IKEA’s Melanie Kleemann joins CX Network’s advisory board

Melanie Kleemann, chief customer officer at IKEA Germany, writes about her background and experience as she becomes the latest recruit to CX Network’s advisory board

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As the chief customer officer at IKEA Germany, I hate boring interiors and poor service. That is why I support IKEA in generating sustainable growth by identifying customer needs and problems, and creating dream solutions or experiences that inspire. With a record of accomplishment in transformational leadership, I have built a reputation for leading and implementing successful, customer-focused, innovative and profitable initiatives.

Specifically, I have lead the customer-centric, multichannel transformation and I am currently leading and developing the customer experience across all touch points. A key focus in my change leadership has always been to use customer insights in driving a significant improvement in customer and commercial outcomes. This was successfully achieved by developing a collaborative, creative and agile culture that, in turn, established the foundations for new and innovative commercial initiatives. These included the creation of a high-performance customer experience leadership team to support the organization through these changes. Throughout my career, I have been an influential advocate of placing the experience at the center of everything we do and finding new ways of working through innovation or new technologies. 

Melanie Kleemann, chief customer officer at IKEA Germany

Previously I held global responsibility for the IKEA service business in Sweden, where I adapted the service offer to fit the needs of modern customers in different countries and established the growth and structural preconditions for IKEA as a leading, multichannel retailer. The majority of my career has generally been in sales and business development, later helped me in my customer based functions, to understand my peers and speak the same language. I also speak at global conferences on subjects ranging from customer experience to multichannel retailing.

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To help us improve our offering and streamline your experience we would like to learn more about your interests and priorities. 

There is always something new to learn about customer experience, especially as the demands and interests of today’s customers evolve with technological advances and disruptive crises such as Covid-19. 

We know the assignment of customer responsibility can be challenging. Commitment and focus are the first steps in driving change and this means your peers and the C-suite staff need to be on board from the beginning. Without the C-suite, this will not work, and in order to get their commitment you need to show them the money. As such, it is crucial to mark your growth and successes, big or small, and to celebrate them.

Make customer needs and problems visible in the organization, create a momentum and demonstrate the value. Once all employees of a brand are engaged and accountable you will succeed in changing the behavior of front-line staff, to prioritize the areas that will have the most impact, focus on specific improvements and follow through with a tangible level of commitment.

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