"We desire to be the best in the industry in customer satisfaction"
Working systematically with customer feedback gives Byggmakker CF better profitability and reputation.
Asserts Erik Ilestad, Category and Purchasing Director at Byggmakker CF, where he has worked since 1999.
The building supply chain highly emphasises customer satisfaction and in 2013 implemented Maze for systematic procurement of feedback from its customers.
"We are using Maze as a management tool. With Maze, we know what our customers think about us, not just believe," says Ilestad to Retailmagasinet. The feedback that comes on an on-going basis from our customers are read by our general manager and shop managers, at the building supply megastores, who in turn discuss the results with their department managers.
The management of Byggmakker CF follows these trends over time.
"We find out where we are good and where can do better. Whether for example it concerns add-on sales, at the cash register or how nimble we are at meeting the customer," says Ilestad.
They go in and click on the feedback every single day, and the red customers are looked after immediately. This is done locally by the store manager or the general manager and is also discussed with the employees.
"The customers are positively surprised about being contacted. The majority are turned into becoming green customers," happily ascertains Ilestad.
The employees expect to receive systematic customer feedback. It has become a part of the job. Erik Ilestad tells that they are building a training culture:
"At Byggmakker CF, we like to compete and are good at being ranked. The megastores compete over being the best at customer service in the chain." Also for Byggmakker CF as a whole, the level of ambition is high:
"We desire to be the best in the building materials trade in customer satisfaction. Having satisfied customers gives increased profitability and gives us a better reputation," asserts Ilestad. Satisfied customers namely result in still more customers. Recommendations to friends function just as well as traditional marketing.
Byggmakker CF ranks high with customers who recommend them. Last year, 82 per cent answered that they would recommend the chain to their friends and acquaintances. Also, throughout the pandemic, it has been useful for Byggmakker CF to be receiving on-going feedback from its customers. During periods with shut-downs, they immediately received answers to what the customers thought about the solutions they came up with, like click and collect.
"Even though the possibility for example to make add-on sales has fallen, we have received positive comments showing that the customers think that it has functioned well," says Ilestad. The E-mail and mobile phone number of the customer are captured from the cash register/ERP solution by registration in the customer club.
Before Byggmakker CF implemented Maze, they were using Mystery Shopper.
"It worked for a period, but they gradually became recognisable. With Maze, we are always much more on our toes," concludes Erik Ilestad.
Uses Maze as a coaching tool
"We are extremely conscious of how our customers perceive us. The customer emphasis is crucial," says Vidar Monsen, the General Manager of Byggmakker CF's megastores in Sandefjord and Tønsberg.
Byggmakker CF is the 25 stores that were previously called Carlsen Fritzøe, and which were acquired by Byggmakker last year. Sandefjord has departments for both private and professional customers, whereas Tønsberg only has professional.
The entire customer path
The chain has used Maze since 2013 and has defined four focus areas with a total of 19 questions.
"We desire to be better at all steps along the entire customer path. We receive honest feedback from the customers and feel that we have good control over how our customers perceive us," says Monsen.
When they began measuring the ambassador degree in 2015, they scored 65. For the past three years, the degree has been at around 85, a trend that they are very pleased with. During the pandemic, they have had to work harder to keep it so high.
"Maze is a good tool to have in the toolbox. It gives us the possibility to stay at a high level and become still better. The feedback from our customers gives us in the management a possibility to follow along," says the megastore head. Some 20-25 percent of customers answer, a response percentage that Byggmakker CF is pleased with.
The customer emphasis is a fixed theme at management meetings at the chain. It is the chain management, general manager/megastore head, shop store heads and department managers who use Maze, and they are using it as a coaching tool.
The shop employees of the chain understand the value of the system and receive regular reports on the status.
"The employees have customer satisfaction front and centre in their minds," confirms Monsen.
When some customer feedback can be related to a specific employee, it is discussed in a one-on-one talk between the sales representative and the manager. It then occasionally emerges that the store employee perceived the customer encounter differently than the customer.
"We coach the store employees in those areas where at any point in time we are the weakest. We cannot work with all the focus areas simultaneously, but rather select some in order to develop ourselves where we are experiencing a negative trend," points out Monsen.
He states that they are achieving a behavioural change, but that it will not always last long if they do not continually keep their emphasis and focus high.
Red customers become green
All red customers are telephoned in order to determine the cause.
"We receive a more detailed explanation. As a rule, it is a tangible event, and often the cause is that the price was assessed as being high," explains Monsen.
As a result of the follow-up, red customers are often turned into green. The megastore head also occasionally picks out some yellow customers who he personally follows up on.
One area where Byggmakker CF recognises that they can do better in is add-on sales.
"This is the field we have had to work with the most over time. Improvement here has also affected our results the most. Add-on sales also give us additional satisfied customers," concludes Vidar Monsen.
Retailmagasinet no. 3-2021 13