Stockmann’s customer base is huge and highly valued within the company. The company is going through a big transformation and is heavily building the future of Stockmann. In Stockmann’s strategy the customer is in the centre of all actions and operations.
Stockmann had a significant need to understand their customers better and therefore, needed a tool with what they can utilize all incoming customer feedback in an efficient way. For that they chose Aiwo. In Aiwo Studio, we discussed about the company’s customer experience operations and its experiences with Aiwo CX service with Sara Toivakainen, who is the Development Manager in Customer and Employee Experience at Stockmann.
Stockmann plc is a company that offers a diverse and high-quality selection of fashion, beauty, and home products for everyday life. The company has a long history that starts from the year of 1862. Nowadays Stockmann Group is a listed company and the Northern Europe’s largest department store.
It operates in 18 countries and has approximately 500 stores in total. The division has eight department stores in Finland and in the Baltics in addition to its online store stockmann.com. Most likely the best known Stockmann department store with its almost 160 years of history is in the capital of Finland, Helsinki.
During 2020 Stockmann started to renew its operations and change the way how they listen to their customers, collect customer feedback, and manage and measure their customer experience. To support these operations and to provide even better customer experience for their highly valued customers Stockmann needed advanced tools for customer understanding. Stockmann’s Development Manager in Customer and Employee Experience Sara Toivakainen tells that at this point, in the beginning of 2021, Aiwo came into picture, when the two companies started their negotiations.
Aiwo’s Aiwo CX tool can analyze all customer communication data in any source whether it’s phone calls, chat messages, open feedback surveys or social media messages. For Stockmann Aiwo CX is analyzing the company’s open feedbacks from multiple touch points. Stockmann was especially impressed by the service’s approach to qualitative analytics and the level of AI-usage and AI-based analysis. The way Aiwo functions based on a forerunning technology met Stockmann’s needs.
Also, the way how Aiwo’s professionals took our case and truly understood our needs and wanted to help us was very impressive. This supported our decision to choose Aiwo as our solution, Toivakainen tells.
To understand the overall customer experience better Stockmann collects lots of customer feedback data from different touch points daily. They want to understand especially the customers’ emotional experience from the feedback. The company measures it with Emotional Value Index (EVI).
With Aiwo CX, Stockmann is monitoring emotional sentiment of the emotional experience, which is analyzed based on the open feedback data that the company also collects. By combining these two tools Stockmann can monitor how the EVI and the sentiment that Aiwo analyses from the large open text data are correlating together. This allows Stockmann to follow what is driving the EVI’s trend line on a big picture.
We aim to understand customers emotions and feelings across the customer journey. That’s why we measure the emotional experience and try to understand it better. We ask from our customers in certain touch points what sort of emotional experience we managed to give them. In addition to that we ask the open question “Why?” so we can measure what drives our customers’ emotional experience, says Toivakainen.
Stockmann needs a powerful tool to analyze the large amount of data and an easy way to see what their customers are talking about, what are the pain points and what is driving the emotional experience. They wanted to see the rising micro phenomena that appear from the customer feedbacks' insight. Aiwo provided Stockmann with them all:
Before Aiwo, we were of course collecting customer feedback, but we didn’t have a tool that could help us to understand and utilize the feedback in an effective way. Now with the help of Aiwo, we can see at a glance what is going on in our customer feedback. We can follow and monitor the feedback in real-time and easily communicate and show to our team members what is important and where we need to pay more attention to. With Aiwo, we can utilize the customer feedback in decision making, operational actions and in our everyday life, Toivakainen praises.
Aiwo is a tool that is suitable for everyone in the organization, regardless of the role the employee works in. Stockmann decided that they allow as many team members as possible to use Aiwo so that the service becomes familiar to all, and everyone is onboarded to listen to their valuable customers.
At the moment there are three roles in within the company, who utilize Aiwo in daily or weekly basis: employees who work in developmental roles, Sales Managers and the Top Managers/the Reporting Level.
The Development team, who lead the improvement projects and development projects, analyze customer feedback from Aiwo and produce insights that support Stockmann’s developmental actions. The Sales Managers, on the other hand, manage the daily managerial tasks and actions and monitor the sentiment and the key themes that Aiwo observes from the feedback. Also, the Sales Manager team is following the day’s mood from Aiwo and how the sentiment is developing, and searching if there is something in the feedback that needs quick reaction.
And then the third group who uses Aiwo is the Top Management or the Reporting Level roles, who use Aiwo in strategic decision making. They monitor the holistic big picture from Aiwo. Our Top Management is following the whole customer journey and customer experience by going through from Aiwo what topics are rising, where are the biggest pain points and how the sentiment is evolving. Aiwo allows the management to identify things where we need to put more effort or add resources, Toivakainen tells.
Toivakainen highlights that Stockmann is still in an early stage of using Aiwo and feels that there is a lot that they can learn even more from using the service. In the future Stockmann hopes that there will be more Aiwo users within the company. There are other wishes as well.
We are looking for the best practice to utilize Aiwo in an efficient way so that everyone is not doing the same analysis and spending time diving in Aiwo. In the future, we want to learn to produce the insights and share them with every team member and colleague at Stockmann. This would be the best way to utilize Aiwo for Stockmann, Toivakainen emphasizes.
Since Stockmann started utilizing Aiwo in their customer understanding they have found many benefits from the service. Stockmann collects lots of customer feedback on daily basis, so Toivakainen is glad how Aiwo helps them to stay on the top of customer feedback and on customer pulse efficiently. Aiwo’s ability to follow the feedback easily was something that impressed the company. With an easy way to follow the feedback, Stockmann is able to stay aware of the feedback’s overall sentiment and everything what their customers are talking about. But are there any other benefits that Toivakainen would name?
Aiwo is a very powerful communication tool. We can easily share the visualizations, the sentiments and changes in the feedback within and between our teams and colleagues. This is a very important benefit for us as well.
Toivakainen feels that one important benefit of using Aiwo is that the service helps them to focus on their actions correctly. Aiwo CX allows Stockmann to prioritize their decisions and follow the impacts of the taken actions and react when needed.
That’s something we wouldn’t be able to do without the help of Aiwo and the AI, Toivakainen emphasizes.
Aiwo makes the process of customer understanding clearer for Stockmann, when they collect customer feedback by asking the emotional experience and reasons for that through open questions. When Aiwo analyses the open feedback with Aiwo which gives them the overall big picture of the whole customer experience. After this Stockmann is able to make actions in every touch point level to provide even better experiences for their valuable customers. Stockmann has found this really useful.
We aim to make the whole customer journey visible and to understand how the experience evolves throughout the customer journey. This is something we visualize with the help of Aiwo: how the customer experience improves and what are the peaks and the gaps in the experience, says Toivakainen.
There have already been many concrete use case examples of how Stockmann has achieved significant business benefit after starting to use Aiwo. One good example relates to Stockmann’s e-commerce. The company collects feedback from their e-commerce customers from two different measurement points:
One is pre-purchase and the second is after-purchase. The pre-purchase is the point when the customer is for example, exploring our selection. So, the customer hasn’t purchased anything yet. The after-purchase, on the other hand, means the point where the customer has successfully purchased the product. At both touch points we ask our customers’ the open question “How are you feeling right now?”, Toivakainen narrates.
Toivakainen tells that with Aiwo, they are now able to monitor in real-time how the customer experience is evolving in e-commerce. In weekly basis, the E-commerce and Development team are monitoring and analyzing the feedback with the Aiwo CX.
They deep dive into e-commerce feedback and based on the analysis from Aiwo they are figuring out what is something we could improve in our pre-purchase and after-purchase. By identifying customer pain points from the feedback, the team can prioritize things on the development roadmap and make decisions about what to improve or have on the roadmap based on the customer understanding that Aiwo constructs for them.
Best of all, Stockmann’s Development team can put the observations into action by implementing the improvement decisions into practice. Toivakainen says that a very interesting factor of Aiwo is the ability to follow the impacts of taken development actions.
It’s important for us that we are able to follow the impacts of the development actions we do.
Toivakainen shares a concrete example from their e-commerce, where their team was able to make quick actions based on the customer feedback analysis that Aiwo had analyzed in real-time.
Stockmann noticed that their customers were leaving lots of feedback regarding to online store’s shopping basket’s reservation time, which was reflected as negative sentiment in the Aiwo user interface. Customers weren’t happy with the reservation time, which they found too short.
Our team was able to react quickly and extend the reservation time. Very soon right after the change they were able to see from Aiwo that our customer experience was improving in real-time. We didn’t get the feedback regarding the reservation time anymore. That was very impressive! We noticed the issue from Aiwo, we were able to react and take actions right away. And after this we could saw that it had an impact, Toivakainen rejoices.
Toivakainen is looking forward to seeing, what the future will bring in Stockmann’s and Aiwo’s cooperation and feels that Aiwo will bring a lot of value to the company that it can leverage. At the same time Toivakainen is curious to see what new features Aiwo will bring in the future.
We are constantly learning to use and utilize Aiwo better. We are creating new habit and integrating the usage of Aiwo in our daily processes. At the same time, I can see how Aiwo is bringing new features in the user interface and improving Aiwo’s capability. The service is getting better all the time. Having said these, I believe the future will be bright to Stockmann and to our cooperation with Aiwo. I’m eager to see what will happen.
Stockmann has been happy with collaborating with Aiwo. The Aiwo Team’s quick response and ability to listen are especially praised by Toivakainen who describes the collaboration as follows:
It has been very smooth! I’m very impressed how quickly Aiwo Team was able to onboard themselves to our needs, expectations and our situation. Every time we ask something or wish something more, Aiwo’s experts are able to react in seconds. It’s impressive!
Also, communication between Aiwo and the company receives great feedback:
The communication is in a good level. I’m very satisfied with that. It feels that we are all along on the same page. We know what’s happening, what we have done and what we will do next. Overall, the cooperation has been very satisfying, Toivakainen praises.
Article Pictures: Kenneth Luoto. Stockmann Group.