IKEA is based on the self-serve concept. It’s one of the key things to offer such great prices and serve ‘the many people’. Ikea ensures growth through an excellent Customer Experience by providing and developing a great reliable, seamless end-to-end customer experience across all contact points in the Customer Experience Services area.
What Ikea do
• Creating the environment to support a Great Seamless Easy Buying Experience throughout all digital and physical touchpoints
• Providing a great “fun day out” experience for the whole family
• Develop and improve Customer Experience related services to support meeting places of the future in all touchpoints e.g. shopping tools, guidance ; navigation, Ways to Shop, Waiting times, Customer Flows.
• Use customer insights be the speaking partner, in all service related topics and forums, to support a seamless customer experience
Today, customer support centers provide support to customers across every channel. In 2017, customers made 30 million contacts to customer support centers globally. These customers demand faster and easier support than ever. Ikea has been always working to develop a great customer experience. To do that, Ikea provides a great experience with each contact with its customer.
Regarding one study, Togård, Carolina mentioned that IKEA has already started to measure circularity and customer satisfaction of product-service systems. The other study showed that IKEA provide business platforms (physical and web-based experience) that simplify their customers’ service experiences; service brand and marketing communication based on values resonance among the norms and ethical values of customers, the company, and the wider society; and sharing of corporate values among leaders and employees to provide energy and direction for excellence and sustainable business development. A new framework known as ‘The business model of service excellence and innovation – recognized as the service excellence and innovation (SEIB) model’ is established. The new framework emphases on how to create and manage supply configurations that enable, support, and direct customers in value co-creation and service exchange (Edvardsson, B, and Enquist, pp. 535–551).
New communication skills training for customer support centers
Ikea’s customer support center of co-workers with only the right skills will be able to deliver the best possible experience to Ikea’s customers. The new communication skills training helps its workers do the correct contact with every customer.
The new communication skills training helps them:
• fine-tune spoken and written skills
• use the IKEA tone of voice
• develop better skills in supporting people in different emotional states.
As a results in a better experience for both customers and co-workers.
Build customer relationships to improve the shopping experience
Customer Relations the IKEA way is about building long-lasting relationships with customers in order to improve their shopping experience. This requires understanding their motivations, anticipating their needs and meeting their expectations – before, during and after a visit to the IKEA store.
• Customer motivations are what motivate customers to visit an IKEA store.
• Customer expectations are what customers expect regarding their shopping experience.
The Customer Experience Map
The Customer Experience Map is a tool that helps all look at its business through the eyes of the customers. The map describes common behaviors in the purchasing process completely from the customer perspective. All based on facts, research and experience. The benefits of Customer Experience Map:
• gives a common language that simplifies and aligns our ways of working.
• Nurtures the customer mindset about what see IKEA from an “outside-in” perspective.
• helps identify strengths and weaknesses and discover opportunities to develop people and business together.
• helps individual IKEA co-workers understand where and how they can influence the total customer experience and make a difference.
The IKEA Customer Support Centre
The IKEA Customer Support Centre is responsible for all non-face-to-face customer contacts. It creates a rewarding customer experience through deep knowledge of the range, home furnishing and service.
The four tasks for the IKEA Customer Support Centre are:
1. Handle and resolve all customer support enquiries before, during and after purchase.
2. Support IKEA store co-workers with complex customer issues; before, during and after purchase.
3. Support IKEA service providers when they need to contact IKEA to resolve customer issues.
4. Proactively work with the rest of the IKEA value chain to minimise customers’ need to contact IKEA for support.
The IKEA Customer Support Centre is a crucial element of being a multi-channel retailer. It connects all channels, online and offline and provides support throughout the whole customer journey. Customers also get sales support with add-on products, cross selling and upselling, which provides a one-stop shopping experience. The benefits;
• A seamless customer experience across all channels
• creating a service agreement together with relevant business partners
• setting up the organisation and governance
• creating the right working environment
• ensuring the same tone of voice across all channels
• establishing cost allocation principles that support eliminating root causes.
Creating a family-friendly store to attract parents and children
Creating a family-friendly store is about meeting and exceeding the expectations that families have for their IKEA shopping experience. This means making every part of the store and store activities more family friendly. Examples of family-friendly measures are:
• offering baby care facilities, wash rooms and rest areas
• offering play facilities: these make the visit to the IKEA store more fun for kids while giving their parents an opportunity to relax and focus on their shopping
• providing food for children in the IKEA Restaurant ; Café
• creating relevant, functional and safe home furnishing solutions that solve the needs of families with children
• range presentation with products that support living with children, from storage solutions to products specific to children
• establishing special events aimed at families.
This way, families are able to enjoy a convenient and pleasant shopping experience and are more likely to make return visits. With the right services in place, a trip to the IKEA store becomes a fun day out for the whole family. This leads to:
• Increased sales – with the right facilities close at hand when needed, parents are free to spend more time making buying decisions. Also, by offering a range for all stages of a customers’ life, from child to retirement, they are attracted at an early age and retained for longer.
• Improved brand perception – family facilities demonstrate to families that the IKEA retailer understands and respects their unique needs. This strengthens the customer relationship. It also helps foster an early interest in home furnishing and indirectly supports the shopping process.
The systems and processes used for taking payment
Check-outs and payment is the systems and processes used when:
• customers pay the IKEA store for products and services
• the store exchanges products or refunds money to the customer.
It includes activity at check-outs throughout the store:
• the check-out area
• the Showroom
• food and beverages areas
• home delivery area
• exchanges and returns area
Process payment from customers in a cost-efficient, customer-friendly way
For the store customer this means:
• shorter waiting times
• convenience and choice in where and how they pay
• a friendly helpful service
• a safe and secure payment process
• clarity on what to do at the check-out.
For the online customer it means:
• a safe and secure payment process
• a short and easy-to-navigate payment process
• clear instructions on how to complete payment
• a choice of payment methods
• good online help.
For the retailer it means:
• secure and accountable cashflow
• stock accuracy for efficient replenishment and ordering
• the right number of co-workers for the level of customer flow
• an increase in the average cheque
• reinforcement of the low price profile
• strengthening the positive impression of the IKEA store.