TruRating CEO and co-founder Georgina Nelson has set out to fix the broken consumer feedback industry, helping merchants boost sales and making consumers feel heard.

On average businesses get feedback from less than one per cent of customers, which means they struggle to improve their service.

TruRating asks one question at the point of payment – whether on a payments page online or a card terminal in physical locations.

By asking one question tied to a transaction it means consumers are more likely to answer, and to answer accurately in the moment, and ensures feedback is legitimate.

Nelson, who used to work at consumer association Which?, came up with the idea while on maternity leave.

“It seemed completely crazy to me that consumer feedback is so low because the most important aspect of any business is knowing how to make customers happy so they’ll come back and spend more,” she told BusinessCloud.

“Businesses were coming to me and saying we’re basically operating in the dark – we’re pushing X, Y and Z through but in reality we have no idea if it will make customers happy.

"The industry is completely broken so we're very much in the right space at the right time because what’s out there at the moment doesn’t scratch the surface."

With TruRating generating high levels of customer feedback and analysing the answers, the merchants are able to make huge savings off the back of small improvements.

“The old maxim is that what’s measured gets improved,” said Nelson.

“Even before merchants have acted on our data they usually see a hike in revenue.”

London restaurant chain Ping Pong found their average customer spend went up by 8.1 per cent when using the software, with an average 90 per cent consumer response rate – equating to about 4,000 ratings a week.

The platform adds extra value to merchants through the fact it’s integrated with the payment process, which means it can also collect things like how much was spent and other important transaction data, providing real team insights.

“Everyone talks about how happy customers spend more but we actually see that every day – we see how much more they spend and what makes them happy,” said Nelson.

“It’s basically doing AB testing in store. We say ‘what do you think of the music or our new menu or the store layout?’.

“We can tell if they’re happier with it and how much more they spent and can also begin to align that with product data as well."

Being listened to is a big and instant improvement for the customer, and TruRating is now encouraging businesses to tell consumers what’s been changed off back of their feedback.

“When we work with a business and they implement us it’s about being truly customer-centric – a lot of businesses say they are but when you scratch surface they’re not,” said Nelson.

The company also donates to charity every time a customer gives a rating, and is now breaking down these donations to let merchants and their customers know how they’re making a difference.

“We figure out how many ratings provide a cleft lip operation with our partner Smile Train, for example, and can provide that back to merchants,” said Nelson.

“We can say ‘last year you got this many ratings and so you paid for this many operations’.”

The company also has a consumer recommendations website to challenge the likes of Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Every business using TruRating gets a profile page, which helps boost their SEO, while also letting customers know the ratings are from actual customers rather than disgruntled ex-employees or the owner of the company.

“The idea is that you step out at say Covent Garden and ask for the best Italian restaurant for atmosphere and value,” said Nelson.

“Rather than 10 paragraphs from someone about the way some waiter looked at their wife it just says ‘here’s the place 100,000 people rated best for atmosphere and value’.”