Huel is a British company that produces and sells nutritionally complete food. See how the Customer Insights team took ownership of the customer journey, increased NPS by 10 points, and made of it a key business metric.
Huel is a nutritionally complete food brand, focused on selling food products – such as powders, hot meals, snacks, bars – that contain the recommended amount of both macro (fats, carbs, protein) and micro (vitamins and minerals) nutrients.
Since its start in the UK in 2015, the company has sold over 200 million meals in over 100 countries as they continue to pursue their mission: to make nutritionally complete, convenient, affordable food, with minimal impact on animals and the environment.
Olivia Chambers is now Customer Insights Manager at Huel. When she joined the company in 2017, Huel was assessing customer satisfaction by asking the NPS question at a single point in their journey – after the first order. “It was kind of a system where we asked a question, we received a number back, but nobody particularly looked at it and nobody took action or created strategy from it”, says Olivia.
We wanted something that could grow with us and that could almost do more than we needed it to do at the time.
Olivia Chambers, Customer Insights Manager
The company wanted to start using NPS as a more strategic business metric. But there was also another problem, in that the process that was used to collect feedback was manual and difficult to scale. On top of that, the number of responses Huel was getting to the NPS survey was few in given markets, and that did not make them particularly relevant when informing critical decisions on how to serve different segments or geographies.
“In order to truly make NPS a KPI that we could use and analyze within the business, we knew we needed to have a focus on increasing our response rates and achieving statistical significance in all of our key markets”, continues Olivia. “The worry with the solution that we previously had was that all the manual work that went into it – whether that was through A/B testing or replying to a customer or reading all the comments – we didn’t feel like it was scalable.”
In the meantime, Huel continued to grow, marking new records in meals delivered year after year. In 2021, the company had passed £100 million in revenue.
To match the incredible growth, Olivia and her colleagues in the Customer Insights team needed a solution that could help them make better sense of how customers felt about Huel: “We wanted something that could grow with us and that could almost do more than we needed it to do at the time, so that when we would need those solutions, they would already be available.”
Huel started looking into different possible solutions. One of the key criteria for them was the ability to integrate with existing tools, for example with Zendesk. They wanted to send out NPS surveys and at the same time they wanted to be able to reply to customer comments to the survey from Zendesk.
Furthermore, as different teams in the company had familiarity with surveys and tools for surveying customers, they did feel they needed something that could go deeper into the understanding of NPS.
“We needed a system that could give us the insight and the data that we were looking for. Having the number itself was fine, but we needed something that translated to the whole business, something the whole business would care about”, remembers Olivia.
That’s when Lumoa came into the picture.
“When we first saw it, it was very different to anything that we’ve seen before from an NPS solution”, continues Olivia. “It was understanding NPS, but on the flip side. It wasn’t a system that allowed you to ask the question. It was a system that allowed you to answer the question and create strategy based on that.
Lumoa isn’t a system that allows you to ask the question. It’s a system that allows you to answer the question.
Olivia Chambers, Customer Insights Manager
Huel has now used Lumoa for a few years, and in the meantime, they have considerably changed the way they approach NPS and customer feedback.
The Customer Insights team now measures NPS at different stages of the customer journey, for example at order number 1, 3, 5, and 10, and that allows them to see what customers care about as they progress in their experience with Huel.
As Olivia’s team sits in the eCommerce and Retention group, it is also important for them to increase customer loyalty, and by looking at the full journey with Lumoa, they can now see what department needs to be activated at what stage for what purpose.
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“We can see the key pain points or the key desires of a customer”, describes Olivia, “and that allows all the different areas of the business to say, ´OK at order one, we need to involve product development, that’s where they can have the most impact, while operations need to be involved for people at order 5´, and so on. When one of our key goals is increasing retention, we need to understand why people would drop off and take action to help prevent that.”
Huel has also now the possibility to look at different type of customers and different markets to take specific actions that can improve the customer experience. The whole business can now go much more granular when it comes to customer insights, and for example carrying out A/B tests in a more systematic way has allowed Huel to understand how different markets respond to different questions and different ways of surveying.
“I think a lot of the change was initiated by the capabilities within Lumoa”, continues Olivia. “If we had not chosen Lumoa, that operational shift would not have happened for us. Working with the Lumoa team, they gave us so many ideas and opportunities that we hadn’t potentially considered before. So that was a really positive start for us.”
In the time Huel has been using Lumoa, they have achieved significant results both in terms of customer experience and in terms of creating a customer-centric culture within the company.
“Since we’ve onboarded with Lumoa, the overall NPS score has increased by around 10 points, which is huge, considering it wasn’t low before”, says Olivia. “And our responses globally have increased by 164%, and that is so impactful, since every key market now has an NPS score attached to it and enough data to make it significant.”
Olivia and her team also use Lumoa to report about customer experience in real time, and that means less work for them trying to figure out answers and preparing meaningful data visualizations.
“Something that we’ve really found”, explains Olivia, “is the way that Lumoa presents its data. Whether it’s in the form of the cards or in the the impact section within the dashboards, it allows anyone in the business to understand what the number means, and that’s without me as an Insights Manager needing to present that in any other format at all.”
Making NPS accessible in the business and ensuring that everyone could understand why customers felt positively or negatively in relation to Huel and its products has always been a key focus of the Customer Insights team. “For me making NPS accessible in the business is a key element of making it a successful KPI”, continues Olivia, “because the more people that are invested and understand what we’re doing and why, the more people are going to work towards that united same goal.”
Now, about a fourth of the company has access to Lumoa, and Lumoa is regularly used by Huel’s Board of Directors, Senior Leadership Team, and Department Leads. And what’s equally important, Olivia is now confident that she can always provide the right answer in a matter of minutes.
“The number one value is the ability to understand the why of the NPS score. And it being so clear, I’m confident now that anyone could come up to me in the business and say, ´the score has dropped by X, or it’s increased by Y, can you tell me why?´, and I’m very confident that I could do that. And if I couldn’t, I could find it very, very quickly through Lumoa.”