Crm Branded vs de-Branded Customer Experiences at Ikea and Staples

Topics: Customer service, Brand, Customer Pages: 8 (2379 words) Published: April 23, 2013
Branded vs. De-branded:

Customer Experiences at Ikea and Staples
By Sampson Lee, G-CEM

I recently had two unpleasant buying experiences. One was at Ikea, where I went to buy office furniture, and the other one was at Staples, whose online store I visited to buy a magazine rack. Every time I shop at Ikea, I swear I won’t be back again. But I keep coming back. On the contrary, it seems unlikely I will buy again at Staples. Why, if both delivered unpleasant experiences, does Ikea still win my loyalty? The In-store Customer Experience at Ikea Do you like shopping at Ikea? It’s not for me. However, I would say I am a loyal customer of Ikea – I keep going back and most of my office and home furnishings are from Ikea. Why? From far away you can see the giant Ikea building in the corporate colors – yellow and blue. Assuming you drive, you’ll find it’s difficult to locate a vacant space in the car park. As you step into the entrance, you find that the interior decoration is pretty attractive and stylish. A free paper ruler, plastic shopping bag and trolley are available for you as you start your DIY tour. The unique “one way” floor design of Ikea forces you to walk through every single display area: living room, dining room, kitchen, study, bedroom, washroom, kid’s room etc. There is no shortcut to your destination. In most cases, you have to spend hours at Ikea even to buy a single piece of furniture. The products are great in look and style, for most items the price is reasonable (at least to me, in the Chinese middle class). The different displays stimulate my shopping impulses and give me alternative ideas on how to decorate my home. I move chairs and tables around and test different combinations, I try out the products – this is the moment I enjoy most in the store. And I have to admit, the signage and labels are attractive, informative and help me to distinguish and choose among different items from various categories.

Customer service is very limited and staff is usually busy and surrounded by customers. The bathrooms are just so-so, and far from adequate with long lines especially on holidays. If you bring your kids, you can leave them in the kids’ playroom so you can shop in peace. The play area looks safe and fun for kids. The canteen is great; they serve good meals at below-market prices, such as RMB3 (USD1 = RMB8) for a big hot dog and RMB9 for a set meal. Fast food like this is well-received by young families. The most painful process is trying to locate your chosen items from the huge storage area, and then placing them in the cart. It’s certainly not an easy or fun task, especially when you are moving a big piece of furniture, like a sofa. If you manage to survive this step, you wait in a long line to check out, and then you go to another counter to arrange delivery and installation (if you need it.) Delivery will add a one-week wait for your furniture to arrive ready for use. In China, there’s one more stop if you need an official invoice for your purchase. Well, if it’s summer, I pay RMB1 to have an ice-cream cone before I leave. It tastes good and it’s cheap. As for everything else, what a day!

CEM Process Map and Emotion Curve of Ikea

CEM Process Map – IKEA
Positive Feeling

9 6 3 7 10 1 4 2 13 8 14 20


Emotion Curve Time


12 5 11 15 16

17 19 18



Negative Feeling
© 2001-2006 GCCRM All rights reserved.


CEM Sub Processes 1. Building Look 2. Car Park 3. Interior Decoration 4. DIY Shopping Tools 5. The Round Tour 6. Product Quality 7. Reasonable Prices 8. Displays 9. Trying out Products 10. Labels & Signage 11. On-floor Staff Service 12. Bathroom 13. Kids’ Playroom 14. Canteen 15. Searching Stock 16. Picking Stock 17. Check-out 18. Arranging Delivery 19. Arranging Installation 20. RMB1 ice-cream at the exit

Online Customer Experience at Staples Recently, we decided to buy a magazine rack for our office. Being attracted by...
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