The way to success

Case: Dutch retailer creates a fantastic & uniform customer experience by effectively changing local teams across 171 offices.

The retail organisation is the Dutch market leader in (children’s) books, magazines, newspapers and greeting cards, and one of the largest providers in the field of paper and stationery, lottery, gifts and school supplies. They are operating in a changing environment where customers tend to shift to online sales. The retail organisation however strongly believes in a multichannel approach so clients can be served 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In order to realise a fantastic 24/7 experience, the retail organisation wanted to establish a new standard of performance at the workplace. This would require a fundamental change for its physical stores and its employees. The solution: ProjectX. A gamified, sector-focussed change program for managers and employees, custom developed in cooperation with a Dutch consultancy firm.

“In an innovative way we wanted to help our employees to become more customer-oriented and to better apply our franchise formula. The result is fantastic and a great step forward for our culture change!” – Former Managing Director

Tapping into intrinsic motivation with ProjectX

The franchise formula of the Dutch retailer is proven to be successful. And with 97% brand awareness it is a very well-known brand. As a company, they are keen to respond to market demands in a pleasant and inspiring way. They want to be the place where people come to get inspired to do something relaxing again: read, write, make, learn and play.

One of the most important features of franchising is uniformity. In each physical store, consumers should have the same customer experience on how they are served, how products are presented and how tools are used. To successfully apply new performance standards to the franchise formula, there is a great dependency on the adoption at the physical stores and its employees.

The franchises have always been independent, deciding on their own direction. Therefore the retail organisation was looking for innovative training techniques that would intrinsically motivate its franchisees. It should trigger their genuine passion for what they are doing and provide a sincere sense of fulfilment.

By cooperating with a Dutch consultancy firm specialised in behavioural change, they created a unique gamified change program: ProjectX. It consisted of one academic application and one game application. The design was based on three specific goals:

  1. Strengthen local teams and improve franchise formula adoption.
  2. Improve and intensify interactions with customers to improve the customer relationship.
  3. Boost sales revenue.

Gamification techniques were applied to inspire intrinsic motivation. It helped players to see the progress they were making towards a bigger goal and towards mastery.

“It was really cool to see how our franchise-colleagues perform in their stores.” – Franchisee location Nootdorp, Netherlands

The return of ProjectX on employees, customers and revenue

ProjectX resulted in great results for the Dutch retailer. It proved to be a great enabler to effectively reach and motivate a larger audience, divided through 171 local offices. The teams and its employees had become stronger by improved cooperation, (franchise formula) training and peer reviews. In addition to team missions, there were individual missions focused on local craftsmanship and visual merchandising. Employees felt proud to be part of the team and the franchise formula.

“Clients really liked the reviews we wrote about books in our store.” – Employee location Woerden, Netherlands

Clients were facing better direct and indirect customer services. This was encouraged with product training, followed by facilitating missions on real interaction with the customer, sharing customer experiences in the team and creating indirect customer interactions.

Participating stores accomplished in every mission more revenue than the non-participating stores, the control groups.

Few highlights (benchmarked against control groups):

  • Local stores participating in the mission “Adopt a book” realised in 3 weeks’ time an additional revenue of 391% from sold adoption books.
  • In participating stores, visual merchandising of school products resulted on average in an incremental increase in revenue of 24%, up to an incremental 44% increase on brand level.
  • Participating stores resulted in 9,2% higher indexed revenue.
“It was great to learn so many new things that could immediately be put in practice on the workplace.” – Employee location Nootdorp

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