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Using Technology To Maximize Customer Feedback

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Anton Langeler | IT Director | O'Neill Europe

I was visiting the first collection meeting, which is the time that all designers present the new collection to the new sales force. We have at least 250 sales force coming from 34 countries in Europe. They have a lot of feedback, but always too late, because the designer starts six months before to design the collection—“We are missing some colors. The competitor had a better price.” They have a lot of other things; they give a lot of commands. Then I was interested. How can I use the feedback of the sales rep and bring that to the designers? For me it was most important, how can I find a solution in IT to gather all the information and also I measure the results? What I did is create a nice application. I asked every sales rep, "What is the best seller? What is the worst seller?" I ask them to tell about five important things. "What is the quality? What do you find about the colors? What do you find about the fitting? What do you find about the price?" And maybe other commands. Based on that I ask, "How many do you think you can sell?" Then comes the challenge. I have all the feedback of the 250 sales reps together. Now, how can you present it back to the designers so that they can correct some small things in the collection? After that I measure the results, after four months, at the moment that the retailer visits the sales rep. And then it is nice. We learned if we use the feedback in the right way, we present all the information together, and bring this knowledge together that it is a lesson learned for the designers, but we also get the right information out to the market. Also, learn a lot from the sales rep. That means plan, do, check, and act. I can tell you that every sales rep is now happy, but also the designers are happy because we give them the right tools to improve their collection.

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