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Tools, Timber, and Trust: Secrets behind Mitre 10’s CX excellence

From gardening inspiration and DIY advice to thousands of quality tools under its roof - Mitre 10 New Zealand has always bet big on putting their customers’ needs first. How did it become New Zealand’s most trusted brand in home improvement (for the 13th year in a row)?

Mitre 10 has long been a part of New Zealand’s home improvement culture. As the country’s largest home improvement and garden retailer with 84 stores nationwide, one thing that has set it apart is its co-operative ownership structure (where local stores are owned and operated by local people).

This means that trust is the currency, where customers walking into a Mitre 10 store can expect trusted advice to tackle their home improvement projects.

Still from Mitre 10 New Zealand’s new “With you all the way” campaign that centres on its key strength - its people. Source: Mitre 10 New Zealand

To stay ahead of competition and to increase its ability to meet changing customer needs, Mitre 10 implemented a new strategy centred on winning in customer experience. Covid-19 accelerated the need for customer-driven change, when Mitre 10, just like a lot of businesses, had to scale up its e-commerce capabilities and meet quickly changing customer expectations in stores.

But the challenge was Mitre 10 had a legacy NPS program developed many years ago that was not fit-for-purpose.

It didn’t provide real-time insights that the frontline teams (and the rest of the organisation) could use to track and improve customer service experience across its stores. And data from the program was also not shareable, with PDF reports sent to stores relying on busy store managers making the time to decipher the results and wager a guess on the next best action to take.

“We had no way of understanding or flagging issues and our online feedback touchpoint wasn’t set up to give stores feedback or escalate customer issues.”
- Mark Vaughan, Head of Customer Insights
Mitre 10 NZ

Mitre 10 NZ customer experience made it one of New Zealand's most trusted brand

Mitre 10 New Zealand came in second in the 2023 Kantar Corporate Reputation Index. Source: Mitre 10 NZ / Kantar

Ripe time for change

Together with implementation partner Ipsos, Mitre 10 implemented a new VoC program “Your say” using the Qualtrics XM for Frontline platform.

This allows Mitre 10 to capture evolving customer behaviours and preferences across a range of customer touchpoints including in-store, online, click & collect and delivery.

“As a co-operative, we partner with our stores to establish best practice. We see this as a great advantage as our learnings go both ways. As a team, we’re invested in helping turn every customer experience into an amazing one.”
- Mark Vaughan, Head of Customer Insights
Mitre 10 NZ

Features of the program include:

  • Made for taking action: Closed loop program that identifies issues for immediate resolution and informs longer term strategy for improvement. Insights are delivered via easy-to-use dashboards for different stakeholders throughout the business, empowering teams with a sense of CX ownership.
  • Google feedback: Google Reviews are surfaced through the platform, with poor reviews flagged with Mitre 10’s Customer Care team to resolve and escalate.
  • Insights brought to life: Insights and reporting pivoted from number updates to real-life experiences, stories, and impact analysis. Resulting in increased empathy and improved customer service from the frontline, and more targeted customer strategy and roadmap from the insights team.
  • Customer loyalty: Surface the drivers of advocacy that can be prioritised and acted upon down to individual stores.
  • Seamless feedback-giving experience: Customer-centric survey touchpoints at critical moments throughout the customer journey.
  • Fit for purpose: The team can make real-time changes to questions and touchpoints easily and quickly to adapt to new needs.
  • Empowering frontline: Every single store has a designated team member monitoring dashboards and customer feedback. Store teams celebrate awesome feedback, track metrics, and constructively share learnings. Many departments have access to the dashboards to deep dive into relevant customer insights.

Mitre 10 also established a programme for its Trade customers called “Measuring up?” to get a more holistic view of their experience while providing service recovery and continuous improvement opportunities.

“With the quantity and quality of data that we have now, we can be confident of how to further enhance customer experience. We know the order of importance and where to focus. Best of all we can track the business initiatives designed to improve experience and report back on progress while keeping a close eye on emerging issues.”
- Rachel Waller
Voice of Customer Specialist
Mitre 10 NZ

Spurring businesses-wide culture of customer-centricity

The implementation of Qualtrics as a single source of truth has embedded a culture of customer-centricity, making insights available to those who can have a direct impact on customer experience.

Ipsos helped Mitre 10 push the boundaries on using Qualtrics and VoC to its greatest potential.

Mitre 10 executed a range of initiatives to build customer-centric culture, including:

  • Making CX a KPI: Mitre 10 included CX metrics into team KPIs across all levels.
  • Co-operative buy-in: To ensure buy-in from stores, Mitre 10 worked through store support processes and needs. The VoC team curated a programme that empowers store teams and opens up collaboration.
  • Core part of strategy planning: Co-operative planning uses VoC feedback, ensuring recommendations and decisions are evidence-based.
  • Team member training: Along with its “With you all the way” brand promise, Mitre 10 created bespoke, interactive and engaging learning tools on how to deliver epic customer experiences, drawing on customer intelligence from the programme.
  • Showcasing great CX: Mitre 10 created a “CX Legends” calling out epic team delivered service and experience nationally, plus at a local level individual stores regularly celebrate and reward great service delivery.

Mitre 10 NZ's Customer Experience Legend program

Mitre 10’s “CX Legends” program to highlight frontline teams who are making a difference to customer experience. Source: Mitre 10

“By linking our VoC program to transactions, Qualtrics has opened up whole new possibilities in driving customer experience in the future by bringing together the rich X and O data.”
- Mark Vaughan, Head of Customer Insights
Mitre 10

Customer Experience impact at scale

The Mitre 10 team was also recognised externally and won Marketing Team of the Year Award, Best Run SAP Experience Management Award, and Gold in the Research Effectiveness Awards.

“Mitre 10 has always had a strong commitment to customer, but we knew we needed to take this to the next level. In 2021 we launched our brand promise, ‘With you all the way’. This is our promise of partnership and commitment to our customers that we are here for them every step of the way. In the same year we launched ‘Your say…’ our new voice of customer programme which sits at the heart of our promise to customers and is crucial for delivering excellent customer experiences, every day. Without this constant read on our customers and ability to improve at scale and pace across our co-operative, we simply could not make this promise to our customers and achieve this point of difference in the market in a credible way.”
- Jules Lloyd-Jones, Chief Marketing Officer
Mitre 10 NZ

Learn how Qualtrics XM for Customer Frontlines can help you surface customer friction and guide frontline teams in the moment to better serve clients. Watch a demo today.

Qualtrics // Experience Management

Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is a cloud-native software platform that empowers organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees.

With insights from Qualtrics, organizations can identify and resolve the greatest friction points in their business, retain and engage top talent, and bring the right products and services to market. Nearly 20,000 organizations around the world use Qualtrics’ advanced AI to listen, understand, and take action. Qualtrics uses its vast universe of experience data to form the largest database of human sentiment in the world. Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle.

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