MediaMarkt, Europe’s largest consumer electronics retailer, has a saying in its Turkish stores: Bakmadan Almam—I don’t buy without looking. The tongue-in-cheek catchphrase is a nod to the average shopper in Turkey. Mostly young and tech savvy, Turkey consumers use digital and in-store channels interchangeably when researching products and are attuned to global tech trends.
Turkey also happens to be one of MediaMarkt’s fastest growing markets. A confluence of factors—Turkey’s youthful population, a rising demand for the latest digital gadgets, and access to consumer credit—have positioned Turkey as a key market for the organization.
Meeting customer expectations is critical as the company looks to maintain growth. But what worked in the past (read: siloed, cookie-cutter retail) won’t work today. Instead, the company has embarked on a customer-centric transformation.
In 1979, entrepreneurs Leopold Stiefel, Walter Gunz, Erich Kellerhals, and Helga Kellerhals opened the first MediaMarkt store in Munich, Germany. At the time, offering a large selection of consumer electronics in one store was an innovative idea. The store model was greatly successful, and the company founders replicated it across Europe.
Fast forward to today, where MediaMarkt operates in 14 different countries, making it the second largest consumer electronics retailer after Best Buy. Turkey received its first MediaMarkt store in 2007. Today there are 63 MediaMarkt stores in Turkey serving 100 million customers online and in stores.
Many of MediaMarkt’s Turkish customers are relatively young. The median age of the country’s population of 79 million people is just over 30. Recent political and economic uncertainty may have dampened consumer spending, but Turkey’s young consumers are expected to fuel spending growth in coming years, with the help of consumer credit. To spur consumption rates, the Turkish government has made consumer credit more accessible by decreasing interest rates and reducing down-payment requirements, reports Euromonitor International.
The rise of young, digitally connected consumers—Turkey’s mobile penetration is more than 94 percent—also makes it very appealing to an electronics retailer like MediaMarkt.
“Turkey will be one of Europe’s largest markets for our group in 2020,” said MediaMarkt Turkey CEO Yenal Gökyildirim at an annual review meeting, reported the Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah. “Turkey is very important for us.”
A CX transformation
The retail landscape has changed considerably since MediaMarkt first opened its doors nearly 40 years ago. Most products have been commoditized and competing on price is a slippery slope. And as in other parts of the world, e-commerce has a growing presence in Turkey while mall and in-store traffic stagnate.
To be competitive, MediaMarkt Turkey had to shift from a product-focused mindset to one that centered on the customer’s needs. “We want our customers to have fun and…we want to create wow moments for our customers,” Gökyildirim told Customer Strategist.
However, customer centricity was a foreign notion to many employees. MediaMarkt stores had low Net Promoter Scores (the company did not share the exact figures) and most employees didn’t “know what NPS was and why it would be important to gather the customer voice,” Gökyildirim added.
Two years ago, MediaMarkt Turkey began laying the groundwork for improving its customer experience. One of the company’s first moves was to launch a customer experience department that includes customer experience managers from all of its stores in Turkey.
The customer experience department’s initiatives included using NPS results as a framework for guiding improvements in its stores, its e-commerce site, and contact center. For instance, if a store receives low scores due to a lack of employee product knowledge and/or a poor attitude toward the customer, store management is alerted to provide employees with additional coaching. The company also uses NPS surveys combined with other key performance indicators (KPIs) that affect customer satisfaction, such as resolution times, to evaluate inbound calls to its contact center.
Additionally, at the company’s Turkey headquarters, the company keeps customer experience scorecards for each of its suppliers, which include areas like field service. When customers return a product for repairs, MediaMarkt rates suppliers on the quality of the repair, length of time for the repair, and other factors. Doing so helps MediaMarkt control the quality of the service, which is ultimately a win for the suppliers as well since it helps drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.
“Based on these scorecards, we made periodical meetings with suppliers, [many of whom] are happy to see that we perceive customer experience as an important issue,” Gökyildirim said.
As a result of the company’s concerted efforts, after 1.5 years, MediaMarkt Turkey doubled its overall NPS score. “Now everyone is aware of NPS, [the] customer voice, and every department has KPIs [to measure] customer experiences besides NPS,” Gökyildirim said.
Next step: journey mapping
Tying NPS results to employee and supplier performance is only the beginning. The company is also intent on mapping the customer touchpoints across its stores and digital channels to get a comprehensive view of the customer.
“We know that customers value product variety, price, promotions, and skilled sales staff,” Gökyildirim said. “What we need to find out is what we can offer more for our customers. We want to surprise our customers in a good way.”
MediaMarkt’s next step in its CX strategy is to assess the company’s customer journeys, with the help of Peppers & Rogers Group this summer. The objective is to “design and implement the ideal experience scenarios for customers across all channels and touchpoints,” says Alpay Akdemir, a partner at Peppers & Rogers Group.
For example, if a customer wants to make a purchase online and pick it up in a store, how can MediaMarkt ensure that it’s a smooth experience? Where should employees be positioned to offer assistance and what information will they need to access? Which KPIs will be measured and how frequently? The team will be exploring these questions and more as it works to help MediaMarkt deliver a superior customer experience.
In addition to identifying gaps in the customer experience, the company also plans to identify opportunities to sell more and decrease costs of service by helping the company be more efficient, better understand customer behavior, and ultimately increase customer loyalty.
MediaMarkt’s challenges are not new in the retail space. Around the world, retailers grapple with how to connect the offline and digital customer experience to build loyalty and continue to grow, while lowering the cost to serve.
The company’s expectations for the project’s success are “very high,” Gökyildirim said. “By 2020, we aim to be the leader of the consumer electronics retail sector in Turkey.”