Great Blinds Think Alike

Humble Beginnings

Since Tony Hillary fitted his first made-to-measure blind over 50 years ago, Hillarys has been dedicated to exceeding its customers’ expectations at all stages of their buying process.

From the humble beginnings of running the business from a garage, Hillarys has grown to become the nation’s favourite provider of made-to-measure blinds, curtains, and shutters, and continues to increase the number of satisfied buyers by delivering high levels of customer service and innovative technology.

The Process

A customer’s buying journey starts with booking an appointment online or via the call centre. Appointments are available 7-days a week, daytime, or evening, to cater for their customer’s availability.

All advisors are trained to help customers choose the right product for their needs. The colour, texture, and look and feel of the room are all key considerations that only come with face-to-face customer collaboration. During the appointment, the advisor also measures the windows. Here there is no margin for error, measurements of both the width and drop must be precise for “made to measure” products.

Once everything is decided and double-checked, the orders are sent to the factory in Nottingham where fabric is cut to size and
made to fit the exact specification.

When the order is ready, the customer is contacted and agrees a time slot that is convenient, and an installer attends to fit the products and ensure the customer is satisfied with the completed work.

Precise Technology

We spoke with Matthew Lamb, Software Development Manager at Hillarys, to understand more about how technology is helping meet and exceed customer expectations:

“I have been with the organisation for the past 8 years and have overseen enhancements to technology that put the customer first. We must make the buying journey as smooth as possible, and a key part to this is ensuring that contact details are captured quickly and accurately. By deploying AFD’s UK address lookup solutions online and for our call centre staff, we can focus on understanding our customers’ requirements rather than repeating back addresses.

In addition to improving the speed of entry and not frustrating the customer during their initial enquiry, having an accurate
address is important because advisors are visiting the customer’s home or work premises. It doesn’t set the right first impression if our advisors miss appointments or are late, but with up to 12 appointments per day, one address error would have a negative knock-on effect for all the following meetings that day.

From an environmental perspective, by matching advisors to their closest customers we can minimise wasted travel time, fuel cost and carbon emissions. Correct customer address data helps facilitate these
important savings.”

Introduction of Eircode

An Post in Ireland (Eire) introduced the Eircode seven years ago, giving all the 2.2 million letterbox addresses in Ireland their own unique Eircode. Before its launch, mail and parcel delivery relied on the local knowledge of the postie or courier.

Discussing how Hillarys has made use of Eircode data, Matthew continues; “Irish addresses had previously been problematic. We found that Eircode use was low before the pandemic, but Covid helped improve its use as everyone suddenly became reliant on e-commerce deliveries.

Prior to our implementation of AFD’s Eircode address lookup solution it was difficult to match advisors to a customer appointment in Ireland. As an Eircode is a unique property reference, we can now quickly find the address and be confident we are sending the closest advisor.

As the solution from AFD also returns the grid coordinates, our advisors can pinpoint the location of each appointment and help them plan journey times to stay on schedule.”

Partner Synergy

Explaining why Hillarys chose AFD as their address & data quality partners, Matthew said; “I was able to speak with an expert in address data who answered all my questions and understood the complexity around Irish data. Integrating AFD’s UK address lookup and Eircode solution was simple to do, and all interactions have been straightforward. Knowing that The Postcode People at AFD share our high standards of customer service and environmental awareness, I would recommend them to other organisations that require accurate address data.” 

Hillarys rely on AFD’s postcode lookup API and Eircode lookup API to help ensure data is captured quickly and accurately. Does your organisation have challenges around capturing accurate contact data? Contact our expert team today to discuss your requirements on 01624 811711 or email

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