SUSTAINABILITY REPORT
2016

Top priority: customer expec­ta­tions, wishes and concerns

As a core value of our corporate culture, customer focus is firmly anchored in the Tchibo DNA. With this in mind, we work daily to ensure that our customers are not just satisfied but inspired: through attractive products and excellent service management across all sales channels.

We can only succeed in doing this if we know, fulfil and even exceed customer expec­ta­tions. Online shopping in particular has changed customer behaviour in recent years and has increased their expec­ta­tions. This is why Tchibo connects the on- and offline worlds in a cross-channel system that lets customers shop even more conve­niently, and keeps devel­oping its services. We see customer focus as a holistic process, with many inter­locking cogs – from product management, purchasing and logistics, to customer consul­tation, compre­hensive customer service, and warranty and repair services. Our aim is always to delight our customers. For example, we make improve­ments to our processes, e.g. our customer infor­mation systems or the repair process. We offer special training for employees who are in direct contact with customers – for Tchibo employees as well as those of our call-centre service partners. Employees from across the company are given an oppor­tunity to ‘see things through the customers’ lens by spending some time shadowing our customer service agents.

Our customer service staff always works to make our customers’ everyday life easier and more enjoyable. We give top priority to customers’ concerns, questions and wishes are our top priority, and therefore do every­thing in our power to impress them with our products and services, and to live up to our claim of top quality. To this end, we have formu­lated a service and quality promise as a central benchmark for all employees. It concen­trates on the “8 service dimen­sions for Tchibo customer enthu­siasm”: profes­sional compe­tence, appre­ci­ation, surprise, speed, equanimity, relia­bility, individ­u­al­i­sation, and friend­liness. The individ­u­al­i­sation service dimension can also be optimally fulfilled digitally, for example. With the Tchibo Community we have the oppor­tunity to personally address customers and offer them with customised products or services.

Quality assurance in customer service

Besides our Tchibo shops, customer service is the only department in the company that has direct contact with customers. Due to its great variety of customer contact, it is partic­u­larly important to customer relationship management – and thus to Tchibo’s business success. In order to assess, safeguard and thus improve the quality of its core service, i.e. meeting customer requests, we evaluate telephone and written corre­spon­dence for coaching and training purposes – in agreement with our customers and in compliance with data protection require­ments. This evalu­ation focuses on quali­tative aspects such as the profes­sional compe­tence and commu­nicative perfor­mance of our customer advisors. 

We process customer requests in a quick, fair and reliable way. But do our customers feel the same way? We regularly survey them about this. Feedback, even and especially criticism, complaints or sugges­tions for improvement help us to meet our customers’ expec­ta­tions and keep inspiring them. At the same time, they provide us with important input for devel­oping innova­tions and revising our services.

With the aim of estab­lishing a Tchibo service dialogue that is in line with our brand, we have expanded our basic require­ments for customer commu­ni­cation (simple, struc­tured, concise and attentive) to include our brand attributes. The Tchibo brand speaks in a warm, authentic and clear voice. Following these principles, we have developed a Tchibo commu­ni­ca­tions manual, tonality as well as texts and templates for standard commu­ni­ca­tions, and have trained our employees and business partners accord­ingly.

Keep devel­oping the ranges and services

Building on our under­standing of service, we are constantly devel­oping our offers, and respond to changes in purchasing behaviour at an early stage. Since 2014, we have made online shopping even more attractive for our customers with new appli­ca­tions and services, e.g. the option of paying with PayPal, having packages delivered to DHL parcel stations, or using the online “Store Avail­ability Check,” which shows customers what stores have a given product in stock.

We also adapt our product ranges to our customers’ wishes – which have changed over time: 80% of our customers are ‘delib­erate buyers’ at this point. They know what they want, specif­i­cally search for it online, and buy it. For this reason, in 2014 we estab­lished a permanent product range in our online shop. On our customers’ request, the items of our permanent range have been expanded in partic­u­larly popular product categories such as underwear, children's fashion, sportswear, and kitchenware.