the insights it delivers.

Speaking at Customer First Live in London this week, Mike Logue, CEO of Dreams, revealed how the business was losing money on sales of £222 million in 2013 when he joined the troubled organisation but in 2018 it had boosted sales to £308 million and delivered profits of £44 million.

“Lots of companies say they put the company first, but they don’t. I found a tool when I was at Mothercare and when I joined Dreams I used it and called it Pillow Talk. It was an online surveys tool SMG and this is the single most important thing that Dreams did,” he suggests.

Although Logue says most retailers have such tools he questions whether they are really using them effectively. At Dreams the response rate from customers to the surveys is a significant 30% and the detailed, honest information they provide is genuinely acted upon.

He quickly spotted the correlation between the improved performance reported through Pillow Talk – because of better service levels – with increased footfall and sales. Soon after implementation he was able to share this information with employees via an app, Dreams Mobile Hub, that delivers the customer reviews in real-time.

Logue uses the platform to post a video every Monday that includes calling out the best drivers and best stores over the week and celebrating these successes in the business as a way to engender an attitude towards improving service and caring for customers.

One of the key insights taken from SMG was the revelation that if Dreams did three things brilliantly then customer purchases would increase by a massive 59%. This prompted Logue to implement the GDP (Greet, Drink and Pillow) initiative involving greeting shoppers, offering them a drink, and giving them a free pillow. 

This has driven the uplifts originally predicted from the analysis and has enabled Dreams to hit top scores from feedback on five key metrics for 89% of its customers this year compared with 74% in 2014. This has also fed through into conversions jumping from one in six customers in 2013 to one in four in 2018.

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