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2017 Sustainability Report
published 2018/08/01

We want you to be satisfied.

We rely on close contact with you – both “you” as retail partners and “you” as end customers. Your feedback is very important to us in order to continue the development of our products and services.

Why your satisfaction is so important to us

We manufacture products so that you, our end customers, can use them so of course your satisfaction is extremely important to us. We know that you have high expectations on the performance, safety and ecological manufacturing of our products. After all, you want to have fun engaging in outdoor activities safely – with products that are as "clean" as possible.


And to be honest, we are really happy when you come back. When you tell us about your experiences with your products – positive or negative. We see your feedback as a chance to improve our products and services.


After all, we know that only a small percentage of dissatisfied customers express their concerns to the company and their frustration often goes unnoticed. Most dissatisfied customers will probably avoid our products in the future and communicate their disappointment in their own environment. On the one hand, this eliminates our chance for improvement, and on the other hand, it curbs potential customers from buying our products.


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.


We maintain direct contact

We at VAUDE rely on contact with our 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 can see where we are not meeting our customers’ needs. These evaluations provide us with valuable feedback on customer satisfaction and 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. In 2017 we processed 10935 tickets. We can be reached at ticket.vaude.com
Zendesk

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


While in the past we primarily evaluated complaint 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 2017, we once again evaluated customer satisfaction with the Zendesk Satisfaction Score to draw conclusions about our service.


Satisfaction Score

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Number of Tickets

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Evaluated Tickets

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In 2017, our Satisfaction Score was 76 %, which means we met our goal precisely. 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. The positive effects of this measure should become apparent in the coming years.


This project has now been successfully completed and all spare parts are available and can also be obtained in retail stores.


Customer reviews at Amazon

If you buy your products over Amazon, you can evaluate both the purchase experience and the product.

You can share your level of satisfaction using a point system and by writing your 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.

Products can be rated with up to five stars. We evaluate four to five stars as positive, three stars as neutral and zero to 2 stars as negative. In 2017, 1,578 reviews were made. 79.47 % of these were positive, 8.94 % were negative and 11.6 % were neutral.

Social media as barometer of public opinion

Many of you contact us using social media.

Not only are our pictures, videos and posts commented on and shared, many of you take the opportunity to write to us directly. We take your feedback and, when appropriate, refer you back to our support platform at help.vaude.com.

Our products win awards

VAUDE received a total of 51 product awards.

This is also an indication of customer satisfaction. By the way, all the award-winning products meet our Green Shape criteria.


A total of 51 product awards in 2017

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 the launch in 2013 and its continuation in 2015, we once again actively participated in a satisfaction survey of retailers conducted by the independent market research institute "Benchmark Excellence" in 2016/17. Retailers from all over Germany were asked to rate 13 outdoor brands. The 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

Retail is our most important partner
 
 

In 2013 and 2015, VAUDE achieved the top overall rating in the study - by a wide margin. In the third survey 2016/17, VAUDE maintained its 1st place position and even expanded upon it. We see this ranking as a valuable confirmation of our beloved partnerships with retail. The following criteria was surveyed in the study:


  • Personnel
  • Logistics and the Supply Chain
  • Customer service
  • Business relationships / support
  • End consumer marketing
  • Product range development
  • Retail marketing and sales support 


An overview of the results (benchex GmbH / Mai 2017)zoom
GRI:   102-43
Approach to stakeholder engagement Key topics and concerns raised
GRI:   102-44
Approach to stakeholder engagement Key topics and concerns raised
GRI:   103
Management Approach
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