Involving customers: honest communications, open dialogue
Our dialogue with customers is characterised by transparency and an open dialogue: whether on the product, in our Tchibo shops and Depots (supermarket concessions), on our websites, in the Tchibo magazine or via social media channels. In line with our policy of open dialogue, we do not issue one-way communication, but seek an exchange, especially with critical stakeholders such as consumers and multipliers, including bloggers and journalists. Social media channels offer a suitable platform for this. For instance, critical comments from consumers are often picked up on and discussed in the Corporate Blog. The Tchibo Community at tchibo.de is a new, interactive area where customers can share their thoughts about our products and thematic ranges, find inspiration, and take part in weekly participatory campaigns.
Transparent customer communications across all channels
Customer relations have become more complex, because the various social media channels open up new opportunities for consumers to give feedback and publicly voice their opinions, including in the form of criticism. Tchibo sees this as an opportunity to enter into an open, appreciative dialogue with customers and other consumers. For this, we use various social networks and our own channels.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and our own Tchibo Corporate Blog – Tchibo has steadily intensified its social media activities since 2011. In line with the principle of 360-degree communication, customers and multipliers can contact us on all channels. Thanks to this direct dialogue, we benefit from feedback on campaigns and products, can build new customer relationships, consolidate existing ones, and communicate directly and personally.
In spring 2017, for example, we launched an innovative social media marketing campaign to publicise our FOR BLACK 'N WHITE filter coffee among younger customers as a specific target group and individually: through seven tailor-made films for seven different target groups on Facebook. Since the coffee is also certified as sustainable according to the UTZ standard, we were able to publicise our sustainability management and promote responsible consumption at the same time.
In 2016 the Tchibo blog was voted ‘Best Corporate Blog’ in Germany, an award it has won for several years in a row. It not only has an excellent reach of more than 65,000 readers a month, but is also valued as a high-quality medium. All the articles and topics are written by our own staff and guest authors, who share first-hand information with their readers. They come from various departments, such as Coffee, Non Food, Product Development, Sustainability, Human Resources, and Corporate Communications. An important principle of this tool is that the Tchibo blog lives by interaction, and explicitly invites readers to exchange thoughts and opinions.
Blogger and Influencer Relations
The influence that bloggers and other influencers have on their communities is growing steadily. They are regarded as independent and authentic opinion leaders, purveyors of information, and trendsetters. Tchibo, too, needs to win over this community of communicators, which inspires consumers and hence our customers as well. To this end, in 2015 we hired a staff member who is exclusively responsible for ‘blogger and influencer relations’. The term ‘relations’ is particularly important to us, as a fair, transparent and valued relationship with bloggers and influencers is crucial to the success of the cooperation. Tchibo sees bloggers and influencers as experts and external partners. We are open to their criticism and seek a long-term dialogue.
In early 2016, we founded the Tchibo Blogger Advisory Board with the aim of further reinforcing bloggers’ and influencers’ trust in Tchibo and sustaining it long-term. Comprising experts and insiders from the blogosphere, it supports the work of Blogger and Influencer Relations managers and delivers honest criticism and creative input. Blogger and Influencer Relations decisions and measures are usually discussed with the Advisory Board. The open dialogue has already proved its worth. Communication conforms to the Tchibo Blogger and Influencer Relations Guidelines. We send out a monthly newsletter to relevant bloggers and influencers, letting them know about news, collaborations and important events in the Tchibo world.
We further developed the former ‘Tchibo ideas’ digital participatory platform and in October 2016 launched it as the 'Tchibo Community' on our tchibo.de website. Like its predecessor Tchibo ideas, it provides an area for discovery, participation and trying things out. Users can become product testers, watch tutorials, or find out which coffee or holiday type they are. These interactive options are offered on a platform that, unlike its predecessor, is directly integrated into the online shop. Any customer with an existing online shop account can register directly and participate for free. One important element are the weekly participatory activities in which customers participate, interact with each other, and find inspiration. We have already been able to incorporate our sustainability management here as well, e.g. with a tutorial that shows children how to easily turn an old shirt into a cool new one.