CAT 302 Customer Service Model Group Project
August 20, 2008
Kimberly Barnes, Melissa Buck, Sean Beard
Table of Contents
Part I-Ikea: The Company
Part II-Ikea: The Service Model
Part III-Ikea: Developing the Brand
IKEA Quick Facts
Founded by Ingvar Kamprad
1943: beginning of operations (primarily a mail-order business)
1958: 1st store opened in Sweden
1985: 1st store opened in U.S.
North American Headquarters located in Conshohocken, PA
Currently operates close to 300 stores in 35 countries around the
world; 29 stores in U.S.
118,000: total # of co-workers in all IKEA stores for y/e 2007;
16,450 in U.S. (14%)
19.8 billion euros: total sales for all IKEA stores y/e 2007; U.S.
accounted for 10% of those sales
“A simple H.R. idea.”
“…to give down-to-earth, straightforward people the
opportunity to grow, both as individuals and in their
professional roles, so that together we are strongly
committed to creating a better everyday life for
ourselves and our customers.”
“As you will have noticed, those who work at IKEA are
referred to as “co-workers” and not “employees”. This
may seem a little odd to begin with, but as most people
quickly come to understand, our terminology is
symbolic of a special mindset - one which says we all
have a contribution to make to the success of the
company, and that every single role is important in its
What we expect vs. what we offer
“Ikea co-workers enjoy many advantages and
opportunities from working in such a free and open
environment. But all freedoms are counter-balanced
Do your best based on abilities & experiences
Open to improvements with a will to continually
Challenge established patterns and make suggestions
Not status-minded; open & straightforward in
approach to others
Open & willing to try a new & challenging job
Chance to work in a growing company with a viable business
Opportunity to further develop your professional skills in your
We make it possible to choose between many different jobs
within the company
Enable you to work in an environment where people & team
spirit are central values
We offer you a job with fair and reasonable conditions
We give you the chance to take a great responsibility following
recognized good results, regardless of age.
A corporate culture based on
“At IKEA, we don’t just want to fill jobs; we want to
partner with people. We want to recruit unique
individuals who share our values. Co-workers are not
restricted at IKEA; we listen and support each
individual to identify his or her needs, ambitions and
Shared values cont.
Here are a few examples of our shared values:
IKEA Contact Information
Human Resources Privacy Officer
IKEA North America Services, LLC
420 Alan Wood Rd.
Conshohocken, PA 19428
The Customer Service Model
Ikea's mission is to offer a wide range of home
furnishing items of good design and function,
excellent quality and durability, at prices so low that
the majority of people can afford to buy them (IKEA
1994). The company targets the customer who is
looking for value and is willing to do a little bit of work
serving themselves, transporting the items home and
assembling the furniture for a better price. The typical
Ikea customer is young low to middle income family.
IKEA’s business philosophy and how business is done at a very
successful organization is best described through the 4 goals of an
IKEA Store. They give even greater insight to why customer service is so
good at these stores.
1. To act as a highly efficient, and staffed sales mechanism
2. To show home furnishings solutions full of home furnishing ideas
3. To serve as a well qualified home furnishing specialist
4. To provide a day out for the whole family
Effective marketing through catalogues usually attracts the
customer at first, what keeps customers coming back is
Ikea believes that a strong in-stock position in which the
most popular style and design trends are correctly
anticipated is crucial to keep satisfied customers. For that,
Ikea depends on leading-edge technology.
According to Ikea's logistics manager, "there are a lot of
Just-In-Time concepts built into how we're trying to do
business". Ikea has developed its own global distribution
By utilizing control points in the distribution cycle, the
firm is able to insure timely deliver of products to retail
stores all over the world. Internationally, these stores range
in size from 20,000 to 30,000 square feet in Hong Kong and
in Singapore to 500,000 square feet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Ikea has over 1,800 suppliers located in over 50 different
In order to maintain cost leadership in the market, internal
production efficiencies must be greater than that of competitors.
Under Ikea's global strategy, suppliers are usually located in low-
cost nations, with close proximity to raw-materials and reliable
access to distribution channels. These suppliers produce highly
standardized products intended for the global market, which
size provides the firm with the opportunity take the advantage of
economies of scale factors.
Ikea's role is not only to globally integrate operations and
centrally design products, but also to find an effective
combination of low cost, standardization, technology, and
Building a brand driven experience for customers
Ikea seeks to deliver affordable home furnishing to its
There are several unique aspects of Ikea’s service
Self-service is a large part of the service model.
Assembly is almost exclusively done by consumer.
Controlled layout of store allows for maximum
efficiency in delivering customer experience.
Branded experience is ultimate goal: customers will
be loyal to the brand.
Developing the branded experience
Customer experience will consist of pleasure and pain
Branded experience is not always the result of having a
pleasurable experience at all service points.
A branded experience is formed by using the resources
available to balance between pleasure and pain.
It is important to not only listen to the voice of the
costumer but also to focus on the areas that are important
7/1/2010 the brand.
Important-performance quadrants: balancing important attributes of customer
value and brand value to create a desirable in-store experience1
Fig 1-Listen to areas of importance Fig 2-Focus on areas that are
to customer important to customer and brand
Lee, S. (2007). IKEA: A branded experience is more important than customer-centricity. Retrieved July 21,
2008, from http://www.customerthink.com/article/ikea_branded_experience_important
Focus on customer value through the brand
Customers value quality furniture at low price
Focus on quality of furniture but also the value
furniture brings to everyday use for the customer
Brand is tested by the ability to bring individual
Customer loyalty will be ensured by bringing a
consistent package of quality, function, and end point
Continuing development of the
Ikea will need to continue to refine its service model to
sustain success in the future
Drivers such as technological innovation and service
innovation will provide an even deeper brand
Global expansion will bring new opportunities to expose
brand to new markets
Customers will continue to be partners in maintaining and
developing brand through self service and creation
Behn, J. (2001). Super model. Retrieved July 22, 2008, from
Edvardson, B., Gustafsson, A., & Enquist, B. (2005). Challanges in new service development and value
creation through service. Paper presented at the ISD'2005 Conference, Karlstad University Sweden.
Retrieved from http://www.cs.kau.se/isd2005/Bo%20Edvardsson.pdf
Ikea USA. (2008). Ikea USA: Customer service. Retrieved July 22, 2008, from
http://www.ikea.com/ms/en_US/cu stomer_s R>
Lee, S. (2006). Ikea represents a new wave in china, a branded experience. Retrieved July 21, 2008,
Lee, S. (2007). IKEA: A branded experience is more important than customer-centricity. Retrieved
July 21, 2008, from http://www.customerthink.com/article/ikea_branded_experience_important
Edvardsson, B., & Enquist, B. (2002, October). 'The IKEA Saga': How Service Culture Drives Service
Strategy. Service Industries Journal, 22(4), 153-186. Retrieved July 21, 2008, from Business Source