Customer relations and delivery reliability are key
We want the dealers and users of our products to be the most satisfied customers in the tyre industry. Delivery reliability is one of the prerequisites of success in this industry, which is heavily built around the peak seasons.
We want to be the top choice for our customers. Accordingly, our strategy specifies customer satisfaction and good partnership as one development need. Long customer relationships based on trust provide both parties with opportunities for improvement and success. We support our customers’ success through commercial collaboration and our pricing policy, among other things.
In autumn 2016, we carried out our annual customer satisfaction survey simultaneously in 14 different markets. We chose to do this with telephone interviews because we wanted to gain an in-depth understanding of our customers’ business environment. The survey covered some 200 customers. We received positive feedback for our delivery capabilities in nearly all regions. The respondents assessed their overall satisfaction on a scale from 0 (poor) to 10 (excellent). 78% of the respondents gave us a score of 8, 9 or 10. Our customers especially praised the good accuracy of our deliveries. The Nokian Tyres’ employees also received positive feedback.
We will improve our operations further based on the feedback. In 2017, for example, we will launch online services, which were also brought up in the customer satisfaction survey.
Delivery reliability is critical for success
Nokian Tyres’ products are sold in more than 60 countries by thousands of customer companies as well as our own sales organisation. By delivery reliability, we mean that the right products are delivered according to contract in terms of the product quality, method of transport, delivery location, delivery time and price.
One special characteristic of our core market is that the sales of passenger car tyres are heavily built around two peak seasons. Succeeding during the peak seasons is essential for Nokian Tyres’ business: We sell most of our summer tyres to consumers a few weeks before and after Easter. Consumer sales of winter tyres peak between September and November depending on the weather conditions, and we sell an estimated 30% of our winter tyres in the first 10 days after the first snowfall.
Our key success factors are our extensive distribution network and flexible and efficient logistics. Nokian Tyres and Vianor have worked for a long time towards improving and streamlining their logistics. In many cases, forecasting delivery volumes to partners is the only way to ensure sufficient capacity during the peak seasons. Tyre transports are planned 1 to 6 months in advance, and inventory forecasts are made up to two years ahead.
By maintaining an extensive network and building long-term partnerships, we can ensure good readiness to respond to changes, for instance by using alternative delivery routes or delivery partners.
Online services create a better customer experience
Nokian Tyres had created a digital service for its customers, which provides access to training content, product information and the ordering channel. The new online service will launch in the spring of 2017, starting in Europe. The online concept is being developed based on a need identified in our customer satisfaction surveys.
For our business, it is essential that our customers know the company and the products we produce. Establishing strong product and company knowledge and earning mutual trust in all aspects make it easier for the customer to sell our products and conduct profitable business operations.
Our development efforts are driven by digitalisation and the changes it has brought to Nokian Tyres and our customers. Today, tyre manufacturers must be able to provide customers with information quickly, for example on product pricing, availability and technical details.
The online service improves the availability of information and reduces the need to travel in a cost-efficient way. The service also enables everyone to access the same information and makes it easy to implement changes and updates.
Vianor aims at better customer service through employee well-being
In 2016, the Vianor chain started the Premium Customer Journey initiative, which harmonises customer service practices and renews the store concept. The goal is to create the best possible workplace and customer experience.
The idea behind Premium Customer Journey is that the best customer experience is created by motivated employees with good job satisfaction and the right level of competence. The HR development measures and mutual trainings create a new, shared approach.
We started Premium Customer Journey in 2016 by training the first customer service ambassadors and coaches for implementing the theme in their own organisations. In the five selected Vianor pilot outlets, we kicked off the initiative with a board game day, discussing the practices related to the work and customer service. At the same time, we introduced a new 5S model in our pilot outlets. It defines a new level of housekeeping and cleanliness, which provides better comfort and safety. Throughout Premium Customer Journey, we coach the supervisors on better leadership and motivation.
Our goal for 2017 is to extend the initiative to ten Vianor outlets. In the coming years, the new model will apply to all Vianor personnel.
Top consumer choice
Vianor aims at being the top choice for consumers – a service provider that offers a comfortable customer experience in car servicing as well as tyre changes. The renewal of the store concept addresses consumers’ current needs, including the ability to focus on their own work while they wait. We will also improve the customer experience with digital services that will be improved continually.
We track customer satisfaction on a daily basis with HappyOrNot Smiley Terminals, which collect immediate customer feedback.