customers surveys heineken cx

How to Use Online Surveys to Improve Customer Satisfaction? Heineken (Żywiec Group) Case Study

Customer Centricity – it is in line with this principle that the Żywiec Group regularly listens to the customer’s voice, e.g., using online surveys. What is important, it is not only about listening – after just one year of research, the overall NPS index in customer satisfaction surveys increased by several dozen points and important changes for customers were introduced in some areas.

And this is just the beginning of the path with NPS. If you want to learn how to perfectly organize cooperation between departments in accordance with the Customer Centricity principle and squeeze 100% of benefits from customer feedback, be sure to read this Case Study!

Which functions of Startquestion support surveys in the Żywiec Group (Heineken)?

Net Promoter Score module

NPS is the most popular way of measuring customer loyalty among companies around the world for a reason.

Thanks to the NPS question and additional in-depth questions, the Żywiec Group discovers the strengths and weaknesses of customer service and improves customer satisfaction.


The results of satisfaction surveys are aggregated to the level of a specific customer or channel. The goal of the Żywiec Group was that each team responsible for a given client receives monthly reports with the results of the survey concerning the area for which it is responsible.

Sending the survey to the e-mail database

A smart system of rotating survey dispatch to e-mail addresses of clients in the database gave the Żywiec Group a chance to effectively collect feedback. The questionnaire is delivered to each client not more than once a quarter so that the company has time to introduce changes based on the answers and the respondent do not feel overwhelmed by the excess of surveys.

Hot alert

Each time a low grade appears in the survey, the information is immediately passed to the department responsible for a given area. In each case, an investigation is carried out and is usually successful – the source of the problem is discovered and the changes to fix it are introduced.

About the Żywiec Group

The Żywiec Group is one of the leading beer producers in Poland, with the widest portfolio of 13 beer styles, 12 brands, and over 40 products. Beer with the Żywiec brand is sold abroad in over 30 countries. The company’s strongest brands include also Heineken, Desperados, and Namysłów. 

The beer is made in five breweries in Poland – in Żywiec, Warka, Elbląg, Leżajsk, and Namysłów. The Żywiec Group is the only company among the Polish beer producers which is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, where it made its debut in 1991.

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Customer Centricity – how Heineken put the customer in the spotlight

In the Żywiec Group, Customer research with Startquestion dates to the beginning of 2019. However, the need to conduct it arose much earlier:

“Customer Centricity, which means putting the customer in the spotlight, is deeply rooted in the company culture at the Żywiec Group. Each client is assigned a cross-functional team consisting of people from different departments. Its goal is to improve processes and eliminate barriers in the experience created for the client” – says Paweł Siedlecki, Logistics Key Account Manager.

And what was the direct reason for launching customer research?

“We lacked first-hand information on whether the areas that we consider problematic are really perceived this way by the clients,” says Paweł Siedlecki. “Often companies assume in advance that some actions are good. Only after confronting them with the actual customer feedback, it turns out that they missed the mark.”

Before introducing independent satisfaction surveys, the customer’s voice in the organization came from the research of Advantage Group and GFK Polonia, as well as from cooperation with the clients – direct meetings and workshops. Although these methods were valuable, they provided access to the opinions of only some of the customer groups or only to very general information at a given time. What was missing was the continuous and direct customers’ voice, which would speak directly to the issues that are critical to the organization.

“We came to the conclusion that for the customer to really become the centre of attention, we have to listen to customer’s voice continuously and in-house. This is how the idea of customer research as part of a special Customer Care Team project was born. The project committee decided it was time to find a way and a tool for daily and independent research” – explains Paweł Siedlecki.

Net Promoter Score as a solid research basis

What else? There is much more!

“NPS was the main question we wanted to ask our clients. We asked them to rate the quality of cooperation with the Żywiec Group on a scale from 0 to 10. But we didn’t just want to stop there. We decided that having the NPS indicator alone, we still wouldn’t know the reason why we received that particular score” – explains Paweł Siedlecki.

That’s why the final survey consists of 11 questions. In addition to the NPS, there is a question about the reason for the given score with a request for justification focused on specific areas of cooperation, including caring for joint business development, completeness and timeliness of deliveries, or the quality of customer service. In addition to choosing one of the proposed options, the customer has the option of entering the answer in the form of a comment. All this gave the teams, and thus the entire Żywiec Group, specific knowledge about why the customer assessed the quality of cooperation in this particular way. 

“The process from order to settlement consists of a number of sub-processes, which are also addressed in the subsequent parts of the survey. These are 9 in-depth questions that focus on more detailed issues, such as the speed and responsiveness of customer service, the professionalism of drivers during delivery or the quality of financial settlements” – says Paweł Siedlecki. 

Results? The survey provides the Żywiec Group with the knowledge on what to focus on next.

It gives a clear picture of which processes have the lowest scores, what should be improved in them, and what are the company’s strengths. 

Effectively listen to the customer’s voice

Not everything at once! Only a smart survey dispatch system gave the Żywiec Group a chance to effectively listen to the customer’s voice

“After preparing the questions, we selected a pool of customers and created a database with e-mail addresses,” says Paweł Siedlecki. “Before sending the survey, we had sent a letter of intent signed by the Director of Customer Service and Logistics. In the letter, we mostly focused on informing the customers about the purpose of the survey, which is improving the quality of services provided.”

The dispatch takes place in rotation – the survey is sent to the same customer, not more than once a quarter. This is due to two assumptions: first, that any changes would be difficult to monitor month to month, and second, that with too many mailings, customers could ignore the surveys or become irritated by them.

Thanks to this dispatch system, a similar number of responses reaches the Żywiec Group each month.

Survey, dispatch, and… results. Then using them in practice – both in logistics and between functions. Outcome?

In-depth research and an increase in NPS by up to 30 points!

As part of expanding the customer insight, the Żywiec Group conducted workshops. They concerned the survey itself – introduced the idea of NPS, explained why this particular indicator and in-depth questions were used.

“The results of customer satisfaction surveys are aggregated to the level of a specific customer or channel. The idea was that each team responsible for a given client receives monthly results from a survey concerning a specific area,” explains Paweł Siedlecki. “The team’s task is to review the results and implement appropriate corrective actions if necessary.”

Even if a team does not receive any negative feedback in a given month, it does not mean they are off the hook. The task of the people taking care of a client is to monitor the NPS index on a monthly basis and discover the reasons for both positive and negative feedback.

“We are constantly expanding our work with the results of the research. At the moment, even people from outside account management take more and more interest in the surveys. Several joint projects were launched on their basis to develop the studied areas” – says Paweł Siedlecki.

How does the Żywiec Group analyse the customer’s voice?

“If the survey reports low satisfaction with a given area, this information immediately goes to the relevant department” explains Paweł Siedlecki. “In each case, a kind of investigation is carried out – we try to find out what in the organisation might have caused the client’s dissatisfaction. Since nothing happens without a reason, our investigations are usually successful, and we discover the source of the problem.”

As part of solving customer problems, a so-called corrective action is introduced. This is to make sure that the dissatisfaction expressed by the customer in the survey was carefully examined and gave rise to not only efforts but also to specific actions aimed at correcting errors.

“It is the customers who point to us the priorities for introducing changes”

“Customer service is becoming more and more important – this is a general trend in Customer Experience” – emphasizes Paweł Siedlecki. “That is why we closely monitor how it is assessed – we analyze it in terms of months and quarters. This is one of our top 3 priorities.”

How are the priorities determined? Everything stems from the results of the customer survey. Let’s not forget that in the in-depth question, the clients are to indicate the reason for the given score. It is the number of these indications that gives the Żywiec Group an overview of which areas are prioritized by customers.

“At the beginning, the quality of service was neither the best rated nor particularly problematic for our clients. With time, however, it moved to the top 3 with a positive NPS result. Customers have appreciated our development activities in this area.”

This means that the respondents indicate the work of the Customer Service Centre in the Żywiec Group as the area thanks to which they positively assessed the entire cooperation. Did it make the customer service specialists rest on laurels and stop working on this issue? Quite the opposite!

“We came to the conclusion that since the quality of customer service is so important, even if we have a positive NPS for now, we shouldn’t take it for granted” says Paweł Siedlecki. “We decided to check what we can do to ensure that the quality of this service is still assessed positively, and to let customers know that introducing changes based on their feedback is a priority for us.”

Apart from the insight resulting from the NPS question and its justification, customer service is directly addressed in one of the additional questions posed in the satisfaction survey. It focuses on responsiveness and reaction time, which the respondents can evaluate on a scale of 1 to 5.

“We can observe that since the beginning of the research, the percentage of 4 and 5 scores, i.e. positive ratings, has increased significantly. By the end of the first quarter of 2020, we had approximately 60% of satisfied customers, and now this number has increased to 75%. The specific figures show that the actions we took have brought positive results.”

The Żywiec Group proves that regular satisfaction surveys and detailed analysis of the results are a milestone in increasing satisfaction and building a good Customer Experience. Conclusion? The effort put in listening to the customer’s feedback pays off, and an online survey is a great tool for collecting it.

Repeat the success of Żywiec Group (Heineken) – start lsteining your customers voice now

Edited by

Urszula Niepewna, Content Marketing Team Leader

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About Startquestion

Startquestion is survey software that enables to conduct, manage and analyze surveys and research that help organizations move forward. It provides useful information for researchers, marketing employees, HR departments, operations departments, as well as business owners. It has already gained the trust of over 2,500 clients, including Danone, Santander Bank, Telepizza, Medicover, Innogy, Heineken Group, and Itaka.

Urszula Kamburov-Niepewna
Ula is a Content Manager with extensive experience in journalism and SEO copywriting. She is a specialist in creating content in HR and Marketing research, Customer Experience, and User Experience. She has been associated with Startquestion for five years and currently leads the Content Marketing team there. After work, Ula is an obsessive reader, a huge Harry Potter fan, and a traveler who grabs every opportunity to see a little bit of the world and taste (usually more than a little) good food.