Search Report
2015 Sustainability Report
published 2016/07/13

Customer satisfaction as the highest goal

VAUDE relies on close contact with its customers – including both retail and end customers. Their feedback is incorporated in the development of new collections.

In dialogue with customers

We manufacture products for our end customers to use. Their satisfaction is therefore our main goal. They have high expectations on the performance, safety and ecological manufacturing of our products. Our customers want to have fun engaging in outdoor activities safely - with products that are as "clean" as possible.

Dissatisfaction often goes unnoticed

There are scientific studies which show that only about four percent of dissatisfied customers express their concerns to the company. In standard information channels such as complaint management - you only see the tip of the iceberg. Dissatisfied customers usually avoid the products. Further studies show that a dissatisfied customer expresses their dissatisfaction within their environment – which can result in a loss of 9 - 20 potential customers who do not purchase the brand.

Retailers are also important partners. They are our direct link to our end customers. In order to sell our products successfully, our partners must have confidence in VAUDE and VAUDE products. A good partnership and long-term cooperation with our retailers is therefore of utmost importance to us.

Direct contact with the customer

VAUDE relies on contact with its customers that is as direct as possible – with retailers as well as with end customers. Our sales representatives’ close contact with retail as well as regular meetings with major customers provides us with a precise picture of our customers’ needs and their level of satisfaction. This feedback flows directly into the development of our product collections. 

Based on seasonal complaint rates, we see where we are not meeting our customers’ needs. They provide us with valuable feedback on customer satisfaction. These evaluations are incorporated into the development of the next product collections. Significant points are also included in our internal documentation and training programs. These documents for quality standards are reviewed and updated annually.

Zendesk answers questions of all kinds


For customers who do not want to file a complaint but rather have questions, VAUDE has set up a customer portal (Zendesk). Customers can contact us over our website and ask us their questions. These inquiries are answered by someone from the VAUDE sales team. The topics cover questions about the optimal product for certain tours, replacement parts, questions about harmful substances in the products, and repair requests for older VAUDE products. This information also flows directly back into our product development and quality requirements.

This information and feedback is incorporated directly back into our product development and quality requirements.

While in the past we primarily evaluated complain figures systematically and directed this information into the development of our collections, quality documents and training, we are now evaluating all of the information from Zendesk systematically and using it to improve our products and performance. We still see potential here to gain more meaningful information for increasing customer satisfaction.

For 2015, we once again evaluated customer satisfaction with the Zendesk to draw conclusions about our service.

Satisfaction Score

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The satisfaction score is the percentage of customers that evaluated the VAUDE reply to their request good.

Number of customer requests to VAUDE

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Evaluated customer requests to VAUDE

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In 2015, our Satisfaction Score was 77.7%, which means we surpassed our goal of 76%. Reminder: in 2014, the Satisfaction Score was 67.3%. By simplifying the evaluation process, we hope to improve our rate even further.

There were some bad reviews, for example, as a result of "old baggage" such as missing spare parts or defective trolley wheels. Based on these findings, the "Optimization of Spare Parts Management" project was launched in 2016. The goal is to have all necessary spare parts in sufficient quantities and colors available.

»Dialogue is importatnt to us because it communicates our stakeholders` expectations and needs, and provides us with even more ideas for improvement.«

Hendrik Maier, Consumer Communications

Customer reviews at Amazon

Customers who bought our products online at Amazon can evaluate both their purchase experience and the product. Customers can share their level of satisfaction using a point system and by writing their own reviews. We have not yet implemented a systematic, qualitative analysis of the comments. However, conclusions can be drawn from the customer’s point based ratings. For evaluations, customers can assign up to five stars. Four to five stars are considered positive, three starts neutral and zero to two stars negative. In the last 12 months 4,413 reviews were written. 83.25% of them were positive, 9.2% negative and 7.55% were neutral.

Social media as barometer of public opinion

Social media plays an essential role for us, since it allows us to appeal specifically to a young audience. Direct contact is also ensured over this channel. We want to achieve broad identification with our products and the VAUDE brand with our monthly image videos. The number of hits, the average watch time, and high degree of positive comments attest to the fact that we are on the right track.

Numerous awards

VAUDE received a total of 46 product awards in 2015. Again, this is an indication of customer satisfaction.

Overview Product Awards (Hall of Fame)

Ratings in retailer studies


Since VAUDE does not ship to end customers directly, retailers are a very important group of customers for the company. After launching in 2013, we once again actively participated in the a satisfaction survey of retailers conducted by the independent market research institute "Benchmark Excellence" in 2015. Retailers from all over Germany were asked to rate 13 outdoor brands – including Jack Wolfskin, The North Face, and Haglöfs. Benchmarking objective: the systematical assessment of manufacturers by retail customers in order to adopt better policies and to improve cooperation with retail.

VAUDE defends its 1st place position

In 2013 VAUDE achieved the top overall rating in the study - by a wide margin. In six of the seven assessment areas, VAUDE landed in first place:

  • Customer Service
  • Business development / support
  • Logistics & supply chain
  • Retail marketing
  • Product range development
  • Personnel

In the 2015 survey, VAUDE defended its leading position and even expanded upon it. For us, this top ranking is a valuable confirmation of our active partnership with retailers.

Graphic ranking (see companies book 2016, p. 36)zoom
GRI:   G4-PR5
Results of surveys measuring customer satisfaction
GRI:   G4-DMA Customer Satisfaction
Disclosure on Management Approach Customer Satisfaction
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