UK based startup truRating, whose technology makes it easier for customers to give small business operators feedback, announced its official plans to launch into the Australian market today.
The startup offers a point-of-payment rating system, which has experienced significant growth since launching into the UK market in February this year. Founder and CEO Georgina Nelson told Startup Daily that the Australian market represents an opportunity for truRating in the consumer analytics space, which she says is ripe for disruption.
truRating allows customers to provide feedback to businesses in a quick, simple and unique way at a point during a sale when their ‘feelings are strongest’ – that is, when they are making the payment for their goods or services. To date, truRating has processed more than 400,000 ratings; Nelson claims ratings are growing at 40% week-on-week.
“Our goal is to make it as simple and quick as possible for customers to give, and merchants to gather, honest feedback,” says Nelson. “We know that customers want to provide thoughts on their retail and hospitality experiences but to date, the methods available to do so have been cumbersome, time-consuming and are often not entirely anonymous. All of these factors deter customers from letting retail and hospitality providers know how they feel.”
There are already a number of Australian merchants trialling the technology in Australia; and if the stats coming out of the UK are any indication – 88% of people provide feedback using the startup’s method – truRating should see a significant take-up of its product.
In addition to the rating question asked at the point of sale online or on the eftpos terminal, truRating provides its subscribers with a quick and simple way to gauge customer sentiment via its analytics dashboard. In the back-end, the client can set up a set of five rotating questions to be asked to customers during the payment process based on different aspects of their experiences. Most of the questions usually revolve around topics to do with service, value, experience, atmosphere and product.
“Merchants also have the opportunity to add two questions of their own to the system in order to gain feedback for a specific element of their customer service such as a new marketing campaign or store layout. The information collected through this process allows merchants to obtain crucial data collected during the customer’s interaction with the business, rather than hours or days after their experience,” says Nelson.
“What we are trying to do is give everybody a really simple, easy way to give feedback to businesses when they pay. We realised that essentially two markets are broken. First, businesses are not really hearing the mass majority of their customers. Businesses hear from one in 1,000 customers on average and most of those are complaints several days or weeks after the event. So if businesses knew how to get better, then their revenue will increase and there would be better service for everybody. The second market is an online consumer review website. I thought if we could pair every rating with a payment then we would know that every rating was a validated customer.”
This second point in particular makes a lot of sense. When you look at review sites like Trip Advisor or Yelp, it is often hard for business owners to determine the exact customer, time or date an issue has taken place because there is no data that ties it to a specific moment that can be assessed. Whereas with truRating you can, and that type of data is powerful.
Most of the businesses truRating currently works with are multi-channel, meaning they have bricks-and-mortar and online stores. The bricks and mortar solution happens at the payment terminal, but the startup has created a widget that businesses can use on the confirmation page for an e-commerce website, and so it works in the exactly the same way.
truRating makes its money through a monthly subscription fee of roughly AUD$25.00 per month. It will be interesting to see whether or not Australian small businesses engage in a service like this. The data feature is a massive selling point, and tech savvy business owners will embrace this, but as many studies have shown – the bulk of Australian small business owners would not be considered tech savvy with less than half of them even having a website attached to their brands. However, that still leaves an addressable market of about a million potential operators for truRating to go after.
Australia will serve as the Asia-Pacific base for truRating; and by the time operations go live here, Nelson estimates that there will be 10 people hired for various roles so the startup can hit the ground running.
truRating has currently raised £4.2 million to date and Nelson has revealed to Startup Daily that the startup is in the process of closing off another round the amount of £6 million.