STARK: The right customer experience – every time
Management focus, two types of surveys and work on the corporate culture are STARK’s keys to creating better customer experiences. The problem is inconsistent customer experiences, and STARK knows that great customer experiences increase customer loyalty and therefore sales.
STARK’s nationwide chain of DIY stores for professionals in particular has introduced a new customer promise: “It’s easier and better at STARK – every time!”. The chain’s work on great customer experiences – every time, requires a focus on detail and constant customer feedback via surveys to ensure that it fulfils its promise.
“Our measurements show that good customer experiences encourage upselling. Unfortunately, the surveys also show that customers can have very different experiences with us. In one survey, a customer may be very satisfied and loyal, and in the next survey, the same customer may be less satisfied. Or vice versa, depending on the most recent customer experience,” says Jørn Fogh, Sales Excellence Director at STARK Denmark.
Now STARK is working resolutely to consistently improve its customer experience so that customers enjoy the same great experience, regardless of when they make a purchase, what they purchase and which channel they use to contact STARK. A governance model anchored in the top management, customer surveys and follow up forms the core of the efforts.
Big loop measures touchpoints
Bi-annual big loop surveys provide STARK with 360-degree pictures of STARK’s customer experience, spanning everything from advertisements, recommendations, shop visits, and advice to delivering goods and right up to dealing with individual complaints. Like many other companies, STARK has a very broad range of customer touchpoints.
“What touchpoints are most important? Where will we benefit most from intervening? The survey provides the answers. In that way, we ensure that we invest our resources where they benefit our customers most,” Jørn Fogh says.
The leadership team is responsible for the big loop survey, and every country in the STARK Group continues working with its own results.
“The survey is anchored in the management team, which launches initiatives to improve customer loyalty,” Jørn Fogh explains.
“Customers are our livelihood. If they are not happy and content, we want to change that. Because we can see that the happier and more satisfied our customers are, the more they shop with us”
Jørn Fogh, Sales Excellence Director, STARK
STARK follows up
Surveys are not worth a great deal on their own, but STARK uses the surveys for concrete initiatives. And the company follows up on any initiatives launched to ensure that customers feel the difference.
“We want to follow up on specific issues that are important to customers. We measure them so that we can live up to the promises we make to customers,” Jørn Fogh explains about the continuous follow-up called small loop surveys. Every month, STARK receives shop-level customer loyalty scores. The survey is fully automated, and the store managers and sales force see the results in STARK’s CRM system. As part of the small loop surveys, the stores have a 24-hour timeframe to follow up on customers who responded. This ensures customers’ memories of the experience are fresh in their minds.
“Customers are our livelihood. If they are not happy and content, we want to change that. Because we can see that the happier and more satisfied our customers are, the more they shop with us,” Jørn Fogh says.
Customer Agency conducts both big loop and small loop surveys and presents the results to all the management teams in the Nordic region. This solution is part of our governance model and ensures that customers remain on the agenda, and that we make specific decisions that continuously develop us in relation to our customers.
Solid foundation for customer satisfaction
STARK has a strong foundation for growth. The surveys show that all the Danish DIY stores in the chain have customers who are very satisfied and loyal. Often the customers visit STARK several times a day, and STARK has generally very close relationships with both professional tradesmen filling their vans, and private customers filling their station cars with materials for home improvement projects.
“The challenge is ‘just’ that all customers must have great experiences, regardless of when they come, what they buy, and the shop they visit. We work hard on maintaining this focus and priority – every day” Jørn Fogh says.
Big loop surveys show STARK where the effects of initiatives will have the greatest impact on customers. Small loop surveys reveal whether customers are experiencing improvements resulting from the initiatives launched.
Customer experiences are built on culture
“We also work on corporate culture. In a nutshell, you might say our culture has been characterised by ‘good relationships. That means when a customer enters a store, all the employees are busy working, and if they do not recognise the customer, they assume the customer ‘belongs’ to another sales person. We are working on ensuring that the first person to see the customer approaches the individual to help,” Jørn Fogh says.
STARK’s work on improving customer experiences must be anchored in the management to permeate throughout the entire organisation’s culture, and influence everyday life right out to our most remote warehouse.
“First and foremost, we have an ongoing dialogue with customers in the business. Customers must be able to obtain the products they want, at the right price and delivered to the right location. When those factors are in order, customers begin prioritising other aspects of the customer experience. We constantly do our best to understand customers and their needs better, and we are therefore pleased that many of our good customers are willing to answer surveys and questionnaires,” the director of Sales Excellence at STARK Denmark concludes.
Playbook for everyone: It’s easier and better at STARK – every time
To create joint momentum and shared understanding of what it actually means to deliver great customer experiences at STARK, STARK has written a playbook that all managers and employees have taken on board. The playbook has been compiled in a very reader-friendly format and describes how customers actually experience being a customer at STARK. The playbook contains examples of “what good looks like” – called 10-out-of-10 behaviour. It also describes the absolute minimum that STARK can accept – 8-out-of-10 behaviour. And it also defines what STARK cannot accept on behalf of its customers – 5-out-of-10 behaviour. “The playbook is a tool for ensuring that we are more conscious of doing a good job – every time. Right out to the very fingertips of the organisation,” Jørn Fogh concludes.
Retailing building materials
Big loop surveys twice a year, monthly small loop surveys, management workshops and CX-play book
Delivering a consistent great customer experience regardless of when they come, what they buy and the shop they visit
Dynamic CX-governance model for continuous improvements in customer experience with a clear link to commercial results
More consistent customer experience and improved customer loyalty