IKEA paves the way for digital transformation in its customer care centers

Jaimie Selwa

August 16, 20235 min read

Share this Article

From its humble beginnings as a tiny mail-order company in rural Sweden, IKEA has grown to become a global home furnishing brand that brings affordability, design, and comfort to people all over the world.

Renowned for quality products and a self-serve, ready-to-assemble model, IKEA empowers customers to handle the purchase, transportation, and assembly of their products on their own. But far from abandoning them in their home decorating quests, the company has a robust customer service operation, assisting with design, purchase, shipping, and assembly across all digital and traditional customer service channels.

When customers’ buying behavior changed during the global pandemic, IKEA opted to beef up its customer service to retain its loyal customer base and keep its competitive edge in the retail space. Company leaders revisited their care center strategy, doubled down on agent experience and leveraged technology that would integrate a siloed system while providing world-class, omnichannel support to customers.

“Mobile self-support, order tracking, conversational support through social media and remote design support are just a few examples that we are looking at today,” Alex Soliman explained to Computer Weekly.com. He is customer care center manager for IKEA retail. “That requires us to have the right digital foundation so we can meet customer expectations.”

Table of Contents

Building the care center foundation with ‘togetherness’

Togetherness is at the heart of IKEA culture and one of the company’s eight key values. On the customer service side of the house, IKEA brings teams together to create efficiencies and to align the in-store experience with the online experience. This ensures that whether consumers are engaging with the brand digitally or in-person, the experience is convenient, personalized and seamless.

Keeping agents at the heart of the care center strategy

Recognizing the changing needs and expectations of its customers, IKEA proactively evolved its customer service operation. One major initiative was to revamp the agent experience by identifying knowledge gaps and creating new roles dedicated to specific areas of expertise. These specialized roles enable agents to better address customer concerns and resolve their issues promptly. This not only creates a great customer experience, but also empowers agents and increases their engagement.

Ongoing training and learning opportunities also create a path for development and growth. Agents can enhance their skills, stay up to date with industry best practices and feel more confident in their abilities. This not only boosts job satisfaction but also enables them to provide better customer service.

With awards like Employee of the Month, agents feel valued and appreciated. It motivates them and instills a sense of pride and accomplishment, leading to an increased job satisfaction and a higher level of engagement. Further, healthy competition among team members through team challenges creates a fun work environment, where their performance is highly visible. It motivates employees to strive for excellence. It also enhances teamwork and collaboration as agents work together to win.

Delivering superior omnichannel experience with Sprinklr

IKEA implemented Sprinklr’s unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform as part of its digital transformation to provide a best-in-class omnichannel experience to customers.

Today, IKEA uses Sprinklr for real-time sentiment analysis of brand-relevant conversations online. By actively monitoring these conversations, the company gains valuable insight into the opinions and concerns of its customers. Teams can also see in real time how their content resonates with their audiences. This feedback allows them to promptly address any issues or grievances and build trust and loyalty with their customer base.

IKEA is also launching more communication channels, focusing on those that are most popular in the regions they serve, including WhatsApp and Thailand’s popular messaging app, LINE. Customer feedback, particularly in Mexico, has been overwhelmingly positive. When combined with Sprinklr’s chatbot, IKEA is always on, responding to customer inquiries 24/7. Chatbots gather general information required to respond to customers — and route customer issues that require a human touch to care center agents. This frees up more time for agents to focus on more complex inquiries.

What’s Next?

Success with Sprinklr’s omnichannel platform has motivated IKEA to consider Sprinklr’s guided workflows, which automate business processes and guide agents through customer interactions. This will help to reduce resolution time and improve customer satisfaction by suggesting relevant questions and actions for agents, so they don’t have to type common responses from scratch.

IKEA is also looking to launch Knowledge Base through Sprinklr in order to provide a world-class self-help experience across the digital channels customers prefer. The idea is to reduce agent contact volume and empower customer service teams to leverage proven, consistent information to drive faster resolutions.

Finally, IKEA wants to enhance its care center’s capability and turn it into a profit center with initiatives like conversational commerce. The care center is partnering closely with other departments to forecast remote selling and create a proactive sales model.

Share this Article

Sprinklr Service
Conversational AI and Bots

Related Topics

Innovative marketing and AI leadership: Paul Fasterling’s impact at Estafeta MexicanaHow Garmin's community manager embraces the chaos Luke Cartwright's career journey from showbiz to social media manager at Miral Destinations