An innovative entrepreneur who has tasted success with both hi-tech apps and designer clothes is on a mission to help businesses stay in fashion.
James Jones has launched a pioneering new piece of software which small and medium-sized companies can utilise to capitalise on customer feedback to improve their operations – and stay ahead of changing customer expectations.
The Doncaster man’s venture, Reverl, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to transform customer reviews and feedback into actionable business insights so that company owners can pinpoint exactly what areas of their business to focus on to improve customer experiences and drive more sales.
James knows all about running a thriving business, having played a key role with his family’s high-end fashion brand, Robinsons of Bawtry, for nearly a decade. He then created ‘AppToPay’, a credit line app which solved customers’ problems in accessing store credit, which he then sold to a bank for a huge profit last year.
It was during the early years of working with his family’s Yorkshire-based fashion retailer that James discovered the importance of listening to customer feedback and then constantly adapting.
James explained: “From my experience, consumers’ expectations and needs are changing faster than ever and if you’re not proactively engaging with your customers to stay ahead of these changes then one of your competitors will be – and they’ll steal your lunch.
“It is essential for the continued success of every business to keep aligned with your customers’ expectations, otherwise they’ll vote with their feet and go elsewhere.
“My time working in my family’s old business, Robinsons of Bawtry, was invaluable in teaching me this principle. Designer fashion is a great example of how important it is to collect data and engage with customer feedback in order to understand what your customers want.
“Designer fashion by its nature means that a brand or style can go from being in incredibly high demand one season to then being completely undesirable the next.
“And if you’ve ordered your stock wrong it’s a very quick way to erode your profits margin or even make a loss.”
Having operated a number of businesses and being an active member of his local community dealing with other small business owners, James knows exactly how difficult and overwhelming it can be running a company.
Larger businesses have access to expensive consultants and analysts to help guide them in the right direction, but these services have always been out of reach for SME firms.
By launching Reverl, James wanted to bring that same level of insight into the hands of every SME business owner so that they can maximise their trading potential – and keep customers coming back time after time.
Traditional customer feedback platforms just collect reviews and display them statically. Reverl analyses this valuable feedback both individually and in aggregate so that business owners can see exactly what areas they’re doing well in and where they need to improve.
Reverl then provides guidance on what business owners should consider doing to improve in those areas. Reverl runs on an affordable monthly subscription basis and new customers are being offered a free 30-day trial to see how it can benefit their business.
James said: “I decided to move on with a vision of helping other SME business owners embrace the mindset that has brought me success throughout my career – listen to your customers, understand their needs, and adapt to fulfil those needs.
“You don’t know which actions will drive revenue for your business. But your customers do.”