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Cases Fairphone

Turning feedback insights into sustainable improvements at Fairphone

Feedback keeps us on our toes, it gives us an outside critical view on our processes, but it also guides us in how we can further develop our strategy in a sustainable way, and it shows us what we can promote better to increase our conversion.
Max Seabrooke
CX Lead at Fairphone
Industry Electronics Retail

About Fairphone

Fairphone manufactures and sells fair electronics. Originating from an NGO awareness campaign about unfair practices in the electronics industry, they evolved into the leading example of sustainable smartphone development. They began creating smartphones in 2013, today they are an international company with 250.000 customers.

Their challenges

  1. In their first years, Fairphone operated with NPS surveys sent to their direct customers. Even though they learned a lot from the feedback they received, it was mostly a one-man job, which isn’t sustainable in the long run. This is why they needed a better way of collecting and analyzing customer feedback.
  2. Customers don’t know about all the options and possibilities to prolong the lifetime of a smartphone. A key aspect of Fairphone’s sustainable concept is reparability, by offering DIY repair and affordable spare parts customers can purchase. However, they noticed customers aren’t always aware of these possibilities.
  3. One of Fairphone’s main goals is to create long-lasting products. For that they need to make sure customers want to use their smartphones for a long time. Getting the right feedback is a necessity to prioritize product improvements to increase customer retention but also attract more potential customers.
  4. Become more customer-centric by 2023. Customer-centricity is an integral part of Fairphone’s vision and mission as making a positive change on the industry starts from the consumer, who is at the heart of everything. However, they wanted to make customer centricity something more tangible and get the entire company on board to carry out their vision.
The idea was to get on the platform, focus on one metric and look purely at the feedback. That’s where you’ll get the most insights from. And we did that.
Max Seabrooke
CX Lead

Max Seabrooke


How Fairphone uses Hello customer to resolve their challenges

1. Collect and analyze feedback sustainably

“In the first years we worked with a Net Promotor Score and a survey we sent to our direct customers”, tells Max Seabrooke, Customer Experience lead at Fairphone. “I started out as UX/CX lead, responsible for user experience and design. I was gathering the feedback myself, and also analyzing all of it. We learned a lot from this, but it wasn’t sustainable. People were also asking more questions about things, looking for more insights or more data. So when we kicked off our new CX vision, I already knew we needed a more sustainable way of doing this. We wanted a platform that could centralize all our customer feedback and automate as much as possible, including the analysis. That took up a big chunk of my time. Because I already showed some benefits of collecting customer feedback and getting insights, the company understood its importance.” That’s where Hello Customer came in.

“The idea was to get on the platform, focus on one metric and look purely at the feedback. That’s where you’ll get the most insights. And we did that.” Fairphone migrated their two NPS surveys - one for the onboarding phase and one for customer support interactions with agents - to the Hello Customer platform. The platform cleared the road for gathering insights efficiently and sustainably. and helps make the feedback more visual and accessible for others in the company. Later, they plan to set up more touchpoints focused around different repair journeys using the Customer Satisfaction Score and the Customer Effort Score. The combination of these metrics allows them to get feedback on many different touchpoints and improve their overall customer experience.

2. Ensure customers know the full product & service offering

After looking at their feedback and current touchpoints, Fairphone is now exploring how to better promote the repairability aspects throughout both the earlier and later phases of the customer journey. “We want our customers to love using their phones longer, that goes hand-in-hand with the fact that Fairphone is always there to help. That is why repairability is a big part of our brand and feedback. We promote DIY repair and we sell affordable spare parts, but the feedback showed us that customers aren’t always aware of all the services we provide linked to this.” In other words, they were missing touchpoints. “Being able to do DIY repairs is quite empowering and it’s easy and fast to do. You don’t need to send your phone away to anyone. There are always benefits there, but we just don’t clearly talk about it.”

Therefore they’re currently testing the impact of being more explicit about the repair journey in their marketing. Looking at feedback on topics like this and working on improving them, also creates new opportunities. “There are tons of other opportunities related to the theme of reparability. Those opportunities create new branded touchpoints with our customers to keep them engaged and to keep Fairphone top of mind.”

Fairphone branded imagery

3. Improve products based on customer feedback

As a sustainability-driven company, Fairphone aims to create long-lasting products. Part of that longevity is the options their repair journey offers, but another part is improving their existing products. They released their latest version, the Fairphone 4, in the fall of 2021. To create this improved product, they needed to know what customers thought of the previous models. During the first years of Fairphone, Max used the NPS to find aspects to improve. Changing to a platform and working on customer experience with different teams allows him to use both feedback and employees to improve the products. “I rally everyone behind it to understand what's going on and motivate and empower them to actually deliver improvements themselves, with that longer-term vision in mind as well.”

One part of the Fairphone they want to continuously improve was the camera. This is a topic much talked about by customers, but not all feedback was useful. However, some of the customer feedback they received specifically talked about aspects of the camera. “We have some quite specific starting points of what to prioritize on the camera. I might even - because in this phase it's a very objective and subjective topic - create a separate survey, really specifically asking a question of satisfaction around just the camera.” Thanks to customer feedback and asking the right questions while working back and forth with the customers on improving the product, Fairphone knows what to improve to keep their customers happy.

4. Make customer centricity a company-wide effort

When Fairphone’s CEO announced in 2020 that they’d be working towards customer centricity in the next few years, the employees started wondering what customer centricity means for Fairphone. How do they become customer-centric? And aren’t they customer-centric already? “It’s good to start asking these questions.” They worked on getting answers for them as well by organizing workshops to get people from the company together to tackle this goal structurally. Since the creation of the new CX vision, Max and his colleagues have been constantly working to keep it top of mind with the whole company. “There were disciplines from across the company getting together in workshops and sharing the same vision. It was really a collaborative effort.”

This shows that aside from having a customer-centric approach, Fairphone also has an employee-centric approach. “The people who work directly with customers but also everyone who’s more involved in the operational side of things really appreciate hearing what’s happening and where we want to go from here. Especially the customer service team, they are big contributors to the improvements Fairphone can make since they get to hear directly from the customer when something is wrong.” The company also tries to focus on closing the loop both internally and externally. “Customer service agents work on that latter part with customers. Their help and assistance can resolve issues before feedback is given and can affect our metrics.”

Business outcomes

  1. Save time on centralizing and analyzing feedback. Where it was a one-man’s job at first, it’s now a collective effort. Fairphone uses the platform to analyze all the feedback they receive, which allows for more time to work on necessary improvements with the teams involved.
  2. Leverage Fairphone’s strengths in their marketing. Fairphone is able to get a better understanding of what their customers like and promote those things. In addition to this, they have created more branded touchpoints to receive more feedback on the aspects of their products and services that went unnoticed beforehand.
  3. Concrete improvements to products. For example, after receiving negative feedback about their camera, they were able to improve this function for their newest model. In addition to this, they perform AB testing to get insights on how to improve their reparability. In general, they’re able to use insights from feedback to highlight more aspects of their sustainability vision.
  4. A better overview of CX performance at different touchpoints by using CSAT and CES in addition to their primary NPS surveys. “We have different flavors of different metrics and different things we want to measure.”
  5. A CX network within the company. Fairphone has created a network with their champions to look into their feedback. This network and the forums they use make sure improvements are being made and CX stays top of mind within the company. Customer centricity is integrated into various disciplines within the company as well. They keep their employees engaged with meetings and celebrating success. “Taking a moment to celebrate and share success stories is important to keep this top of mind. People also appreciate taking a step back and seeing where we are at the moment.”
2013 Founded in 2013
130 Over 130 employees
25 25 nationalities within the company
Amsterdam Head office
250.000 Customers
120.000 Sold 120.000 Fairphones last year

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