RS Components- Connecting the Voice of the Customer with ROI and Culture
“Our desire to continuously innovate and deliver market-
leading customer experiences has, along with Confirmit’s
expertise, enabled us to push back the boundaries of
Voice of the Customer programmes. As a result of our
strong partnership, we have a unique approach that
impacts our business at every level.”
Customer Service Director, RS Components
About RS Components
Established for over 75 years,
RS Components is the world’s
leading high-service distributor
of electronics, automation and
control components, tools and
consumables, serving over a million
customers globally. With operations
across 32 countries and a global
network of distribution centres
worldwide, the organisation ships
more than 44,000 parcels daily.
Connecting the Voice of the Customer
with ROI and Culture Change
In 2014, RS Components undertook a strategic Voice of the Customer (VoC)
programme with the aim of systematically and consistently capturing insights
into the customer experience. This would allow RS Components to gain
visibility into, and create ownership of, the customer across the organisation
through real-time reporting – including individual case management.
The business also aimed to use the programme to deliver a consistent
customer metric to drive and track customer experience improvements
globally, using the insight gathered to determine, develop and deliver
improved customer experience through clear journey mapping.
At the strategic level, RS Components wanted to use the programme to drive
cultural change and business improvement, centred on Net Promoter Score®
(NPS) and Net Easy Score (NES) as the strategic KPIs.
The RS Components VoC programme is split into two areas:
■■ Voice of the Customer surveys: Providing real-time feedback on specific
customer experience interactions, from a preparedness to recommend
(NPS) and from an ease of use scale (NES). This survey is large in scope
Year 1 voc
but very specifically designed, covering 29 markets, 17 languages,
any one of 9 individual activities, and any one or combination of 7
■■ Web channel surveys: Capturing real-time feedback on RS
Components’ websites from the users’ perspective, again based on
NPS and NES. The web surveys cover any one or a combination of 9
individual web-related activities across 27 domains and 17 languages.
All survey data is captured in Confirmit Horizons and used for action
management (alerting, using Confirmit’s Action Management solution),
operational reporting (via Confirmit’s Active Dashboards module) and
strategic reporting (via tailored dashboards using Confirmit Reportal).
All of these mechanisms were put in place with the single objective of
providing a consistent voice of RS Components’ customers across the
In addition, RS Components tracks and analyses all of the verbatim
comments from customers which often hold the most useful insights for
the business and its employees.
The team at RS Components acts on the feedback received from all
channels in a variety of ways, including:
■■ Pre-defined alerts triggers that have been established and
implemented globally, regionally and locally.
■■ A courtesy follow-up to all detractors in order to effectively close the
loop at a contact level.
■■ Follow-up on promoter feedback in key local markets.
Scott Jayes, Customer Services Director at RS Components, explains
the strategic nature of the programme:
“To drive the success of the VoC programme, we have created
dedicated customer experience teams who are empowered to make life
easier for customers, fixing their issues at root cause and going above
and beyond the call of duty when required.
“What’s more, to support our people’s skills and capabilities, we have
implemented a global set of service standards that form part of the RS
Commercial Training Academy. The Commercial Academy and Service
Excellence training programme will become core business training
models for all employees.”
EMEA, +12.5% Net
Easy Score, +11.5%
Net Promoter score
APAC, +66% Net
Easy Score, +33%
Net Promoter score
Full ROI Benefits
correlated for customer
retention, sales and
profit and average order
Survey response -+5%
above global target of 15%
On target to deliver
100,000+ pieces of
Embedding Customer Experience Throughout
The VoC programme has been the catalyst for a
critical cultural change journey for RS Components
and is reflected in its newly created company
mission statement: “To be the most customer-centric
distribution organisation in the world. Connecting
customers with parts and solutions.”
RS Components believed the only way to ensure the
entire VoC programme was joined up throughout
the organisation was to use a single VoC solution.
This is where the Confirmit Horizons platform and its
associated VoC modules came into its own, allowing
the business to build a tailored programme from the
ground up, based on specific goals and defined metrics.
Customer feedback is shared across the company
with consistent reporting to inform the business
■■ The overall customer experience
■■ Comparative views of customer experience across
different markets, customer types
■■ Action needed in specific markets based on
financial and other key business metrics.
■■ Alerts and case management at local market and
customer contact level.
Insight is also used to close the loop through
marketing activities at a macro level to ensure
continued customer engagement and acknowledge
that their feedback is being listened to and acted upon.
“What is most significant here is that RS Components’ employees in
Japan will see exactly the same reporting as their counterparts in
Germany, or the US, or the UK. There is complete consistency across
all regions from a reporting perspective, even though survey feedback
is gathered through multiple touchpoints and in multiple languages.
This approach ensures there are no silos of information and empowers
individual employees to compare their own performance against other
regions/departments, to share cultural learning and drive a culture of
improvement and best practice.”
Customer Services Director, RS Components
Delivering Value for the Business
Major business changes have taken place across RS Components
following the implementation of the VoC programme. Most notably the
fact that all customer experience (CX) activities are centrally governed
to raise the importance of customer experience to a strategic level, and
to ensure consistency across all regions, languages and channels.
The company has established a dedicated, independent CX team,
comprising senior level staff whose responsibility it is to implement
and manage the individual elements of the VoC programme at a global
and regional level. This team has a regular customer slot on the board
meeting monthly agenda, ensuring CX has board-level focus and
sponsorship to drive business change and improvement.
A dedicated CX communication framework has also been implemented
to support all internal communication channels. This engages
employees at all levels of the business, from understanding current CX
performance, taking action, and sharing best practice examples and
customer success stories.
Delivering Value to Employees
As well as using the VoC programme as a vehicle for company-wide
culture change, the executive leadership team wanted to ensure its
filtration to every individual. During rollout, ‘customer events’ took place
for all employees to learn first-hand about the goals of the programme,
the methods used, and the way in which insights would be shared. It
was essential for RS Components to share the ‘why’ of the programme
with all employees to ensure their full engagement.
Now, all employees see the results of the VoC programme through the
organisational communication framework and are an integral part of
ensuring RS Components is customer-centric. The dedicated CX team
ensures that employees are kept in the loop regarding feedback and
business improvements being driven by it. This is largely a result of:
■■ Action Management - creates alerts for 5 different
scenarios of customer response from the VoC
survey, and 3 different scenarios of response from
the web survey. All follow-up activities to these
alerts are carried out locally, while being managed
centrally by the CX Team.
■■ Operational Reporting - focused on empowering
everyone to take ownership and action. It provides
detail down to the individual survey response
across all markets, sharing information including
key metrics, action reports and web survey results
with the right people.
Embedding CX as a Brand Value
The combination of strategic business change and
cultural change has been driven by the core business
values and metrics defined by RS Components. The
overriding brand value that all 6,400 RS Components’
employees work to is customer-centricity and the
VoC programme was built to reflect the organisation’s
six global service standards: Listen, Extra, Value,
Educate, Resolve and Shape.
As a result of the programme, RS Components has
redefined its Customer Value Proposition, centring
everything it does around the customer, with specific
emphasis on making the customer experience easy,
differentiating the organisation’s knowledge and
expertise, and focusing on core customer needs.
Customer experience is now an essential component
of brand reinforcement in every customer interaction.
Jayes explains: “The most critical change that has
taken place and added value for our customers is our
business-wide focus on customer experience. The
way in which we as a global business have shifted our
thinking cannot be underestimated. It is a culture that
is quickly moving to embedded stage, through every
Strategic overview of
established as strategic
KPIs alongside sales and
across 29 markets
A Strategic Landscape
dashboard for senior
A strategic project
1,200 + leaders and
employess given self-
serve access to the
Focus on driving
local, regional and global
NPS and NES
project focus and
established as part of
the company values, and
form part of all employees
experience to the
is still very rare,
organisations of our
size. The cultural
change that this
the business is
the single most
that has taken place
since its inception.”
Customer Services Director, RS
touchpoint, channel and geography - coupled with buy-in at all levels,
from exec downwards and employee upwards.”
A Year of Innovation and Results
The VoC programme at RS Components has proven to be truly innovative,
partly due to its sheer scope to cover a global business with multiple
customer touchpoints in all regions, and partly due to the willingness of
the executive team to make customer experience a board-level issue.
Jayes explains: “Bringing customer experience to the boardroom
table is still very rare, particularly for organisations of our size. The
cultural change that this programme has elicited throughout the
business is the single most important innovation that has taken place
since its inception.”
Specifically, the innovation that has driven this global capability and
‘global to local’ customer view is Confirmit Reportal which allows
local language coding for key verbatim questions. This supports RS
Components’ commitment to understand and act upon the voice of its
customers consistently, everywhere it operates.
The results of the programme speak for themselves. As well as the
impressive response rates, NPS and NES score improvements, and
cultural shift, the dedicated CX team has succeeded in encouraging the
business to think differently by holding up the mirror at every opportunity.
The team now proactively provides coaching feedback to executive
leaders on role modelling customer centricity and the behaviours
attributed to this.
Sharing customer stories from around the world and encouraging
continuous participation demonstrate the successful engagement
within and across the organisation. Stories are a weekly feature in RS
Components’ global communication framework and has made the VoC
programme a hot topic of discussion throughout the business.
Jayes concludes: “Our desire to continuously innovate and deliver market-
leading customer experiences has, along with Confirmit’s expertise,
enabled us to push back the boundaries of Voice of the Customer
programmes. As a result of our strong partnership, we have a unique
approach that impacts our business at every level.”