LOOK Cycle is essentially the story of an iconic brand. Famous for its “anti-fracture” plated ski bindings which revolutionized the world of skiing and road cycling, LOOK Cycle has enjoyed many years of success with numerous innovations, including the first automatic pedal and the first monobloc carbon bike, as well as ambitious projects such as sponsoring teams in the Tour de France and the use of the brand’s products in the Olympic Games.
A new lease of life
Nevertheless, in the early 2010s, the company lost some momentum due to tough competition and poor adaptation to a number of market challenges. It was acquired in 2016 by Activa Capital, a French investment fund specializing in support for high-potential French SMEs. This breathed new life into LOOK Cycle. Management wanted to move the company towards digitalization and transform it to respond to the current problems within the sector. “For many years, LOOK Cycle, like many industrial companies, focused heavily on the product, somewhat neglecting the customer experience,” Franck Caudrelier, Head of Digital and e-Commerce at LOOK Cycle, explains. “We had a lot of catching up to do on that front. Customer perception of our brand reflects the quality and performance of our products and we do have a positive reputation, but it is not reflected in our services.”
The LOOK Cycle teams therefore embarked on a profound transformation in this direction, with many parameters to be taken into account. Firstly, LOOK Cycle has several sales channels: most recently B2C via its e-commerce site and, historically, B2B with several thousand physical and digital retailers throughout the world. Secondly, the company has two distinct target markets with different criteria: a niche high-performance cycling market and a more general market with cycling equipment and, above all, its famous bicycle pedals.
Delivering a consistent customer experience
The brand was committed to promoting and delivering an adapted customer experience for its clients and prospective customers, both direct and indirect, wherever they are. Above all, LOOK Cycle wanted to bring the experience to life for its customers at every stage of their shopping journey. “We want to support our customers throughout their adventure with us. How? By helping them find the answers to their questions as quickly as possible before they make a purchase and by ensuring quick and easy access to relevant information. While they’re waiting for their products to be delivered or ready for collection from their Click & Collect retailer. And afterwards by providing customer care and support during product use,” Franck Caudrelier explains.
Today, LOOK Cycle aims to achieve a unified, multichannel, and superior customer experience. This applies to both LOOK Cycle and dealer channels. “We tried to structure and provide guidance to our network to ensure the most consistent customer experience possible, in particular with the distribution of guidelines or documentation from LOOK Cycle.”
To deliver this consistent customer experience, LOOK Cycle turned to Elite French partner Synolia. Together, they defined and then gradually deployed a digital customer experience platform built around Sugar. “Our goal was to focus on all aspects of the customer experience. We knew that we had to take it step by step, but in the long term, it was a question of covering all the issues surrounding the customer experience. We therefore proceeded gradually with Synolia to eventually have a truly complete and high-performance platform,” Franck Caudrelier explains.
Optimizing the customer experience with data
Continuing the success of this first step towards a high-performance customer experience platform, Synolia and LOOK Cycle moved forward together on the commercial aspect of the customer journey. There were a number of issues to be resolved: improving the collection, enrichment, and utilization of customer data, optimizing commercial management, and centralizing the management of distributors and retailers. And always with the main objective of delivering a smooth, high-quality, and unified customer experience.
Meeting the needs of direct and indirect customers
Data management was one of LOOK Cycle’s main expectations with the implementation of this CRM platform. “Before, we had two poorly organized sources of data: a database with user data from email campaigns and a commercial database, but both were not sufficiently enriched and above all not very well utilized,” Franck Caudrelier says.
However, the company is fully aware of the importance and potential of data. “We knew very little about our end users and that was problem!” LOOK Cycle has therefore connected its new e-commerce site to Sugar to retrieve all the data of customers who use it, at every step of the buying process. “It is, however, more difficult to obtain information on customers who don’t come to us directly.”
By collecting this data and centralizing it in their Sugar instance, LOOK Cycle gets to know its customers better and can better respond to their needs. In this way, the entire customer experience is improved and optimized. It is also about meeting LOOK Cycle’s ambition to deliver an exceptional experience to all its customers, even if they do not purchase directly from them. “We want to be the link between our customers and our multi-brand network.”
For example, on LOOK Cycle´s website, the brand provides its customers with an interactive map to locate the nearest retailers, as well as all the necessary information about them. This map is fed in particular by data stored in their Sugar instance, which is connected to the website. Information is automatically updated by the tool from several sources or by the sales representatives themselves. “Before, we didn’t centralize information from retailers. Today, everything is concentrated in the CRM. So customers can find everything in one place, quickly!”
As soon as they come into contact with customers and retailers, they integrate the content of their interactions into the CRM in order to centralize the information and then utilize it correctly. With their Sugar instance, LOOK Cycle sales representatives can also better organize their days and sales visits. They benefit from an overview of their schedule, can quickly target and prioritize customers and prospects, and, above all, closely monitor how their objectives are progressing. Another advantage of the CRM is the archiving of customer interactions. Since all communications with customers are centralized in their Sugar instance, LOOK Cycle’s sales representatives can optimize their interactions by contextualizing them.
In addition, LOOK Cycle’s Sugar has been organized and designed to be fun and easy to use. This “embedded analytics” approach, advocated by Synolia, has enabled teams to become familiar with the tool and adopt it more easily. Management can also access all the company’s data to monitor objectives and refine strategic management. The CRM system is a great help for managing branches.
The implementation of a digital customer experience platform has truly revolutionized customer relationship management within LOOK Cycle. And the company doesn’t intend to stop there. With a project like this, they intend to continue on their path towards an exceptional customer experience. “We now want to add the final piece to the platform with marketing automation. With the implementation of this component, we will have covered the entire customer journey with our customized digital customer experience platform,” Franck Caudrelier explains. For the ultimate benefit of the brand’s customers!
Synolia operates on multi-channel, international projects that involve a strong interaction with the entire IS of the merchants, (ERP, PIM, CRM or BI) thus building real global business platforms.