5 Sparkling Customer Experience Lessons From Swarovski

Maya Fowell

Customer Experience lessons all CX leaders can learn from Swarovski’s Customer Experience Manager, Karin Winkler.

The world has finally awoken to the importance of customer experience being a key competitive differentiator. For CX leaders across the globe this has been a truth universally acknowledged for quite some time, however for those who have been a little slower off the mark the battle has only just begun.

Faced with real competitive challenges to provide the best customer service and with further constraints coming from customers demanding better digital innovation, customer experience is the way to stay afloat.

To stay ahead of the game it is important to embed a culture of customer-centricity into your company and effectively train and reward your existing employees. Keeping existing clients happy and maximising the efficiency of internal processes is the key to continuous improvement.

Moreover, operating in an environment where consumer trust and loyalty are all up for grabs, it is important for everyone to realise the potential of actioning data from VOC programmes for valuable customer insights and analytics.

In this article we look at 5 CX lessons all customer experience leaders can learn from Swarovski’s Customer Experience Manager, Karin Winkler.

1. Strike the right balance between the importance of the product and the customer experience

You can have the best products – and Swarovski has fantastic products – you can have nice stores – and Swarovski have beautiful stores – but if the service is bad and the product you ordered weeks ago is still not there, the whole shopping experience becomes a disaster.

At the end of they, having a fantastic product certainly doesn’t hurt but the secret to success lies in how you deliver that product to those that want it. Excellence comes when you continually innovate and think outside the box to push boundaries and constantly improve your offering.

2. Invest in building employee engagement and nurture brand ambassadors

The goal is to encourage a culture where staff are proud of the work that they do and believe that their actions make a difference to the lives of the customers.

To do this the initial focus should be on building communication across the organisation. As a result of improved communication companies will be able to celebrate internal success more and create a culture where everyone is happy to be working towards the same goal.

If your employees are not proud of the brand, they won’t identify themselves with it and that affects the way an employee may talk to their colleagues or work with your goods.

To encourage internal engagement and build brand ambassadors, Swarovksi provides employees with three reports. One of these reports gives teams training/coaching recommendations and clear guidelines on what they have to work on and with which tools. They are also provided with action plans and the Training Managers and retail teams in every market are asked to follow up on the results and actions that they take from these.

This has created an overall sense of ownership amongst colleagues and gone some way to drive employee engagement in CX strategies.

3. Find the right method to measure your customer experience

Finding the right strategy that propels your customer experience forward is imperative. Each company is different and what works for one might not be effective in another. It’s about spending some time trialling new initiatives internally and finding out which one employees react the best to and provide the best data for you to benchmark yourself against.

Swarovski introduced a Top Box Scoring initiative which asks customers to rank the experience they have after communicating with a member of staff, differentiating an excellent guest experience from an OK experience.

There have been a few obstacles and for some Brand Ambassadors there still are. Some do not understand why a "4" on a 5 point scale is not given any credit. However, Swarovski have learnt that the more the field understands a score, the more ownership they show.


4. Creating valuable loyalty schemes

There are times in every business when the customer will not be at the heart of all that is done; sometimes it’s just the way things go. However, by offering amazing loyalty schemes you can ensure in times like these you’re still able to maintain the relationship you have worked hard to build up with your most engaged customers.

Swarovski have faced times where the business, sales, and the expansion of distribution were the main focus, and customer service topics were not found on the very top of the company’s agenda. Luckily with their customer loyalty programme, Swarovski Crystal Society, their most loyal customers were offered benefits on an ongoing basis.

Having a strategy like this ensures no matter what obstacles you face the customer can be put right back in the centre of everything.

5. Listening to your customers through effective VOC programmes

Delivering excellent customer experience is always the result of team work. It starts with getting the commitment from all parties, gathering enough customer voices and then really listening to the customer voices and taking actions to meet their expectations.

For Swarovski, the beauty of the Voice of the Customer (VOC) is knowing exactly which boutique needs special coaching or training, which helps Training Managers to do targeted activities and thus save time that can be used for implementing new training materials to their boutiques instead.

Taking it one step further, those who also compare VOC with VOE (Voice of the Employee) and see how they correlate will be able to provide a better service in 2016.

Those who follow in the footsteps of Swarvoski and tailor their approaches to align with their companies are set to see happy customers all year round.