– We will deliver FANATICAL customer service
For seven of the past eleven years, Interoptik have been at the top of the Norwegian Customer Satisfaction Barometer among optician franchises. Investing in customer service has delivered results.
Interoptik has 73 shops and is primarily based on franchising. The market share in Norway is at 14%.
– We think the term fantastic customer service is a little defensive. That's why we want to create fanatical customer service. We aim to provide much more than the customers expect, says Retail Director Trond Lie Jensen.
The optical industry is led by service. Service is alpha and omega in the tough competitive conditions.
– Interoptik is the franchise that loves eyecare. We think about it all day, and expertise is the most important thing to us, says Jensen.
Gained more insight
The franchise began using Maze in 2018. The franchise receives over 45,000 feedback responses annually. Jensen says they have gained more insight than they had before.
– We believed our customers were satisfied. Now we also have deeper knowledge about their experiences. We know more about cause and effect during the customer journey.
Maze is used by franchisees and shop managers, and also with each individual employee at the shops.
The retail director believes the most important thing is that each shop receives specific customer feedback from their own customers.
– The strength of the tool is that we can take our mobile phone and get information on the app, on our mobile phone or tablet, whenever we want, Ingeborg Oland adds.
– We focus on everyday training with a focus on the key behaviours required to delight our customers. We measure, train and adjust, and the everyday training gives results. It's a continuous process. The data must be used to make a change in the behaviour of the employees, or else it has no purpose, says Jensen.
Retail Director Trond Lie Jensen and Shop Manager Ingeborg Oland at Interoptik use everyday and behaviour training to boost customer service and the Maze system is anchored throughout the entire organisation.
Franchisees and shop managers note customer satisfaction as the first item in all operations meetings and gatherings.
– The same applies to meetings in the franchise leadership. The emphasis on customer experience must be the first priority at every level, from the individual shop employee to the franchise leadership. He also points out the importance of Maze-based training and follow-up, which has been provided by the partner RetailX.
This has been important to our success, says Jensen.
– It’s about becoming a little better than your neighbour, but also about competing with yourself.
Following up on feedback
They continuously follow up on feedback. It is not uncommon to see that those who have given negative feedback are flipped and become satisfied customers.
– We pay particular attention to the negative responses and try to figure out the cause. In cases where we see something concrete that we can deal with, we call those customers back. They appreciate that, and we are generally able to clear up the issue that caused their dissatisfaction, says the shop manager.
Naturally, Interoptik also worked with customer service before putting Maze to use. In 2007, they began goal-oriented work with a customer service programme and started with surveys.
– But we could tell after a while that we needed more. Consumers, behaviours and expectations changed. This led to us getting Maze, which let us get more data and insight, says Jensen.
Along with the franchisees and shop managers at self-owned shops, the franchise administration entered an agreement in 2018 for everyone in the franchise to commit to work on making good customer experiences, every single day.
They wanted to find out what affected their customer satisfaction, including which part of the customer journey was the biggest trigger for the experienced degree of service.
Trond Lie Jensen notes that Maze also works well for A/B testing. Because if you work on detail in retail, you get results.
They can easily make a variation in the customer journey and see the results in black and white.
– This could be how you say what to the customer during the sales process, and when during the process you introduce a product, Jensen offers as an example.
Important to celebrate and praise
It’s important to show off good customer experiences internally.
– Celebrating is an important part of the process for achieving good customer experiences. You're allowed to celebrate yourself and compliment your neighbour. We're one big, happy family. The kudos feature of the app makes it easy to praise employees in the app, says Jensen.
– Our employees are seen. Everyone appreciates being noticed and praised, Oland adds.
Have become more united
The retail director notes that there is a strong connection between customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction:
– This is a positive spiral that creates a sense of teamwork and enthusiasm.
In a franchise-based chain, operations can't be 100% uniform. The shops are located all over the country, in bigger and smaller areas, and localisation varies between street-level shops and shopping malls.
– We’ve become more homogeneous since we started using Maze, and that was part of the point. We wanted to reduce the differences, and we’ve succeeded in doing so, Trond Lie Jensen concludes.