Bang & Olufsen Reviews | Glassdoor

Bang & Olufsen Reviews

Updated June 5, 2017
9 reviews

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3.0
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Bang & Olufsen President, CEO, and Director Tue Mantoni
Tue Mantoni
4 Ratings

9 Employee Reviews

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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Wonderful Products, but held back by questionable decision making at the top level."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Bang & Olufsen full-time

    Pros

    Fantastic Products. Tight Knit group.

    Cons

    WAY lean forward environment. Little to no help with exposure from corporate in NEW ways for products.

    Advice to Management

    What works for other parts of the world may not necessarily work in the States. You need to think of new, corporate supported strategies to reach out to NEW consumers, not just "call list" old clients every single time a new product comes out or a sale is going on. Despite what you think, it is not effective. There's a reason top people continue to leave.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Store Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Bang & Olufsen (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Opportunity to make money when business is good
    Great training program
    As an employee of such an esteemed and exclusive brand, you constantly meet celebrities and are viewed as a rock star by your peers
    Fun product launches
    Corporate culture is more European than American: you are not forced to work crazy hours, you can (and are expected to) wine and dine clients, there is an atmosphere of fun and togetherness.
    Small enough company that you know everyone by name in the entire US team.
    Very good 401k

    Cons

    Headquarters in Denmark treat US market as an afterthought.
    Products are at best unintuitive -and often impossible - for customers to set up. There is no Tech support for customers and certified installers cost customers $200 per man hour. Store teams are expected to perform tech support on site and over the phone and oversee installations. We spend way too much time NOT selling as we troubleshoot, install, schedule freight, update software, configure wiring diagrams, obtain obscure European parts and connectors, etc.
    Products take 10-14 days to arrive from DK to customers home. If it arrives damaged or defective there is another 10-14 day wait.
    Our customers are smart and successful, and no how to negotiate. Strong salespeople know how to hold their ground (on prices and services provided) when dealing with a famous lawyer or politician or lobbyist - but these professional negotiators will call around until they find a weak salesperson, and your 60k sale and its $3k commission will be sold by someone else for $50k/$1000 commission.
    B&O does very little advertising in US, preferring product placement and clientelling many people do not know the brand.
    CEO's are replaced often and US operations recently replaced its managers. Current management seems to care and says all the right things, but so did their predecessors.

    Advice to Management

    Budgets are always right, but maybe less travel/more WebEX meetings would free up some money for:
    US tech support for customers
    More installers with less mark up on installs
    More advertising.
    US warehousing of products

  3. Helpful (3)

    "Store Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Current Employee - Store Manager in Palo Alto, CA
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at Bang & Olufsen full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Amazing luxury Audio/Video products. Every day as an employee you get to WOW people with the magical experiences of listening to music and seeing video using devices that are incredibly beautiful. When they work (which unfortunately all-too-often isn't the case on first release of new products), there's nothing like them. The company is as much about design as it is about the quality of the sound and images.

    As Manager, to a much greater degree than I've seen anywhere else, they truly give freedom to make (many) decisions "as if it was your own business."

    Cons

    As mentioned above, far too often products don't initially work as described. Releases tend to be their Beta testing, to the detriment of their reputation.
    They're very proud of the fact that they can support the entire US with less than a handful of Tech Support people. But they are ONLY there for the Employees, NOT for customers to call. So, that means that you, as a front-line Manager or Sales Person are expected to be Tech Support for the clients. It's not unusual for you to have to go back and forth a few times to relay messages between Tech Support and your Client. This can make you look ignorant and frustrate the Client with unnecessarily long problem-resolution times.
    Commission percentages are a percentage of the margin, NOT gross sales. On the one hand, this makes sense because if you're going to sell at (or below) cost, there's no money left to pay you a commission on the sale. But with modest margins, even though it's a luxury brand with luxury prices, unless you are truly a top salesperson, you are going to have a hard time making enough to cover normal cost-of-living expenses in this area.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more Tech Support people so that you can open up your phone lines to customers who need technical support. This will free up your Salespeople to focus more on sales.

    Barring that, since your employees in the stores are not JUST Sales People, but also the front line Tech Support, they should be paid as one would expect people holding down 2 jobs are compensated. And since all of your stores are in very expensive areas of the country, the pay should also reflect that reality. You will continue to be hard-pressed to get top-quality consultative sales / tech-support employees if you're going to continue to pay average-for-basic-retail (soon to be less-than-minimum-) wages.

    Either fully staff your stores or adjust the goals to reflect the staff you have. Expecting a store to meet if not exceed a 3-salesperson goal (which requires in-home consultations in order to do more than basic retail "cash & carry" sales), while only hiring 1-2 sales people (so they have to spend most, if not all of their time just keeping the store's doors open for walk-in traffic) is unreasonable.

    Follow your own advice: under promise and over deliver. There has been a consistent pattern of promising release dates for products and then being unable to meet those deadlines. And when products ARE released, far too often, they are in relatively short supply, so after initial sales customers have to wait weeks if not months to get the next shipment.

    Pay more attention to putting a halt to those on your sales teams who are damaging your reputation. The top sales people tend to be those who "wheel and deal" - discounting products, selling products as damaged or refurbished, and discounting (if not giving away) installation labor.

    Recognize that when long-term customers have been dropped - either because they were pulled away by unscrupulous former employees or because they had a very poor experience due to their product failing to live up to advertised expectations and the front-line salespeople being unable to provide a timely resolution to the problem... recognize that that kind of damage to your customer base and reputation isn't going to be fixed overnight, or even in a few weeks or months if it's been going on for a number of years. Developing high-trust relationships with good, loyal, luxury customers - even in expensive parts of the country - takes time. In the luxury product environment, without high-trust relationships, the business will always be unstable.

    Provide your Store Managers with timely P&L Statements so they can know how "their" business is doing. Making them run "blind" for months on end and then complaining that they're not profitable and not taking enough ownership is no way to treat a trusted Manager.

    Improve your communication between departments. Delaying the announced launch of a product because Marketing hasn't relayed their planned Launch Event date to Production is ridiculous.

    Be more consistent with your direction for Managers. While you allow an amazing amount of freedom in terms of decision-making with regard to resolving customer service issues, you engage in an amazing amount of micro-management when it comes to ordering (relatively) inexpensive product and offering price-reductions on discontinued products... some (that were launched 11 years ago and discontinued 5 years ago) which should probably just be donated or written off as unsellable at this point.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Danish Audio Video"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in New York, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Great corporate culture, exciting products and an excellent team of employees. Customers come from a variety of social economic backgrounds which make the interactions interesting.

    Cons

    Compensation growth is almost nonexistent, glass ceiling if you are not of Danish Decent. Company continually misses launch dates and then does not have the production capacity to put product on the shelf.

    Advice to Management

    Stop launching new products unless you can have the inventory to sell immediately after launch, otherwise build inventory then launch. People don't want to wait.


  5. "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor
    Current Contractor - Anonymous Contractor

    I have been working at Bang & Olufsen as a contractor

    Pros

    Easy to work at, modern products, reputable brand

    Cons

    Faulty products, snobby customers, overpriced

    Advice to Management

    Shut down the retail stores


  6. "Old company with lots of legacy, but changing"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Copenhagen (Denmark)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Copenhagen (Denmark)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bang & Olufsen full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There's a lot of legacy in the company preventing it from moving very fast.
    Although there's a growing feeling that it needs to turn into a modern company, so lots of opportunities to take ownership.

    Cons

    Slow moving company and victories are not celebrated as often.
    Benefits are being cut for the most part.

    Advice to Management

    Hire some new talent that can overturn the legacy issues. So many decisions that hinge on the legacy issues are being taken from an internal political view rather than from a customer centric view.


  7. "Great Products, Company Not So Much"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Brand Specialist in Struer (Denmark)
    Former Employee - Brand Specialist in Struer (Denmark)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Bang & Olufsen full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great products, passion for the brand, history, lasting products

    Cons

    sales associates take blunt of the work, trouble shooting, support, take in repairs of old products.

    Advice to Management

    Find a way to source repairs, separate the duties from sales associates so they can focus on selling, ADVERTISE and MARKET better nobody knows who the brand is.

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Steady"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Bang & Olufsen full-time

    Pros

    Great product, and you meet some of the most amazing people in NYC and beyond. You also get to see ridiculous homes in the NY area. If you're on the technical side of things, you can get involved with top-tier integration of high end audio video products in people's homes

    Cons

    Typical corporate problems. All the crap flows down river, no one listens, blah blah blah. It's a big company.

    Advice to Management

    Stop treating your senior sales people, who make up the majority of the sales numbers you post, like they were brand new employees.


  9. "Alles sehr angenehm"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dresden (Germany)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Dresden (Germany)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Bang & Olufsen (More than a year)

    Pros

    Bezahlung, abwechslungsreiche Aufgaben und tolles Klima unter den Kollegen

    Cons

    Arbeitszeit & Aufstiegschancen, Sozialleistungen verbesserungsfähig, auf Grund von Verfehlungen der Vergangenheit sind immer Schwierigkeiten mit den Produkten zu bewältigen


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