Boulanger delivers peerless service, refines product offerings and earns customer trust with Bazaarvoice


Boulanger now has a word-of-mouth customer engagement solution that derives critical business insights.

Established in 1954, Boulanger has grown into one of France’s leading multimedia, leisure and consumer electronics retailers. As well as 136 stores across the country, the company has established a strong online presence, meeting consumers’ needs in the home as well as on the high street.

As Fanny Janiaczyk, Community Manager at Boulanger, said, “We aim to deliver the best products, services and personnel to get direct feedback from customers, understanding what works for them and what doesn’t. Our customers feel that we’re listening and we can learn from what they tell us. What we found was that the modern shopping environment can put a barrier between us and our customers, which is simply not the Boulanger way.”

Challenge 1: re-connect with customers, both online and in-store, offering the highest levels of service

Solution: Comparing leading word-of-mouth solutions providers, Boulanger found Bazaarvoice the superior choice. ‘Conversations’ was identified as the ideal fit, offering a complete and specialised solution to engage customers with online communication. Boulanger’s key objective was to obtain a high volume of user-generated content to serve their constantly evolving catalogue.

To start the process, email addresses are collected systematically: as a mandatory requirement for online shopping, and occasionally in- store. Customers are then asked to rate their product and shopping experience three weeks after purchase.

High participation levels are critical to success, and shoppers are encouraged to engage with a monthly competition offering the chance to win one of five €100 gift cards. Customers can now engage directly with Boulanger, make better informed purchasing decisions and know that their opinions are valued.

Benefits: In 2012, 92 per cent of Boulanger’s reviews have come from Bazaarvoice’s post-interaction email technology, with the gift card promotion delivering a 40 per cent review conversion rate, compared to just 25 per cent without it. It has led to the company amassing a database of more than 98 000 reviews in little more than two years.

Challenge 2: harness customer experience, discovering in a systematic way how customers feel about its products and services

Solution: Customer experience is captured for Boulanger through Bazaarvoice’s unique combination of technology and human driven moderation. Advanced Content Tagging places special codes on customer responses, with reviews then automatically sent to the departments best suited to deal with them. Reviews highlighting issues with products go straight to buyers and those relating to the shopping experience are directed to customer services. With geographically diverse sites and differing levels of employee technical expertise, Bazaarvoice’s human moderators also compile quarterly reports which are shared with departments, ensuring customer feedback generates value across the company.

Benefits: Boulanger’s product team now has constant access to customer feedback, delivering insight at a lower cost than their regular focus groups. The feedback has also helped develop the company’s product ranges “Essentiel B” and “Listo”.

With feedback now hard-wired into the business, the product catalogue is constantly evolving to customer needs:

  • unsatisfactory products are rapidly identified and the issue is fed back to the suppliers or internal product team;
  • product descriptions can be improved based on customer feedback;
  • decisions around pricing and value are better informed.

It has resulted in the most up-to-date and relevant product catalogue possible. Lastly, Bazaarvoice assists Boulanger in being a transparent business by re- surfacing customer queries and allowing Boulanger to communicate back on them, either publicly or via private channels.

The bottom line

Boulanger now has a word-of-mouth customer engagement solution that is delivering to both its objectives — engaging its customers and deriving critical business insight from each and every review.

According to Fanny Janiaczyk, “Bazaarvoice has allowed Boulanger to re-create the intimate relationships we had with our customers back when we started in the 1950s. They can engage with us personally, whether they’re in-store or shopping from their sofa. In being listened to, they regain control of their shopping experience — and in listening to them, we ensure that we have the most up-to-date product catalogue and responsive customer services possible. It means we earn their trust and their custom.”

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