In 2013, U.K. finance and consumer strategy lawyer Georgina Nelson decided it was time to move ahead with a notion. "I'd had an idea nagging away at me for years, and I decided I was going to make it happen when I was on maternity leave," said Nelson, CEO of experience management firm TruRating.
Her legal work had revealed a market need for a credible consumer rating system, and she believed if an easy way could be created for consumers to give feedback at the POS, consumers and businesses would be empowered.
In 2014, Georgina and her husband, TruRating chief strategy officer Christian Nelson, brought together a talented team, forward-thinking customers and innovative partners in the payments industry. The goal, Georgina Nelson said, was "to change the way the world gains insight using point-of-payment customer feedback."
Research confirmed consumers used review websites, but ultimately didn't trust them, because they could easily be frontloaded by an owner or sabotaged by a competitor. Representation was also a significant problem. "One percent of users provided 99 percent of the content, as the rest of us didn't have the time to log on and write a review," Georgina Nelson said.
She also noted the stretch of time between the sale and the review. "I learned that on average, businesses hear from around 1 in 1,000 of their customers – and that's mostly complaints, heard days or weeks after the event," she stated.
TruRating created a proprietary platform that made the review process easy and quick by tying it to a validated payment. The system works through a merchant's payment terminal, prompting the customer to answer one simple question at the point of payment. Questions rotate with each sale and garner an engagement rate as high as 90 percent. The merchant receives real-time data from thousands of validated responses submitted each month, and can also use TruRating to test and learn, eliminating the guesswork before a promotion or service change.
Headquartered in the United Kingdom, TruRating has expanded operations to Australia, Canada and the United States, and is also in use in Ireland and New Zealand.
According to Georgina Nelson, one of the toughest challenges was forging partnerships with major players in the global payments industry. Indeed, a specialist she'd hired to help devise the partnership strategy advised, "Stop now, before you even start, as this will never work."
Undeterred, the TruRating team stayed true to their vision. Step by step they built partnerships with many of the world's largest payment businesses and created a scalable solution that can operate across hundreds of locations daily with little support, and no hardware or capital spend. To date, TruRating has collected over 50 million ratings worldwide and is continually welcoming new enterprise clients.
"To be able to let businesses know, in real time, what nine out of 10 of their customers are thinking about them is game-changing," Georgina Nelson said. "No other company is able to capture consumer ratings at the point of payment across such an extensive range of terminal types and channels in markets around the globe."
The TruRating charity program also demonstrates the company's innovative spirit. TruRating donates to charity each time a customer makes a rating through its system. "Right now, we donate to children's charities around the world," Georgina Nelson stated. "Last year, our donations provided 500 days of play for young refugees, 224 school kits for eager learners and 28 smiles via life-changing cleft palate surgery."
The company's impact can be likened to the butterfly effect, because small actions can lead to large impacts. "One small push of a button can add up to better insights for businesses, better experiences for customers and better outcomes for charities ‒ all over the world," Georgina Nelson noted.
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President of North American Region