Johnson Outdoors

Johnson Outdoors is an American company that sells recreational product.


Johnson Outdoors is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells outdoor recreational products, such as fishing equipment, diving equipment, camping gear, and outdoor clothing.

They manage a variety of brands, including brands popular among fisherman all over the world such as Humminbird, Minn Kota, and Cannon. The company sells their equipment both online (in their own store and in retailer’s stores such as Bass Pro, Amazon, and Walmart) and in physical stores, through a network of distributors and retailers.

A manual process to manage NPS feedback

Rhonda Green is Senior Consumer Services Manager for the Humminbird brand, which produces and markets a popular product called Fish Finder – a small computer with GPS and other applications that helps both tournament and weekend fishermen find the best spot for fishing.

Rhonda and her team answer questions from final consumers who have problems with the product or struggle to get it installed and set-up properly. They talk with customers mainly on the phone and try to avoid that products are returned for repair that do not need to be repaired. After every conversation, they aim to send out an NPS survey to assess how well they have done and how satisfied the customers are.

That’s not always been easy. “We used to have a very manual process”, says Rhonda. “When a call ended, we were sending out the customer information to an external company, who was then taking care of contacting the customer via e-mail with a survey. They would then prepare a report for us with NPS score and some general insights”.

Apart from being a lengthy and clunky process, which sometime was leading to errors such as surveys not sent to customers or NPS score not calculated in a consistent way, it was not providing Rhonda and her team with the information they needed.

“We could not see what the real problem was”, continues Rhonda. “Was that the agent, a product fault, a policy the customer was not happy about? Since the data was processed manually, it was very difficult to find out. Even just figuring out what agent served the customer who was giving the feedback was a lot of work.”

Keith Kuphal, who is Consumer Services Manager for the Minn Kota and Cannon brands, had similar problems. The Minn Kota and Cannon products complement the Humminbird product with boat maneuvering and positioning functionalities, and with controlled depth deep water fishing capabilities. Rhonda’s and Keith’s team handle about 300,000 consumer contacts per year, while the feedback they get through the NPS survey sits at about 40,000 per year.

We could not see what the real problem was. Was that the agent, a product fault, a policy the customer was not happy about? It was very difficult to find out.

Rhonda Green, Senior Consumer Services Manager

“The value of the NPS are the words provided by the consumer within the comments of the survey, that is what matters most, and those were not detailed enough in the report from our previous provider”, says Keith. “Without that level of detail, we are somewhat at a loss in our efforts to compliment, coach, and mentor the agents”.

Additionally, it was not unusual for agents in Rhonda’s and Keith’s teams to be negatively impacted by negative feedback about the product or about some generic company policies that would be erroneously interpreted as a poor behavior by the agents.

“From our perspective”, continues Keith, “the consumer may appear to be mad or upset at the agent for the way they treated them, but they are really reacting to a company policy, or to the way the product was designed. There was no way for us to tell the two apart just by looking at the results of the report.”


Automating NPS collection and analysis

A few years back, Rhonda started looking for a new way to process the NPS feedback. That’s how Johnson Outdoors met Lumoa.

She identified a list of 13 possible solutions, and eventually trimmed that down to 4 strong candidates. When the team saw Lumoa in action, they got convinced it was the right choice.

“I think the one thing that we loved the best initially was just the whole dashboard, it had everything that we needed to know on one page”, says Rhonda.

Lumoa now automates the collection of the NPS results – via Lumoa surveys – and the analysis of the open text feedback for Johnson Outdoors. This means that Rhonda’s and Keith’s teams get all the information they need in a reliable and consistent way, something that was not possible with the old, manual process.

“The best way to describe it”, says Rhonda, “is that the previous process was extremely manual, and now everything is automated. There is transactional information and agent information with the feedback from the customer. Lumoa provides us with very good information.”

Keith was also impressed by how easy it is to drill down from the NPS score to the topics that influence the score, and even to the single piece of feedback. “What’s important to look at”, he continues, “is when the customer leaves a comment to the survey. That’s the gold. That’s where we can look at what the customers write down as a result of them being neutral versus positive versus negative”.

What’s important to look at is when the customer leaves a comment to the survey. That’s the gold. That’s where we can look at what the customers write down as a result of them being neutral versus positive versus negative.

Keith Kuphal, Consumer Services Manager

Different layers of analysis

Now Johnson Outdoors has different levels of understanding of their NPS score.

First, each member of Rhonda’s and Keith’s teams has their own card with individual feedback and scores, which is tied to their performance bonus.

Second, team leads look also at team performance and have a way to close the loop with the customer. Every time a score of 5 or below is received, the team lead reaches out to the customer to ensure their voice is heard.

And third, managers have the chance to look at other aspects that impact the NPS score, beyond the consumer service. If customers are not happy with a company policy, or if the product has some faults, or if the marketing messages are not setting the right expectations. That’s now easy to spot, and the right stakeholder can take ownership with follow-up actions.

Checking how NPS evolves in times of uncertainty and raising prices is important. We have written about this and shared some tactics retailers can use now.

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“Lumoa is very easy to customize, and so everyone can look at what they need to do their job”, says Keith. “I have to say, the ease of use is uncharacteristic for NPS and customer feedback tools. I have worked with different applications, and for me if I constantly have to be in touch with the provider to get help figure out how to use the product and get the results I’m paying for, that’s not good. With Lumoa, we don’t have any of that.”

Lumoa has proved to be a reliable partner for Johnson Outdoors, capable also of delivering some customizations that make the day-to-day work easier. “In the beginning, we were meeting with the Lumoa team once a week”, continues Keith, “but now, after three years, we only really meet when there’s a real need, and that’s not often, because the platform works. That’s the true sign of an awesome relationship.”

“It’s kind of like your car. You get a reliable car, you get in it, it starts every day. It gets you to work, you get a comfortable ride. It gets good gas mileage and it never breaks down. That’s Lumoa!”.


Turning around a bad situation

Different people at Johnson Outdoors have access to Lumoa and the results of the NPS survey: consumer service agents, team leads, supervisors, but also division VPs, marketing team, and engineering team.

Rhonda’s and Keith’s teams use Lumoa to ensure that their teams are doing a good job servicing customer. “We look at Lumoa and see how the teams are performing, how the agents are performing”, says Rhonda. “Depending upon the feedback, we coach and train the agent on policies, tone of voice, and other aspects of the service”, continues Keith. “That is not really something we could easily do before, because we were not getting enough details. And what’s important, now if a customer leaves a low score because they are not happy with the product, we can reassign the score to a product category, so it will not affect the agent score.”

Instead, that is picked up by the relevant stakeholder and an appropriate action is taken.

“Our NPS score is reliably above 50, and then we had a situation when it suddenly dropped significantly”, says Rhonda. “We had a look at Lumoa and were able to identify the exact issue – related to a recent product update – and notify the engineering team. We could also provide verbatim comments. They could then address the issue and the results went back to normal levels.”

The team has set up filters in Lumoa so that now, when a new product release happens, they can monitor the customers reaction and take appropriate actions when needed.

Seeing what the problem truly is

Similarly, Lumoa allows Johnson Outdoors to monitor the reaction of customer to company policies. “We use the information in Lumoa to change our approach and policy”, says Keith. “If we realize we are a little strict, for example on returns, or what type of warranty work we are going to approve, we can gauge the customers reactions to these policies and modify them accordingly.”

Lumoa completely changed the way Johnson Outdoors uses the results of the NPS survey.

Rhonda remembers how challenging it was before to go past the simple score: “The biggest thing that Lumoa gives us is access to information, because before information was extremely limited. Everything was sent to us in a report, and while open text comments were sent as well, just managing the comments was really, really difficult”.

Keith and his team are also impressed by the possibility to personalize the information: “For me, the number one benefit is the dashboard. It provides more than one way to look at the same set of information. You can create pages that are specific to your own work, and analyze information from different angles. Supervisors can look at agent and team performance, Marketing can look at the customer experience, Engineering can look at what customers say about the operation of the product, and features and releases. All from the same survey.”

“Lumoa cuts through the clutter”, concludes Keith. “It gets to the heart, to the sentiment of the customer, and it allows us to decipher what they like, and they don’t like”.

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