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Decathlon: how to give the customer experience a workout that gets everyone smiling

Decathlon keeps re-inventing itself, but one thing never changes: it always puts the customer experience at the heart of its development policy. The shop has recently implemented new channels to respond to consumers’ needs.









Customer since

As France’s number one sports shop – and often described as the country’s favourite brand – Decathlon has been making sports products affordable for as wide a customer base as possible for over 40 years. Domyos, one of several brands operated by Decathlon, specialises in fitness, yoga, weight training and gym equipment.

As head of the Domyos after-sales service at Decathlon, Benoît Lacayrouze works with his team to make the after-sales service more easily accessible not only to customers, but also to sales staff and technicians internally. The goal of this is to optimise maintenance, repairs and the overall quality of the products. With this same purpose in mind, the Domyos after-sales service team also collates information, which they then pass on to the design teams.

Managing the sales boom and adapting customer service during lockdown

When the recent health crisis stopped most of France in its tracks, business at Decathlon boomed. Although the physical shops had to close when the lockdown was announced, online and logistics staff were able to keep working. Domyos performed exceptionally well – and it was all through the website.

Remote query resolution was also well suited to these exceptional circumstances. In normal, non-lockdown times, requests for fitness equipment repairs are managed by a technician who makes a home visit in one out of every three cases. For the other two, telephone support enables the customer to repair the equipment by themselves. During lockdown, telephone support experienced such a jump in calls that by the end of lockdown, the number of home visits made by technicians had reduced six-fold.

Centralising information for a comprehensive overview of requests

When they encounter a problem, customers go to and make a request for support. The support department, which is staffed by trained technicians, then looks into the customer’s issue, which is listed in the Zendesk Support ticketing tool. The team then uses the Zendesk Guide knowledge base to find a suitable answer to the customer’s problem. Finally, Decathlon uses the telephone solution Zendesk Talk for the technician to call the customer, and sometimes also the video support solution ViiBE if the technician needs to dig deeper to reach a diagnosis.

“The Zendesk platform is both simple and intuitive.” Benoît Lacayrouze, Head of Domyos After-Sales Service at Decathlon Once the request has been resolved, the ticket is closed off and the information is fed back via the reporting and analysis solution Zendesk Explore. This feature enables the company to see which products are most frequently affected by problems, the ultimate aim of which is to challenge them to improve the design.

The Zendesk platform allows them to get an overview of the number of cases resolved and the time taken to resolve them. This information is then used to challenge the teams and encourage them to increase their skills.

Innovating with remote resolution of problems

Recently, a new remote resolution solution was implemented by Decathlon, spurred on by Domyos who wanted to enhance the customer experience: ViiBE, a Zendesk partner solution available from the Zendesk Marketplace.

ViiBe brings video support and ticket tracking together. It is aimed at the after-sales service, the help desk and the industrial technical support department. It offers the triple advantage of making better remote diagnoses, optimising resolutions on the first contact and bringing not only staff closer together but also agents and customers. This yields economic gains thanks to fewer home visits and an improvement in the indicators for satisfaction.

ViiBE is the video support and ticket tracking web technology integrated into Zendesk

ViiBE is the video support and ticket tracking web technology integrated into Zendesk

After finishing a ViiBE call, the customer can evaluate the assistant’s explanations and the quality of the technology, which means the NPS can be measured. The feedback so far has been encouraging – both from staff and customers. The drop in home visits has led not only to cost savings, but also reduced carbon emissions, which gives the customer-focused CSR strategy a boost.

Sharing good practices internationally while maintaining local differences

Decathlon has always understood that to sell equipment, a shop must always pay particular importance to the development and implementation of their after-sales service. So, although the various teams collaborate in order to exchange best practices, each department needs to be tailored to the local market. In Russia, for example, customers often prefer to carry out repairs themselves, whereas in other countries they tend to instinctively seek support from an after-sales service.

For Decathlon, the next priority is to launch training on the Zendesk tool and products, both for France and overseas. In the long term, the aim is to help sports divisions other than fitness to improve their customer experience thanks to the processes implemented by Domyos via the Zendesk tool.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Benoît at the Zendesk Virtual Roadshow in Paris.