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Barker & Stonehouse

A great customer experience
translates directly into sales success


Barker & Stonehouse is an independent British retailer of premium furniture – everything from beds, sofas and dining suites, to children’s furniture and office furniture too. Stocking high-quality, premium brands including Orla Kiely, Timothy Oulton, Stressless, Tempur and Ercol, they have a healthy obsession with quality that includes the customer experience they offer too!

Barker & Stonehouse have worked with Yomdel for the past 3 years, on a journey to developing a world-class customer experience. They have a fundamental belief that a great customer experience translates directly into sales success, something which every business seeks in an extremely competitive market.

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Their key to sales success is training new and existing staff to deliver a consistent, high quality engagement with every customer who walks into their stores. Time and time again, without exception.

With 11 stores nationwide, and a customer service team of 25, it was crucial that they implemented an objective, standardised assessment methodology, that would review, measure and score all stores against a set of best practice criteria that align with ‘the Barker & Stonehouse way’.


“The best thing about the Yomdel Mystery Shopping Programme is that it provides us with a laser like ability to identify training needs. Seeing both the good and not so good in our customer experiences is actually a gift – a WIN WIN. We’re able to celebrate and reward what we do best, and immediately work to improve what we don’t.”

Julian Carter-Jones, Head of Learning & Development


The Insights

  • Is every customer being greeted and looked after in a friendly, welcoming manner that makes them feel comfortable?
  • Are the needs of the customer properly understood, and are they offered relevant, appropriate solutions in a highly knowledgeable and proactive manner?
  • How do customers feel about their overall experience in a Barker & Stonehouse store?


These are just a few of the insights that Barker & Stonehouse now measure, within a regular monthly Mystery Shopping Programme delivered by the Yomdel team.

The Solution

Highly trained, local shoppers use state-of-the-art equipment, and a specifically designed assessment report structure, to produce written and video reports across all departments in every store on a monthly basis.

This is now a central part of the Barker & Stonehouse internal sales training programme, fully integrated with their local store and head office management process.

All elements of the Mystery Shopping research process are custom designed around the training programme, and Yomdel have also produced dedicated training videos to coach staff in all core elements of best practice customer engagement.

Staff have secure, online access to all videos and reports, for real-time interactive analysis and training with team members.

The Results

Barker & Stonehouse were able to analyse Mystery Shop performance across several regional stores, which clearly highlighted development needs in some areas and best practice opportunities in others, that they had been unable to identify previously but now correlated clearly with results. Consequently, they were able to reallocate team roles across multiple regional store departments, to balance out the skill set, which in turn optimised sales results across the region significantly.

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Barker & Stonehouse continue to use Mystery Shopping to strategic advantage, and are making plans to broaden its role in their training programme, along with extending their customer insight research activities.