Castorama – a European home improvement chain uses surveys to ensure equally high customer satisfaction across all sales channels. To maintain and constantly improve their customers satisfaction, Castorama decided to collect feedback with Survicate website and email surveys.
Castorama is a home improvement store chain offering everything from building materials, furnishings to power tools. The brand is a part of the international Kingfisher group with total annual turnover of over 10 billion British Pounds. In Poland, the Castorama brand is present since 1994, and as of 2017, it has 74 stores all over the country. Tom Stefanowski, Web Development Manager, at Castorama says, “is a country’s leader with over 48% coverage of the Polish offline market.”
In three years Castorama.pl evolved from being just an online product catalog into a unique e-commerce sales model. The e-commerce platform does not have any central warehouse. The local stores handle online orders eliminating this way the rivalry in sales numbers between offline and online channels.
Castorama sales model has its core in the local markets. All the stores have the autonomy to price range according to the regional market and surrounding brick-and-mortar stores. The same model has been transferred to the e-commerce platform where product offer and prices depend on the user’s location and the store which handles the order.
Simple solutions require advanced tools
To provide an intuitive shopping experience, Castorama’s team included advanced algorithms. Working in the background, they allow users to easily click through the offer of every Castorama store in Poland. Updated every 20 minutes, the stock includes over 50 thousand products from every store. Users can see up to date availability and product details.
When a customer starts shopping, the algorithm calculates all the available shipping options and fees. From the very light and bulky mineral wool to small but heavy parquet packs, the shipping must fit the products. The most important part of the calculation is to keep the possibly minimal shipping cost. When finalizing the purchase, customers can choose the most convenient shipping method.
After the purchase, the local store takes over the order. To supervise the quality of the services, Castorama.pl sends customers an email survey right after the order is delivered. The idea was proposed during the creation of the new e-commerce platform. The Fuse Collective, a digital agency, was responsible for implementing Survicate surveys into the e-commerce platform. Tom Maciąg, Strategy and UX Lead at Fuse Collective admits, “we have tested many different apps. Survicate stood out. Not to mention that we got a great feedback tool for our website in the package.”
Guarding the quality
The first stage of the buyer’s journey can be analyzed in real time via the tools installed on the e-commerce platform. However, in the case of Castorama equally important is what happens after the order button is clicked. That is where surveys fill out space, allowing users to rate, review and report their offline purchase experiences.
To track the customer satisfaction outside the e-commerce, Castorama uses Survicate email surveys. The message containing a thank you note and a survey is sent right after the order has been picked up. Customers can rate their experience on five-level smiley face scale. If the respondent clicks on one of the sad faces, he is redirected to another question asking for the details of his rating.
Survicate attributes each survey with three specific parameters: Customer ID, Store ID, and Order ID. This way the survey can be directly sent to the store which completed the order.
All the local stores have access to the customer support platform where they can track customers’ satisfaction. “It was important to us that our stores receive customers’ feedback immediately. Customer satisfaction is a direct assessment of their work, and we are obliged to pass it over to them” says Tom Stefanowski.
Some customer feedback can directly influence the processes at the local stores. Such case occurred when one of the customers had a problem with the shipping of his order. His purchase arrived with a significant delay which cost him a delay at the construction site. The unhappy customer filled out the email survey and described the occurred situation.
The store responsible for completing the order receives the feedback in real time. This allowed the store manager to personally resolve the issue by refunding the shipping costs to the customer. Thanks to the automatized feedback process the complaint was solved in less than one hour since the customer submitted the survey.
Survicate also helps Castorama in collecting feedback on their website. When a customer does not complete the purchase, a targeted website survey pops-up to examine the reasons for cart abandonment. One of the issues that users point out is high shipping costs. Based on the collected feedback, Tom and his developer’s can pinpoint the product that is causing the miscalculation. This way they can fix the errors almost immediately after receiving feedback.
“From time to time, it is possible that amid 50 thousand products there will be one with incorrect details. These small mistakes have a direct influence on the shipping calculations. Thanks to our users’ feedback we can quickly detect such exceptions,” Tom Stefanowski admits.
Home Improvement Helping Hand
One of the parts of Castorama’s DNA is the personal customer consulting. All the store’s employees are home improvement experts ready to help their customers. Tom Stefanowski wanted to transfer this crucial part of the company into the e-commerce platform as well. “Our employees have great experience and knowledge of home improvement. The personal consultancy is part of our core values. It was crucial to us that the e-commerce channel will also reflect that,” Tom Stefanowski explains.
To discover what kind of professional aid customers value and need the most in the online store, Castorama used the Survicate’s Targeted Website Surveys. The results from one of them prompted Castorama to developed a tile meterage calculator. Now customers can estimate the number of boxes, square meters or pieces needed to tile a surface. After some time this feature was also upgraded with other requested products like floor panels and carpets.
“What matters the most is that we collect valuable and actionable feedback. It influences the development of the business and our growth,” reveals Tom Maciąg, Strategy and UX Lead at Fuse Collective.
The way in which Castorama uses feedback showcases how e-commerce and local stores can work together to improve customer satisfaction. The effortless process allows the company to focus on their main mission, to make home improvement accessible for everyone.