Case Study

Jackson Hewitt Uses GoSpotCheck to Identify More Than 500 Inconsistencies

Using GoSpotCheck, the Jackson Hewitt team has been able to identify under performing locations, non-compliant franchises, and invaluable market and consumer trends.

About the Company

Jackson Hewitt is one of the most well-known names in tax preparation, building its brand on a long history of reliable and accurate service. With a strong team of dedicated tax professionals, Jackson Hewitt provides high-quality financial services, helping customers file tax returns, find every available deduction and credit, maximize tax refunds, and reduce the overall tax burden.

Perhaps what distinguishes the Jackson Hewitt brand most in the tax preparation sector is its commitment to working-class customers. The company has more than 6,000 locations across the nation, including both company-owned and franchised storefronts. Each office offers services outside of the typical 9-to-5 work schedule, so every member of the community can find time for a consultation.

Even with a large market footprint, competitive pricing, and convenient operating hours, Jackson Hewitt officials wanted to ensure they were capitalizing on every opportunity to bring in foot traffic and increase revenue at each location. By leveraging GoSpotCheck to better document merchandising activity and trends, the financial services giant was able to unearth valuable insights that ultimately led to enhanced marketing practices and stronger customer engagement.

5,900+

Employees

1982

First year of operation

155

Field team members

6,000+

U.S. locations

Field Execution Blind Spots Hide Potential Marketing Missteps

Jackson Hewitt has an extensive field operation with numerous frontline employees spending up to 90 percent of their time on the road and assessing individual store performance metrics. Before implementing GoSpotCheck, these staff members used a software platform to complete field surveys, but it lacked flexibility related to directions, navigation, and survey completion.

“We didn’t have the ability to pull up maps or directions on our phones with the previous platform,” said Jackson Hewitt's Vice President of Test Initiatives, Gus Hernandez. “That kind of functionality was nonexistent.”

In particular, the previous platform did not have a mobile application that could be used to accelerate and enhance reporting. It also missed some essential reporting features that left administrators looking for more field information than they received. For instance, employees were not able to start a survey and update or complete it at a later date with additional images and store metrics.

Furthermore, field data was often collected manually and disseminated through Google Docs, preventing Jackson Hewitt from establishing a standardized process and ensuring that employees shared the same visibility into store data.

These issues ultimately created obstacles for field teams tasked with verifying that each Jackson Hewitt location adhered to brand guidelines concerning:

  • Messaging
  • Merchandising
  • Signage
  • Safety Hazards
  • & more

With Jackson Hewitt's high number of franchised storefronts, including approximately 3,000 locations connected to Walmart retail stores, it was crucial that company stakeholders have store-level visibility. GoSpotCheck provided all necessary capabilities as well as the removal of manually intensive workflows involving Google Docs and Excel spreadsheets.

We have better reporting, which we didn't have before, and we improved our tracking system," said Hernandez. "Now we can track which items are pending and see who has actually fixed them.”

—Gus Hernandez, VP of Test Initiatives

GoSpotCheck Sheds Light on Brand Compliance

Since rolling out GoSpotCheck, Jackson Hewitt teams document store conditions and more accurately track compliance across both company-owned sites and franchised locations.

The accessible data empowers frontline employees to easily check that new storefronts roll out with the proper marketing and merchandising materials as well as keep tabs on long-standing shops.

"We're gatekeepers of the brand, and we want to make sure that we help our franchise teams to be current when it comes to signage, colors, training, compliance-related issues, etc.," Hernandez stated.

Among other in-store tasks, Jackson Hewitt’s field teams check that:

  • Kiosks are set up correctly (where applicable)
  • All corresponding signage and marketing material is in place
  • Tax preparers are present and representing the Jackson Hewitt brand

With GoSpotCheck, field teams can report on this criteria while standing in the store and give administrators visibility into on-site conditions in real time. High-priority tasks can be addressed in the moment, rather than languish in a pending queue.

Now that field reports are quickly submitted and then that feedback gets routed back to the franchisee, we don't have to wait a long time...It's just done within 24 hours.”

—Gus Hernandez, VP of Test Initiatives

Supporting Leasing Negotiations with Accurate Data

Due to the nature of Jackson Hewitt's franchise system, including its network of Walmart kiosks, locations often change hands between the company and individual franchisees. The on-site reports compiled through GoSpotCheck have provided valuable information for Jackson Hewitt's leasing department during these negotiations.

For example, franchisees can use compliance data to flag safety hazards with building landlords to bring things up to code or negotiate reduced rental fees. Jackson Hewitt can also leverage location data and the valuable insights contained within as an incentive when selling sites to franchisees.

In one instance, while negotiating the sale of an existing Walmart location, representatives reviewed GoSpotCheck reports to determine if the on-site kiosk would need to be replaced, either by the prospective franchisee or by Jackson Hewitt, or if it could be packaged into the deal as an asset. The condition of the kiosk could then be used to negotiate a more favorable contract, depending on whether the franchisee was looking at the added expense of replacing the machine itself.

Although this is a relatively new application of its field data, Jackson Hewitt has already found a great deal of success using GoSpotCheck reports as bargaining chips during the lease-negotiating process.

GoSpotCheck In Action: Identifying Foot Traffic Trends

Jackson Hewitt has found a number of valuable applications for GoSpotCheck, but one of the more compelling use cases is how officials leveraged the platform to take a deep dive into unannounced store visits. The results from this analysis were eye-opening:

79% of unannounced visits occurred outside of store operating hours
Stores were closed 81% of the time when customers arrived without prior warning
Meanwhile, Walmart-located kiosks were closed only 23% of the time
98% of marketing posters were displayed correctly at the individual stores
More careful maintenance would increase organization and cleanliness
The most common missing marketing materials were lawn signage and banners

These kinds of insights into customer behavior are invaluable to a brand as image-conscious and focused on convenience as Jackson Hewitt.

Along the way, GoSpotCheck has offered round-the-clock support to answer any questions, troubleshoot, and improve the platform's implementation.

The entire GoSpotCheck team — from demo to contract execution to implementation and survey creation — has just been stellar. The caliber of employees and the level of customer service has been second to none.”

—Jay Benge, Vice President of Development

Overall, Jackson Hewitt leveraged GoSpotCheck to identify more than 500 separate issues — ranging from missing signage to store closures. GoSpotCheck’s alert feature then helped notify the right people to resolve over 140 of those critical problems.

Using GoSpotCheck, the Jackson Hewitt team has been able to identify under performing locations, non-compliant franchises, and invaluable market and consumer trends. With real-time data and structured reporting, GoSpotCheck continues helping Jackson Hewitt drive sales and perfect the customer experience nationwide.

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