We listen to our customers

Discussion in Facebook

In July 2014, a “Let’s Save Stockmann” discussion group was set up in Facebook and quickly attracted thousands of Stockmann customers and others to spontaneously discuss the current state and future of Stockmann. This drew a lot of media attention in Finland. At Stockmann we actively followed the discussion, and staff from our marketing department, including the Marketing Director, joined the debate.

The Let’s Save Stockmann group came up with a lot of ideas for the future of Stockmann. Among the themes generating considerable debate were the current service culture at Stockmann and how this can be improved, and Stockmann’s online retailing. A great many comments emphasised the need to develop the department store operations in a more dynamic direction, providing more customer experiences. “More events at the stores,” was the key demand of the group.

The work of the Let’s Save Stockmann group came to a climax on 31 August 2014 with a discussion forum at the Helsinki department store. Joining the active members of the discussion group at the store were representatives of Stockmann. The principal areas for improvement identified at the event were Stockmann's strategy and its service culture. The Delicatessen was considered the best department, especially as a result of the expert service provided.

At Stockmann, the ideas and feedback from the Let’s Save Stockmann discussion group were read attentively and notes were taken. To gain further suggestions for improvements and to involve staff in the discussion, we decided to launch our own Customer Expert survey.

Customer Expert survey

In August 2014, we took a step forward in developing our business when we launched a scheme in which customers were invited to become 'customer experts' and join in the discussion aimed at taking Stockmann forward. We also asked our staff to get involved in the feedback and discussion process to make Stockmann a better place. All the improvement suggestions from customers were gathered together from of Stockmann’s Facebook page discussion and the Customer Expert survey. Staff took part in the Customer Expert discussion in an intranet discussion forum.

The online Customer Expert survey gained approximately 20,000 responses. On Facebook the greatest amount of discussion was generated by Stockmann’s product selection and Delicatessen. The discussion on the latter attracted more than 180,000 views on Facebook. On the intranet, the Customer Expert discussion by staff drew more than 1,300 entries in two weeks. The subjects that got our staff talking in particular were customer service and also social media and its use in customer communications. There was also a lot of discussion about maintaining the know-how of sales personnel.

The amount of Customer Expert feedback was a positive surprise for us, and we are very grateful for the improvement suggestions received. The comments of customers and staff will also be taken into account in creating Stockmann's new strategy.