‘Bents equals family and family equals Bents’; one of the main messages to come from recent customer focus groups held by Warrington based Bents Garden & Home and designed to gain a deeper understanding of its customer base and awareness of its popular be inspired privilege club.
The initiative comes as Bents marks the five-year anniversary of be inspired and the results will be used to guide future improvements as it moves into its sixth year.
A common phrase used by many in the groups was that Bents was ‘more than just a garden centre’ with it being likened to leading retailers including John Lewis, Selfridges and Marks & Spencer. Comparison was also drawn with Harrods, but with the caveat that ‘even then you wouldn’t feel as comfortable as you would in Bents.”
Says Matthew Bent, Managing Director at Bents Garden & Home: “The feedback from these sessions has been incredible. To be compared to such well known, leading retailers is fantastic but the messages that mean the most to us are the ones which relate to the friendliness and welcoming nature of our Centre and colleagues. Our colleagues are the ones who help create that special atmosphere which makes us what we are and it was great to see this acknowledged by our customers in such a passionate way.”
Another direct comment which reflected this feeling stated that “everyone is welcome and everyone is welcoming’ whilst ‘the friendliness, the courtesy, the smiles and the spirit’ was also widely acknowledged.
Bents used Poynton based Park Lane Research, who have worked with national retailers including Waitrose and Aldi and were happy to admit they had never received such positive and protective comments in when working in similar situations.
Park Lane Research were briefed to carry out a qualitative study comprising two group discussions and twenty in-depth telephone interviews. The groups were split by age, gender and use of their be inspired card, to include regular and occasional users as well as lapsed users, in order to gain a snap shop of current custom.
Results from the study will be used to guide future communication and improvements from a customer perspective both in store at Bents and it’s be inspired club.