Simple, easily adopted, highly effective

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IKEA Japan

Simple, easily adopted, highly effective

Cliff Crosbie, SVP Global Retail Prism Skylabs:

Working with Andre and his team on IKEA Japan was a true pleasure. They took the time to understand the IKEA model and found a way to work that fit the culture and working style of IKEA as well as the culture of our Japanese customers. The result was a fantastic program that became an ongoing chant and call to action throughout IKEA Japan about putting the 'Customer First!' The program was simple, easily adopted and highly effective. Customer feedback changed almost overnight.

The Challenge

IKEA Japan had a problem: its customers demanded a much higher standard of service than is usual in other countries/ markets. The IKEA-model is heavily based on self-service, and requires people to do most of the shopping themselves. Competitors offered much more pro-active service in the stores, for a much higher price. "It was clear that we needed an efficient and effective way in which we could put the Japanese customer first," says Cliff Crosbie, former Deputy Country Manager at IKEA Japan. Yet, this way had to fit the IKEA culture. IKEA's mission was to establish IKEA's brand identity in Japan. This meant that the company wanted to stick to its globally successful concept and strategy.

The Solution

Together with IKEA, Performance Solutions took the time to really understand the IKEA model and think about how the brand could fit within the Japanese customer culture. We scanned the retail landscape in Tokyo, and combined this with insights from interviews with customers and staff. This research resulted in the 'Customer 1st!' program, which was rolled out in IKEA stores throughout Japan.

IKEA as Acronym FOR THE Desired Experience

To express IKEA's desired experience, we used their name as an acronym: Inspiring, Knowledgable, Engaging, and Assisting. We then reversed the acronym in order to describe the steps that lead to the desired experience: Assist to Engage. Be Knowledgable to Inspire.

Context Guide for 'Train the Trainers'

The acronym formed the base for the IKEA context guide, which links the desired customer experience to corporate and national vision, mission and strategy. The context guide was the source document for our 'Train the Trainer' program, where IKEA employees themselves became trainers of the program. Cliff Crosbie: "Getting that program into the stores was certainly one of the highlights of my time in Japan, and was a major part of the success we experienced on the sales floor."

The Results

  • High engagement amongst trained employees, due to cocreation.
  • Significant increase in employee and customer satisfaction.
  • Direct boost in sales in both conversion and average transaction.

Yoko Kitano, Customer Relations Manager Ikea Japan: "Performance Solutions has developed a wonderful sales training program for IKEA Japan. We have a strong company value in which we all believe and a system to support it. Performance Solutions closed the gap in between. We love it, and we live it!"

IKEA's Solutions

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    Ready for a change of perspective? Reverse Thinking & Engineering puts your desired customer experience first.

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We are Experience Engineers

At Performance Solutions we are experience engineers. We tune your engines and help you create exceptional experiences. We work to make people happy and go above and beyond what is expected of us. We love to hear what we can do for you.

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