The startup of the day: WizVille conveys in real time what customers think

by bold-lichterman

The Colombe-based start-up offers a SaaS solution for listening to customers for point of sale networks.

Every day, FrenchWeb highlights a new startup, and selects one each week, to be the startup of the week in the Atelier BNP Paribas show on BFM Radio. Are you the founder of a startup less than 2 years old, which we have never talked about? Make yourself known!

Frenchweb invites you today to discover WizVille, a Paris-based startup offering “a SaaS customer listening solution for point-of-sale networks making it possible to collect, analyze and reproduce the voice of the customer in real time”.

To discuss it, Timothée de Laitre, co-founder of the company.

FW: How did you get the idea for your company?

Timothy of Laitre : The idea for WizVille came to us following a simple observation: in the digital age, physical points of sale still use archaic means to measure their satisfaction and their customer relationship (paper surveys, physical investigators, feedback Staff).

The rise of the smartphone but also the development of digital loyalty programs, however, make real-time exchange possible with customers, even local ones. While this has become widespread in e-commerce, very few store networks measure the satisfaction of their customers after their visit …

However, France is well known for its deficiencies in terms of the quality of service in stores. The problem of listening to the customers of the store networks – whose cumulative turnover represents around a quarter of French GDP – therefore seemed important enough to us to develop a dedicated continuous satisfaction survey solution.

FW: What need are you responding to?

Timothy of Laitre : The need for brands to ensure that the customer experience at the point of sale is sufficiently satisfactory so that their customers come back, spend, preferably, more the next time and recommend the store to their relatives. Concretely, identify what is going and what is wrong in each store, in real time, and the corrective measures to be put in place to improve it.

Retailers therefore need a tool that allows them to collect as much feedback as possible, analyze the returns for each store and that stimulate local staff in monitoring and improving results (a ranking of points of sale is notably sent daily to store managers).

FW: Very simply, how do you make money?

Timothy of Laitre : WizVille is a SaaS solution marketed as a monthly subscription per store. Then the price varies according to the physiognomy of the store network: the number of points of sale and the average attendance per store.

FW: Who are your competitors?

Timothy of Laitre : To our knowledge, today we are the only ones in France to target only store networks with a 360 ° solution for collecting customer feedback:

  • at the initiative of the customer via QR codes, incoming SMS, touch terminals,
  • on “push” request from the company via automated post-purchase emails or SMS.

However, there are well-known satisfaction survey solutions that can be used but which are not dedicated to store networks and thus do not offer all the functionalities that we believe are necessary (such as for example SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo).

FW: What or which companies are you being compared to in error?

Timothy of Laitre : We are often compared with mobile applications allowing consumers to share their opinions on stores with a community of consumers (Critizr in particular). This is a feature that we offer (among others), however it is reserved for WizVille customers, and the opinions of end customers are never public on WizVille!

We respond to similar but different issues: pure local customer relationship in the case of Critizr, multi-channel satisfaction measurement and customer relationship in the case of WizVille.

FW: What was one of the first issues in your development and how did you deal with it?

Timothy of Laitre : Our first problem was to appear credible in the eyes of our target: large companies, with more experienced interlocutors… My partner and I are at our second startup in the field of the web and customer relations. But we were still young when we started out when we were working on a very strategic issue for store networks!

The only solution in this case, in my opinion, is to constantly question yourself, to seek advice and to persevere until large companies end up trusting you. This is how we ended up succeeding in working for Brioche Dorée or 5àsec, not without experiencing some refusals beforehand.

FW: What is your main asset in this market?

Timothy of Laitre : In the customer study market, which represents around 2 billion euros per year, our main asset is our focus on store networks. This allows us to develop a unique product, dedicated specifically to this very particular type of company and to have a much more impactful commercial discourse.

FW: What is the best advice you have been given and by whom?

Timothy of Laitre : The best advice I have ever been given was to focus on a very specific, clear and identified niche problem, and to try to come up with the best solution on the market to solve it. Then, and only then, to use the experience gained from the first niche to possibly tackle a larger market or a new niche.

This is advice that many have given me – I would quote in particular Didier Tranchier, coach at the Telecom SudParis incubator – but which is sometimes difficult to follow because, when you start, you can consider this process as a lack of ‘ambition. It is a mistake.

FW: Who is the personality you admire the most?

Timothy of Laitre : At the moment: Jacques Antoine Granjon.

He is an entrepreneur who proves to us that it is not necessary to have done HEC or Harvard (we both come from EBS, the European Business School), or to be based in Silicon Valley to compete with the biggest … But also the importance of being patient and focused at the start. He started Private Sale 25 years ago on brand destocking and is today the leading wine merchant in France.

Photo WizVille - Left Timothée de Laitre right Romain Lauwerier

Founders: Timothée de Laitre and Romain Lauwerier

Investors: private investors

Creation date : April 30, 2012

Number of employees : 3

Sales figures : 200,000 euros (projection for 2013)