I spotted the opportunity for Customer Thermometer in 2010. I’d founded a marketing agency eight years before, and as it grew I wanted to know how our customers were feeling. Traditional surveys didn’t appeal to me – I didn’t want to frustrate my customers with lots of questions, which they probably wouldn’t have time to answer anyway. I just needed something that was quick and trackable – so that I could be alerted to customer problems straight away, and fix them fast.
In looking for a solution, I found that most customer survey tools actually herald from the market research industry. Most are poorly suited to the task of regularly tracking customer satisfaction in a way that makes it easy on the customer. Long annual customer satisfaction surveys cannot address problems as they happen – by their very nature they have to be anonymous.
Customer Thermometer was born from knowing there had to be a better way. At the time of the business’ foundation, iPhones were really starting to take off, and I wanted to create something that would be answerable in one click from any device that could carry email.
Although my background is in technology marketing, I am about as far from being a techie as you can get. But I knew I wanted the software to be really easy and intuitive to use – so you could build a really good-looking email survey in a few minutes with no technical experience. So I got in touch with someone who had hugely impressed me in a previous role and we started work developing the product.
Customer Thermometer works in four simple steps. You create your survey – we call this your thermometer – by filling in text boxes and uploading a logo. If you can fill in an online form, you can build a thermometer, it really is that simple. Then you type in or upload your list of recipients. Finally join the two together to send your blast – we handle all the emailing and mail merging for you.
Then you sit back and watch in real time as people all over the world click their surveys and the results are instantly displayed as they come in on our reporting dashboard. It works like a traffic light system whereby the respondents can hit gold (delighted), green (happy), yellow (a few concerns) or red (unhappy). You see instantly how your customers are feeling.
The aspect of Customer Thermometer our users like best is the red alert system. You can tell the system to email you the second a red or yellow light has been clicked. So if a customer is unhappy, you know in literally a split second – and critically you know who is unhappy so you can call them and rectify it. A US facilities firm said to me the other day, “it’s phenomenal, our customers just aren’t leaving any more.”
That deceptively simple process of a one-click survey, followed up by a call or email if things aren’t going right, has huge impact on customer retention. Customers are often astonished and delighted to get a call so quickly if they are unhappy. It’s an incredibly powerful process.
Not only do you get that powerful process and the tool itself, but you also get access to a constantly developing app. We do about 4 releases each year, which as a Customer Thermometer customer you get access to instantly. Pretty much every feature we add comes as a direct result of customer requests. It’s one of the best parts of my job, listening to customer feedback and seeing the way they would like us to take the service forward.
As a result of feedback, we’ve recently added features like the ability to measure Net Promoter Score. We’ve also added a set of widgets so our users can publish their results live on their website or Facebook page.
One potential customer contacted us in the middle of last year, and asked us to create a version of Customer Thermometer where he could embed our buttons into his existing email system. We did it for him on six weeks, and since then we’ve released a whole new mode where you can embed Customer Thermometer feedback buttons into emails being sent from other apps like Salesforce.com, Zendesk, Shopify, Desk.com, MailChimp and many more.
BT Conferencing counts nearly a quarter of the Fortune 100 amongst its customers. Some of these customers use up to 70 million minutes per month of conferencing time, so it’s critical they are well-serviced.
BT Conferencing uses Customer Thermometer to ascertain key client satisfaction with the conferencing service it provides. Customer Thermometer helps keep customer service levels at their very highest. Mark Hopwood, BT Conferencing’s Head of Service Management and Deployment, cites the red alert system, high response rates and the way Customer Thermometer respects his customers’ time as critical elements in its decision to use the tool.
“It’s enabled us to get closer to our end users and really understand about they feel about the service. We often send out surveys to 10k+ people, and those responses come back in real time. What’s so unique about Customer Thermometer is that if the customer is dissatisfied that red alert automatically notifies our service managers who then immediately reach out to that end user to find out exactly what their problems are. That’s quite powerful compared to traditional surveys out there in the market.”
Lindsay Willott, CEO and Founder, Customer Thermometer
At age 24, Lindsay founded The Marketing Practice. Within eight years she grew it into a top 20 marketing agency with £5m turnover and 80 members of staff. Whilst growing the company she came up with the concept for her latest venture – a one-click customer satisfaction app, which would enable her to track customer sentiment in real-time and boost retention.
At age 34 and nine months pregnant, Lindsay sold The Marketing Practice to focus on her new business, Customer Thermometer. Now four years old, Customer Thermometer is used by businesses across the world, including BT and Ericsson, to monitor and track customer sentiment in real-time.
Lindsay is passionate about the role that women have in enabling business success. She sits on the board of two marketing agencies and is frequently called to speak upon the value of women on the board, and creating a pro-female agenda in the workplace.