Customer satisfaction and continuous improvement

From designing our products through to selling them, Decathlon focuses on delivering long-term customer satisfaction. The quality of our products and services is an on-going requirement, with user safety a prerequisite


Quality: a cross-functional process

As we design our own products, and because of our regular visits to our subcontractors, we are in a position to continuously improve the quality of our brands’ products. It is an essential requirement, and one that we try to foster at various stages of the product lifecycle.

  • During the design process

At each of our Passion brands, one or more quality managers are entrusted with monitoring the products. Their primary aim is to supervise user safety. They help to develop the product, determine the use that the product is designed to fulfil (for example, depending on playing conditions and frequency, ability level, etc.). They analyse the product to detect potential weaknesses and resolve them. Tests are then carried out in the field or in the labs in order to check durability, and the degree to which the product’s technical performance corresponds with its intended usage.

Product safety
  • During production

Once the product specifications have been drawn up, it’s necessary to make sure that the manufacturing process does not compromise on quality in any way. Our production teams control the quality of items across the factory chains, and conduct tests to check whether objectives have been achieved. Subcontractors are assisted and regularly assessed in these areas.

  • In-store and on-line

Should a product on sale in store be faulty, there are several possible solutions designed to protect the customer and ensure that fully compliant product replacements are available as quickly as possible: withdrawal from sale, repair, return to suppliers, products destroyed, recall campaign for products sold. Decathlon deploys the necessary teams and resources to ensure that the right corrective action is taken. Quality representatives are appointed in each country and IT tools shared in order to speed up response times and improve efficiency.

Return rates improve Passion brand return rates (per million) for Passion brand products returned by customers because they were faulty or the customer was dissatisfied (from 1/01/2015 to 31/12/2015) :
1,158ppm (vs 1,204ppm in 2014)

Our goal for 2015 for this indicator was 1,170 PPM. The results obtained reflect the excellent work of all our teams.

It is important that our customers bring back or return their faulty products in order to help us make quality improvements. Some will be sent straight to our design teams for analysis and correction!

Corrective action processes in 2015

185 corrective actions concerning 1.5 million items (Decathlon brands and other international brands) were performed in 2015 for 940 million items sold in the same period.

New repair solutions

In 2015, the corrective actions team called upon the services of a handicap-friendly company for the product breakdown. A handicap-friendly company in the north of France was contacted to repair the tightening system of the telescopic poles for the Solognac hunting hide. This solution has a two-fold advantage: financial, since the French state encourages companies to work with such organisations; and societal, by contributing to the professional integration of disabled persons. In all, 17,971 items were handled by the company in 2015. Decathlon is looking to further develop its partnerships with such service-providing organisations.

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of what we do

Among the main sources of information that helps us understand how our customers perceive our product quality are the ratings and comments they post on our retail websites. Comments are used to amplify ratings, to enable us to delve further into what makes customers satisfied or disappointed with our products.

For our customers, a quality product is a product that caters effectively for its usage and is durable over time. This definition confirms and strengthens our own convictions about creating ingenious, long-lasting products.

This source has been extremely valuable to us since 2008, enabling us to measure customer enthusiasm for our products. By analysing them in more detail, we were able to determine their definition of what quality was, and identify the link that exists between opinions and satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction on the up! Average product rating for our Passion brand products (for 539,964 opinions collected between 1/01/2015 and 31/12/2015)
4.23/5 (vs 4.14 /5 in 2014)

By leaving ratings and comments on our websites, our customers are actively helping to improve the quality of our products!

Whatever the rating or comment, we use them to identify usage needs upstream, and to continually develop our product range downstream, by discontinuing ranges that have left customers disappointed, or by simply not renewing them.

The importance of customer comments in the design of Tribord products.

As a strong advocate of customer satisfaction, I use the comments left by customers to continually improve the quality of our products. Once the average score dips below 3, we draw up stricter action plans to bring the rating back up quickly.

Germain Provot, B’Twin’s quality manager.

Advancing through capitalisation

For each problem encountered, teams note down the root causes (poor usage classification, component-related issues, design rules poorly applied, etc.). This process of understanding is designed to improve our standards so that we can capitalise on the causes of non-quality and improve the quality of our products on an on-going basis.