Implementing our strategy throughout our businesses where we enable, innovate and advocate on the three domains — Nutrition & Health, Climate & Energy, and Resources & Circularity — has allowed us to strengthen our relationship with our customers and increase our impact on the total eco-system. Our customers are key stakeholders, and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 strengthened our relationship and intimacy with them.
Customer loyalty and satisfaction
Customer loyalty and satisfaction starts with understanding our customers, their needs and their journey when interacting with us. In our daily connections with our customers, the year gave us the opportunity to strengthen our relationships through the disruptions caused by COVID-19. Intrinsic needs substantially changed through 2020, especially using more digital means, enhanced with human care and collaboration. The care for and collaboration with our customers has made tremendous steps in our culture and technology capabilities, where customer loyalty and satisfaction are measured through the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology (both relational and transactional) — the voice of the customer. This enables us to continuously improve our product and service offering towards our customers.
Our customers clearly indicated a need for virtual collaboration and modern ways of doing business in fulfillment and innovation. Several steps were made to satisfy this need regarding Customer Experience offerings and technologies.
Our Net Promotor Score continues to improve
In 2020, our NPS improved to 50 (2019: 41) as a result of the strong collaboration and strengthened relationships throughout the year. With this improvement, we have seen an increase of our overall NPS score for five consecutive years (2016: 38). Additionally, several business groups have implemented an automated survey process to continuously measure customer satisfaction during specific interactions throughout the year. This provides instant performance feedback and new customer insights. Results are taken up in cross-functional meetings to drive the immediate optimization of processes and frontline staff interaction. Learnings from these initiatives are currently being applied to other business groups and will help us to further improve the overall customer experience with DSM.
Customer Led Innovation and lead generation
DSM has made further steps up in Customer Led Innovation and lead generation. A stronger involvement in fundamental product and application innovation of our (key) customers is already leading to a qualitative pipeline and success rate, while being pro-active in developing needs in key industries and customers. Through both a digital and offline synchronized customer engineering journey we attempt to increase speed and generate leads in stronger collaboration with our key partners. Customer feedback enforced our desire to increase responsiveness and high ease of doing business along the full journey of considering, buying, applying and paying for our solutions.
Our brand is an important business asset. We are a purpose-led, performance-driven company that aspires to provide innovative products and solutions that support our purpose to create brighter lives for all. In 2020, DSM’s Brand Value grew by 9.7% year on year. Our strong brand value is attributed to a high brand strength, combined with a consistent business performance.
Customer Value Propositions
We continuously sharpen our understanding of our customers’ needs and build them into our value propositions. We emphasize why our solutions enable our customers to satisfy the needs of the consumers they serve as well as enable them to succeed in the market, ensuring we match the evolving customer needs and customer value drivers. Our value propositions clarify what the benefits are for our customers and for others in the ecosystems that might benefit from our solutions. The value propositions also highlight how these solutions fit our purpose-led, performance-driven portfolio.