HGEM highlights of 2017


HGEM highlights of 2017

A calendar inside a diary

It’s been a busy year at HGEM, marked by fast-growth. The number of visit reports reviewed by our team increased by 40% between the spring and the autumn. We celebrated our 1,000,000 mystery visit milestone. We have added new talent to our team to match our growth, with 40% of our staff joining this year. Our new team have helped us welcome a record 70 new clients in 2017, each with their own objectives for improving guest experience management. Here are HGEM’s highlights of 2017.

Our rebrand

The HGEM brand was launched at the start of 2017. Our aim with the new brand is to better communicate what we do, making HGEM synonymous with guest experience management in the industry. Since then, we have seen the GEM Wheel increasingly adopted as a framework for businesses trying to raise their game. Many of our new clients this year found us after seeing our success with competitor brands. With our clients starting to align their reporting to match our GEM Wheel (in context of their brand promise), we are increasingly able to help them to benchmark their performance against competitors, providing useful insights for improvement.

At the same time, engagement on our website has risen – the number of new sessions on website our rose by almost 20% on the previous year.

Getting a more holistic picture of GEM

HGEM has been working to distinguish more clearly between how insights from 3 different audiences can contribute to improving the guest experience. By engaging with guests, we can measure what people think about the experience. By engaging with mystery guests, we can measure the standards and interactions that lie behind every experience. And by engaging with our clients’ team members on the ground, we can measure their knowledge to do a great job.

Each audience has a distinct product to support its aim, too. In the case of team members, we have recently introduced video learning to help establish cultural values and processes at an early stage.

‘Intelligent’ questionnaires

Our guest feedback sites already aim to promote our client’s brand rather than our own, and we recently built new functionality to support dish-specific feedback to enable us to get closer to what people think of the product.

We’ve worked with Naturally Fast Food brand LEON to collect a range of online feedback, from free text comments, to multiple choice answers. This guest feedback informed their operational processes and improvements. For example, after receiving feedback on the temperature at which fries were being served, LEON could focus on the kitchen processes in the relevant restaurants, to achieve consistency and customer satisfaction.

We receive great feedback from clients on our feedback sites. Paul Alexander, Senior Operations Manager at casual dining brand Cosy Club, said their branded online feedback site has ‘fast become [their] "go to" for honest customer feedback’.

The launch of HGEM’s client app

Our manager app launched in Spring 2017 and has proved a hit with managers that oversee multiple sites. Now they can easily prepare for a visit to one of their sites by viewing recent reports and data on their phone, and can see the results of their visits in real time.

We’ve received great feedback from our clients on the app – one area manager used to call us when he arrived at a site and ask for recent reports to be emailed, but now simply opens the app to access his data. The app also has benchmarking capabilities, with general and area managers able to check how their results rank against other sites or areas.

A super successful Royal Ascot

This year, HGEM’s role at Ascot was bigger and better than ever. An increase in Mystery Guests and HGEM Guest Experience Managers on the ground meant that we were able to deliver real-time feedback, enabling the Ascot team to address shortcomings quickly and with impressive results. HGEM tested experience packages as well as individual interactions this year, too, and with daily debriefs were able to add real value, suggesting improvements for the following day. Read more about the project here.

Celebrating success with award-winning clients

This year was fantastic for our clients as well as for HGEM. From Retailers Retailer of the Year (wagamama) to best training (Punch); employee engagement (LEON); hotel group of the year, best employer (Firmdale); best chain (Comptoir Libanais and Turtle Bay); best concept (Dishoom); family friendly (Giraffe) and many more, we’re proud to work with such a stellar band of brands.

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