A little while ago I attended Insight with Passion’s Huddersfield Town Centre Rejuvenation event. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was hoping for a lot of passion. As they say on their website, they wanted to “unite retailers, residents and organisations alike to make a change now that would secure the high street for the future.”
The start of the event was delayed as Kate Hardcastle, the organizer was being interviewed live by Look North. And due to a prior appointment I couldn’t stay for the whole event (and I’m still waiting for the slides) so I did miss some of the presentation.
But what I did hear was quite shocking. Insight with Passion had spent a month prior to this event mystery shopping in the town centre to judge the customer service. They visited both independents and chain stores. And what they experienced was apparently the worst customer experience they’ve ever had.
That left me feeling quite sickened and very disappointed. I have spent the last seven years working in Huddersfield and have lived here for two so I do class Huddersfield as home. To hear someone saying that about the place you love is quite upsetting but I guess deep down it wasn’t too shocking.
The rest of the presentation was about Insight with Passion’s Retail Theatre which is supposed to offer “clear and refreshing advice on how to take simple steps in-store that are proven to lead to increased footfall and profitability.” I don’t know what businesses thought of this advice but due to the very low turnout I’m not sure what kind of impact this will have.
I have just been on Insight with Passion’s website to see whether there was a review of the event and apparently due to the “success at our flagship event, IWP have taken the decision to roll the programme out to town centres across the north.” I’m not quite sure what to make of that statement.
I would be interested to hear what other people who attended the Insight with Passion event thought and whether they have implemented any of the Retail Theatre advice. For the majority of people that didn’t attend, what do you think of the customer experience in Huddersfield?