Charles Tyrwhitt credits Feefo reviews as major growth factor

The founder and chairman of shirt-maker Charles Trywhitt has credited the use of reviews on its website with a doubling of its turnover in the last four years.

Nick Wheeler told the Institute of Travel and Tourism conference in Barbados this week before it started using Feefo for reviews growth had stalled at around £50 million.

But it now stands at around £100 million and he told delegates that every good retailer must focus on the fact that they build their business with one customer at a time.

Charles Trywhitt has grown 22% per year since an initial business Wheeler set up selling shirts went out of business in 1990.

“We try to be very focused. Anyone running a business needs a vision, you need to understand where you are going.

“I set up Charles Trywhitt because I knew I could make shirts better than anyone else. Good value and service are the bedrock on which Charles Trywhitt was built,” he said.

Wheeler said great businesses need to have three key groups of people who love it; it’s suppliers, it’s own people and its customers.

“We are adding about 35,000 new customers a month and it’s about making sure those customers get a fantastic experience.

“Everybody says making your customers love you is important but does anybody actually do it? We have worked with Feefo for four years when our growth had flattened out to £50 million.

“You cannot escape your customers. It means within the business there is a focus on quality, product value and service and that’s all encompassed by Feefo.”

Feefo is a relatively new entrant into the tavel sector but sees huge potential and has established its first industry specific section of its website as a result.

It encourages more reviews by emailing customers after they purchase and allows a rating on service and product and comment to be uploaded live on partner sites.

Poor reviews spark an automated email to the company so they can address the problem immediately and post a response.

Wheeler said: “If you want a great business you have got to sort out your bad feedback. We have had 150,000 people give us feedback. None of this is made up.

“Around 98% of people rate our service as excellent or good. 262 people have rated us bad in the last year.

“I want to live and die by the sword. I like the honesty. If we do a good job I want to tell the world, if we do a bad job I want to sort it out.

“Every single consumer can tell you something really important and you can make changes. I want to increase my profitability.

“As a business we made very little money three years ago, now we are doing fine and that’s mostly down to Feefo.”

Wheeler warned against too rapid expansion into oversees market despite its move into the fast-growing US market.

Asked if he was considering a move into China he said firms must focus and that was one step too far for the firm.

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