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Success Story /

A Building Automation company changes its business culture, resulting in a superior customer experience and increased sales revenue

The Challenge

It’s a common problem: sales and service teams tend to work in silos with limited contact between their business units. Yet they share a common purpose – to provide value to the customer – and their own organisation.

Service teams are typically comprised of technical specialists: engineers, IT specialists, operational and logistic personnel. They implement regular maintenance service agreements and/or respond to customer calls when problems arise. Efficiency is important and they tend to focus on fixing the problem as quickly as possible to then move onto their next call.

In reality, service technicians interface with customers to a greater degree than the Account Manager (AM), as their workplace is primarily the customer site. They are in a prime position to observe additional revenue opportunities for their company – and add value to the customer.

Yet many do not have the confidence, skills or motivation to step outside their comfort zone and initiate conversations with customers. They may even make rectification to an issue or potential problem they notice, which is outside of scope, but the customer doesn’t see the value because they are unaware of the additional complimentary service they have received.

The Answer

The CEO recognised that the culture needed to change and a more collaborative outlook developed between sales and service if the company was to keep pace with marketplace expectations and provide meaningful value to their customers. Until this point development investment had focused on the sales team, but clearly building capability within the service team was equally important.

Extensive consultation took place with all stakeholders including the CEO, Sales Director, Service Managers and Operation Managers. A custom program was developed based on the same consultative methodology used by the sales team, but set in a service context. Other components were added to help the service engineers manage themselves and feel more confident. They also learnt how to identify customer styles and adapt their approach to better meet the needs of their customers. They were also given a framework to initiate discussions, ask more questions and gather customer information in a more productive way when on customer sites. Sustainability was assured post-workshop with each engineer participating in five months of one-on-one coaching with the workshop facilitator.

It had previously never occurred to me to ask these sorts of questions while on-site. As a result I identified a new opportunity, made a recommendation and secured a substantial out-of-scope purchase.

Service Engineer, Building Automation Company

The Value

The CEO sees this initiative as a platform for change. His view is that instead of AMs being solely responsible for sales revenue, all customer-facing staff need to be problem-solvers to bring in more business and better business for the company.

Service Engineers now have the capability to ask more questions when on customer sites and gather customer information in a more productive way. Customer needs, requirements, interests and what they value are understood more comprehensively. This intel is passed onto the AMs and the engineers and AMs work collaboratively to expand business opportunities. The engineers feel more confident engaging with customers on-site and ensure that all rectifications are communicated so the customer appreciates the value-adds they receive.

There is more collaboration between sales and service and a unified focus on the customer to understand what is important to them, and provide value at every touch point.

CEO, Building Automation company

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