Chester businessman Gareth James has already helped transform one fundamental aspect of everyday British life – now he’s doing it again.
Turning an impossible idea – comparison website MoneySupermarket – into the catalyst for a whole new industry, Gareth was part of a team which changed how we all secure credit and insurance.
Now the 36-year-old father of three has created Intilery – the next generation in customer engagement technology and services.
Intilery gives retailers, travel brands, banks, insurers and comparison sites the ability to build personalised, one-to-one customer relationships on any scale across all customer touch-points.
“Intilery is designed to help businesses, some of which can be very large and faceless, provide customers with a more personal relationship with their brand,” he said.
Intilery is built on software created by Gareth and a team of talented coders to revolutionise customer engagement.
By connecting the customer journey – linking what a customer has looked at on your website or app and when they enter a store and equipping staff with the history of what they have been looking at or for - Intilery helps brands make every customer feel like an individual.
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“I often liken it to a summer job I had in a shoe shop as a teenager,” said Gareth. “Everyone in town went to the shop, as children to get their feet measured and as adults because of their loyalty to the store.
“Whenever you visited the store the staff knew you and what you’d bought before. They also understood if you were looking for a something slightly different. And they always asked your opinion.”
Behind his philosophy there is a real business focus to Intilery’s approach. Developing good customer engagement creates brand loyalty, which has a direct impact on revenue.
“A lot of our competitors in customer engagement talk about how customers feel and brand awareness,” said Gareth. “These are all important but they are also intangible. We base what we do on tangibles, increasing revenue and customer retention for clients. That is a clear demonstration of what we can offer a business.”
Gareth’s unique blend of technical know-how and entrepreneurial spirit comes from his parents. His father has his own business supplying and fitting pipe systems for fire sprinklers and, aged seven, he received a Commodore 64 as a birthday gift.
“That computer was the start for me,” he said. “It was bought for me to play games but it had a basic coding manual. I thought it was amazing that I could programme it to make text appear on-screen.”
By his early 20s Gareth was part of the MoneySupermarket team.
“We knew we were doing something significant but we never envisaged how much it would change the game.
“The person I admire most in fact is Simon Nixon, the founder of MoneySupermarket. He had the vision, he could see the internet was going to change data freedom and consumers would be able to use that.
“He taught me to always have a vision and don’t be afraid to go for it.”
Gareth started Intilery in Chester because of the rich base of digital skills in the North West, but he believes more needs to be done in schools to keep up with the rest of the world.
“Chester and the North West have a wealth of digital skills on the doorstep. There are a lot of big companies clustered in this region – including AutoTrader, Laterooms, Shop Direct and MoneySupermarket – and a lot of skilled people able to move between companies and develop their own skills. That creates a thriving, healthy environment for innovation.”
To learn more about Intilery visit www.Intilery.com.