Levi Strauss & Co. Europe – a perfect fit for customer service

Levi Strauss & Co. Europe

Strategic challenge 

Levi Strauss & Co. Europe (LS&Co.), with its European headquarters in Brussels, coordinates the activities from Lisbon to Vladivostok across about 5.000 points of sale. The customer serviceteams support the Order-To-Cash cycle for all Levi Strauss & Co. customer segments in Europe. These teams are spread over multiple locations within Europe.  

Whilst Levi Strauss & Co. Europe took several initiatives to address changing demands (e.g. outsourcing, improved tools, processes, talent development) they desired help to turn their customer service into a true competitive advantage.  

With a focus on both Customer and Employee experience, sector expertise and a holistic view of the customer service eco system, Möbius was selected to support this challenge. 

Suzanne Schöningh mobius
Suzanne Schöningh

“The Möbius consultant team impressed with both their understanding of the business needs and their ability to adapt and partner with us in a flexible and collaborative approach.   

As external consultants Möbius presented a balanced and considerate approach in first truly understanding the business needs, taking insights both internally and cross functionally, as well as externally with our partners, before developing their proposals to address the needs, all nicely framed in a very structured and thorough Vision and Implementation plan.” 

 Andrea Whitelaw, Customer Service Director Levi Strauss & Co Europe 

Approach 

Given the importance of the assessment and some global initiatives such as the CRM project, global representation was foreseen in the project team to ensure alignment.  

To get a better understanding of the European operating model, Möbius’ approach was both inside-out and outside-in. We gathered insights on the customer service organization through interviews, workshops and process walks (gemba walks). Additionally, we reinforced this internal assessment with customer feedback on the experienced service. Based on our assessment of the current state and ambitions for the future state (gathered via strategic interviews), we developed a futureproof operating model for Levi’s Strauss & Co. Europe’ customer service.   

Customerservice teams and project stakeholders were involved in every milestone of the project via newsletters and informal updates during their (bi)weekly customer service team meetings.

Levi Strauss Co customer service case by Mobius Business redesign

Results

Main project outcomes were: 

  • A clear overview of the main improvement opportunities within customer service; 
  • Recommendations for a winning customer service (futureproof operating model), based on extensive experience in and benchmarking with the industry; 
  • A multi-year implementation plan comprising all required initiatives to support the transition from the current state to the desired state, taking in consideration the impact of COVID-19 
  • An impact-analysis of the different initiatives, both financially and operationally. 

Levi Strauss & Co. Europe has now built a streamlined and customer-focused customerservice organization for the coming years.

A more detailed look into this customer service project

Inside out analysis 

The purpose of the inside-out analysis was to understand the functioning, possible bottlenecks and opportunities of the customer service as perceived by the teams themselves. We organized a series of workshops with customer service employees at various locations in Europe, as well as in-depth interviews. This gave us a thorough understanding of how customerservice experiences the current operating model, which bottlenecks they define and which opportunities for the future in terms of processes, roles and responsibilities, tools and competencies they see. 

Outside in analysis 

The aim of the outside-in analysis was gaining insight into the partnerships from customer service, within the organization (the cross-functional partners) and with their customers. Möbius conducted interviews with employees from different departments (e.g. sales, finance, planning, distribution) as well as quantitative research through an online customer survey. This survey enabled us to gain insight in the customer experience and capture future expectations. 

Vision creation 

The results from the analysis, combined with a sample data analysis, enabled us to objectively consolidate all findings and identify improvements for customer service.  

An international vision workshop with senior managers, representatives of the customer service organization, and the cross-functional departments was set up. The consolidated results from the analysis were shared, as well as market trends and best practices. Consequently, through different round tables during the vision workshop we determined the strategic outlines for the future customerservice. 

Customer service implementation plan layout 

The vision was translated into a hands-on, multi-year implementation plan. In order to establish a supported plan, we defined and developed improvement initiatives together with the main stakeholders. The plan consisted of various tracks and for each track, the next steps as well as any dependencies to European or global initiatives were detailed out. Some examples of elements in the implementation plan: 

  • service catalogue, detailing out the possible service and support for the different customer segments 
  • An organizational structure for the European customer service with roles and responsibilities for the different functions within customer service, including the expansion of the Center of Excellence within customer service on European level 
  • The development of a career path with an attractive step-by-step growth process for new customer service employees  
  • Next steps for the implementation of quick wins and a roadmap for process optimizations, including the automation of manual activities 
  • Next steps for KPI measurement and review, in addition to operational KPI’s, including metrics to better monitor employee experience and customer experience 
  • The role of customer service and its potential to support the organization to increase customer experience throughout the customer journeys 

The qualitative and quantitative impact of the different initiatives was also determined to a detailed level.  

“Their last minute adaption to the project recommendations given the COVID impacts also showed they had real empathy and understanding of the challenging environments we needed to adapt to. Despite closure of the project, Möbius has remained flexible and open to reach as we move through the important work to implement now the priorities, a true and appreciated partnership.”

ANDREA WHITELAW, CUSTOMER SERVICE DIRECTOR LEVI STRAUSS & CO EUROPE