A couple of weeks ago, I had a chat with Stine Fenger about the company’s NPS journey. Stine has managed to get the Net Promoter Score very well implemented at Kähler, where it is now an integral part of their daily routine.
Net Promoter Score has helped them see where changes are necessary.
The biggest change they’ve made is in their approach to complaints and quality challenges.
Stine, who are you and what is your role in customer satisfaction surveys?
I am the Sales Manager Scandinavia at Kähler. I introduced the Net Promoter Score methodology to the company about four years ago. At that time, I was a customer service manager and I have only recently handed my NPS assignment over to my colleague. I took the initiative to start working with NPS because we were struggling to identify and visualise the feedback we were getting. It was especially challenging to get customer feedback on the agenda across departments. The goal has been to highlight the things we do well and to spot development opportunities wherever they arise, and NPS has succeeded. We chose NPS because it is easy and convenient to use.
How has the company developed since the introduction of NPS?
Kähler has grown a lot over the years that we’ve been using NPS, and our business structure has also changed a couple of times since we began to measure customer satisfaction. When we started, we had a lot of direct customers; today we use NPS mainly to measure the B2C customers we get through our web shop and our export customers. Nowadays, we measure fewer customers, but the ones we do measure are our “end customers”, and for many of them it’s the first or second time they’ve traded with or had contact with Kähler.
What have been your biggest NPS successes?
So far, the most positive thing about using NPS has been the number of misunderstandings we’ve been able to identify and solve. We come across misunderstandings on a weekly basis! Our customers encounter us through many different dealers in different markets. We can see that, in many cases, the feedback we receive is not related to the business that the customer does with us but with the brand.
Misunderstandings can also arise when communicating with customers on social media or through customer service. For example, customers may feel they haven’t received the help they need – but then we catch it in the NPS surveys and can quickly correct any potential misunderstandings. Of course, there will always be challenges, but first and foremost we have the successful experiences, and we gain a great deal from sharing them! It’s nice to be able to highlight all the things we do well.
What do you do to involve management and how often do you look at the feedback you’ve received?
It’s primarily the back office that uses it in everyday life. The marketing department manages the web store, so there’s a good dialogue around the feedback we receive. In addition, we get our feedback displayed on screens around the organisation, and it’s also one of our KPIs. As a member of the management team, I’ve made a big point of introducing it. We don’t have regular presentations, but when we need to change anything or make new efforts, we use it to see what our customers have to say about it – so, this is how management is involved. At the departmental level, weekly meetings also occur if there are fluctuations or additional challenges. In addition, employees also draw samples themselves on a regular basis. It’s not part of a plan, but it is taken continuously when there is something to look at. The whole NPS process is very dynamic.
What actions have you taken based on feedback you’ve received through NPS?
The biggest change has been our approach to complaints and quality challenges. For example, when a customer receives a product that doesn’t meet with their expectations but doesn’t feel like making a complaint, they don’t bother to get in touch. When we are proactive and contact them about their satisfaction level, it becomes apparent that they are not actually satisfied – and here we see that it may be a matter of taste that they don’t like the product. We contact them over the phone and offer to send them a replacement. Our products are handmade, so shades or tones can vary from one to the next. Previously, we had a very fixed returns policy, but now all our employees have the freedom decide what to do in each individual case.
Isn’t it expensive to return goods for no reason?
No, it doesn’t cost us that much. At first, we were concerned that there might be lots of cases like these, but it only happens about three or four times a month, and the value we bring the customer and the feedback we get really tells us that it’s the right way to do it. (Kähler’s NPS has gone from a long stint in the sixties up to today’s highs in the eighties – a very nice development). During our first one and a half to two years, we had very strict rules about accepting returns. It’s clear today, looking at our word count, that the focus points in the negative comments have changed a lot. We also used to have larger fluctuations in the busy seasons. It’s clear from our feedback that we have evolved and have become much better at handling peak sales periods.
You have come a long way and have done a really good job so far. What is your next NPS step?
We could easily use it much more than we do. We haven’t spread it out far enough across the business. So, the next challenge is to make all departments aware of its existence and how it can be used. It will also help to strengthen cooperation between departments.