Home Smart 100 2011 CustomerUnderground Comment Box (SMART 100)

CustomerUnderground Comment Box (SMART 100)


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The following SMART 100 profile and the information it contains is a duplication of content submitted by the applicant during the entry process. As a function of entry, applicants were required to declare that all details are factually correct, do not infringe on another’s intellectual property and are not unlawful, threatening, defamatory, invasive of privacy, obscene, or otherwise objectionable. Some profiles have been edited for reasons of space and clarity. More about the SMART 100.

CustomerUnderground — Comment Box on the Go!

This innovation initially came to life when…

My friend and I became new mums and quickly discovered the horrible customer service in baby stores in Sydney. We found how hard it was to find great baby gear and, moreover, nobody was making it easy to give feedback to improve products and services. As time-pressed mums, with consulting backgrounds from McKinsey & Company, we decided to apply our brains to solve this problem, fast. And, when we developed a mobile site for feedback we realised that it is not just baby stores but every single retailer and service providers that could benefit from customer intelligence. And so… CustomerUnderground was born!


The purpose of this innovation is to…

Provide mobile, crowd-sourced customer feedback that gives enterprises real-time ‘heat maps’ of where their best and worst retail outlets are, and guides customers to where the best businesses are for what they are looking for. Feedback based on a location-aware app.

It does this by…

Participating retailers install a simple transmitter at their storefront that sends customers a push notification when you
leave, with one simple Yes/No question – e.g., “Did you have a good experience at [shop] today?” The response and the shop, date and time are logged in the system as well as in the app on your phone which offers special customer discounts.


This innovation improves on what came before because…

Comment boxes are standard, but who wants to use a pen and paper any more? This allows real-time feedback with a date and time stamp that allows the retailer to understand trends and patterns with much better acuity, allowing more attuned improvements.

Its various benefits to the customer/end-user include…

Stores get a highly accurate picture of their customer service performance. They have a dashboard to push reporting to execs; ability to flag highly valuable customers; data mining; and capacity to share information back to the front-line employees.


In the past, this problem was solved by…

Stodgy wooden boxes stuck in the corner with a pen on a wire attached and little comment cards you felt like NOBODY EVER READ.

Its predecessors/competitors include…

More savvy recent endeavours used by fast-innovating retailers like Nike included URL codes at the bottom of customer receipts. These gave time/purchase tracking, but lost many customers along the way since it required that they go home and log in.


It is made for…

Target business customer: enterprises that have multiple retail outlets. For example: ‘portfolio’ businesses with a young, tech-savvy clientele, such as shopping malls (e.g., Westfield); other chain outlets (such as chain food or retail stores).

We target business customers who value:

  • Real-time input – no delay by waiting for collation of surveys or lagging financial reports
  • Real input – not filtered by the time lag between the in-store experience and filling out a survey
  • Actionable – heatmap of where to focus attention now; connection with the front-line wisdom


It is available for sale through…

The transmitter will be provided as part of the package to participating retailers. We will first leverage their databases for emails. We will also leverage our existing brand and integrate with Facebook, Twitter, and the FourSquare to continuously build community.

Our marketing strategy is to…

Negotiate contracts with retailers (e.g. their VIP club, in exchange for a discount), conference venues, festivals, community projects, anything that requires community feedback in a way that is clear, crisp, timely, and automated.



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