Scott Strickland; Jim Flatt

CIO; Sr. Manager – Service Operations, North America, Denon + Marantz Electronics

SuperNova Award Category:

The Company: 

Denon + Marantz Electronics is a leading global provider of high-end audio, video and media equipment, dedicated to enhancing life through inspired sound solutions delivered anytime, anywhere. Including Denon, HEOS by Denon, Marantz and Boston Acoustics, its brands are known for their quality, technology, innovation and audio performance. Denon + Marantz Electronics has 1,100 employees worldwide located across 70 countries, more than 250 of which are customer experience representatives located in Europe, North America, and Japan.

The Problem: 

Denon + Marantz identified a strategic opportunity to completely redesign the customer experience they delivered when preparing for the launch of its new HEOS product line. HEOS wireless speakers feature advanced audio functionality and are connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). Recognizing that customers may need more assistance with these innovative products, the company sought a way to optimize every customer touch point and ensure a personalized, positive experience across what they refer to as the “3 P’s” – as customers purchase, power, and play their devices. 

Previously, Denon + Marantz reacted to incoming inquiries, but wanted to shift to a proactive customer service approach. To do this, D+M needed to understand and define the customer journey, as well as tap into the full capabilities of a cloud customer service solution. D+M sought to meet customers on their preferred channels (mobile, chat, social, email, etc.), while helping them quickly, easily self serve. D+M also recognized the benefits of replacing its disparate solutions and deploying a standard cloud customer experience platform globally.  This empowered agents to deliver consistent, personalized service, no matter where customers are located or what engagement channels they are using.

The Solution: 

The HEOS launch sparked Denon + Marantz’s initiative to reinvigorate its customer service strategy to deliver predictive, personalized service experiences across the latest digital interaction channels. D+M significantly expanded its use of Oracle Service Cloud, leveraging chat, web self-service, and contact center functionality to not only empower customers, but also enhance agent experience and effectiveness.The company deployed Oracle Social Cloud to better understand via social channels when customers are having an issue and gauge sentiment about their D+M products. D+M implemented a closed-loop system that allows a customer service ticket to be opened via social channels, flow through Service Cloud for resolution, then closed with customers via social. D+M continually monitors customer sentiment and uses text analytics to identify key trends and topics. With these solutions, D+M is now empowered to be proactive, taking valuable customer information and making it actionable.

The Results: 

Denon + Marantz created a customer service experience that goes above and beyond expectations, enhances operations across the company, and disrupts the industry view of service.

D+M uses IoT and actionable data from 200,000+ connected devices globally to deliver proactive service. For example, when a HEOS product identified a memory issue, D+M was able to develop a firmware test and push it out to all of their devices to pinpoint ones with the potential to carry the same issue. D+M then proactively reached out to customers affected and sent out a new device, all before customers actually experienced the issue or had to return their device. By sending a replacement device first, D+M built a trust-based relationship with the end consumer. This predictive customer service framework that D+M created is now used across their brands, and serves as an example for other businesses.Insights captured from device usage also help ensure more relevant customer communications and intelligent product development, based on how customers currently use their products. For example, if customers are naming their devices, “Kitchen,” D+M can then evaluate the need to make a device with kitchen-specific features and target correspondence efforts towards that interested group.Deploying a unified customer service platform across regions and aligning with social monitoring efforts enabled D+M to deliver personalized, positive and consistent customer experiences to its customers worldwide.


Denon + Marantz’s next-generation customer experience strategy has driven major organizational results including customer service operations, marketing, development and supply chain management.

For instance:

  • D+M saves $90-180,000 monthly meeting customers via preferred digital channels and empowering them with intuitive web self-service and chat.
  • D+M built extensive online resources with nearly 2,000 questions and answers across products, reducing call volume and costs.
  • HEOS brand service agents take approximately 12-1,500 chats monthly, diverting >10% of calls to the contact center. An agent can handle 3-5 chats simultaneously, leading to further cost reductions.

D+M also provides agents with a 360-degree view of customer activities across channels, resulting in more personalized service and faster resolution – totaling in over a 10% increase in agent effectiveness. Additionally, D+M cut the percentage of long calls (greater than 12 minutes) from 26% to 15%.

Lastly, D+M’s transformation has accelerated global sales and marketing campaigns. Tapping insights from 200,000 connected devices, D+M achieved a 62% open rate and 12% click-through rate in email marketing activities, as well as a record purchase rate of 6% for those campaigns. Information shared has also led to intelligent product development and supply chain management. 

The Technology: 

Oracle Service Cloud: Cross-channel Contact Center, Web Customer Service

Oracle Marketing Cloud

Oracle Social Cloud

Oracle Sales Cloud

Oracle JD Edwards (integration for managing return process and tracking assets)

Disruptive Factor: 

Denon + Marantz completely transformed its customer service philosophy. The proactive way it interacts with its global customer base provides a leading-edge example. D+M views customer service as a critical thread across the whole organization and was challenged with getting buy-in from many areas of the business in order to instill changes from reactive to proactive customer experiences. To prepare for the HEOS product launch and revamped customer service strategy, key stakeholders (customer service, marketing, etc.) met regularly to tackle challenges and drive improved processes. This cross-functional operations meeting, chaired by the CIO and attended by the CEO, was never used before, but is now a staple in all new IoT product launches for D+M.

Using IoT and advanced customer service solutions, D+M exhibits industry-leading customer experience practices. The company can predict customers’ needs and proactively engage with them on the channels – both traditional and digital – that they prefer. This is especially evident in the “advanced return” process that D+M developed in response to an issue that they were able to identify and resolve before customers even experienced a problem. Not only did D+M leverage IoT capabilities to identify a problem and develop a solution, the company demonstrated dedication to its customers by proactively communicating the problem to them and sending a new product without requiring that the customer send the faulty product back first.

Shining Moment: 

D+M’s success in delivering a next generation customer experience has driven more meaningful partnerships with third-party organizations and empowered these organizations to improve their customer experience as well. Data gleaned from D+M products has been used to help music service providers like Spotify and Amazon Prime better understand their customer base. In turn, these companies can provide better service and offerings to their customers and engage in joint marketing campaigns with D+M.

About Denon + Marantz Electronics

Founded in 2002 but based on over 100 years of audio heritage, D+M Group designs, manufactures, and sells high-end audio, video and media equipment as well as consumer electronics through its subsidiaries, including Denon, Marantz, and Boston Acoustics. D+M offers products, such as amplifiers, speakers, DVD players, multi-room audio, and headphone equipment in North America, Europe & Asia.