Martino Gentile, Polti's Customer Service Manager, explains what After Sales is and how it has changed in last years.
What it means to take care of After sales in the current market.
In a highly competitive market, where the customer increasingly assumes a central role, After Sales plays a decisive and strategic role in the purchase decision as well as aiming to strengthen the brand image to promote loyalty and satisfaction and therefore repurchase by the Final Customer.
After Sales completes and combines in a fundamental way the relationship that the Customer has with the Company and its perception of the overall quality, especially when the Company can satisfy in a timely and competent manner requests for repair, support for the use of or search for the product that best suits the Customer’s needs.
This led us to an evolution in line with that of the market, with a clear shift in Polti's interest from the simple "sale of the product" to assistance with the product and all the services / opportunities related to it. Companies that have not understood this change and continue to perceive assistance as a necessary evil, are today at risk of failure. The old concept has therefore left the space to "Customer centricity", a management philosophy now cited by many as the one most likely to promote business success and where the customer has an active dialogue with the business.
What is the greatest improvement you have observed in the last two years.
Given the priority attributed to the Consumer and his satisfaction, particular attention has been paid to the management of After Sales activities, to which is dedicated a cohesive and close-knit internal team that constantly communicates with the quality control, the Service Provider, the Technical Assistance Centers (CAT), the Contact Center and the Final Customers.
The first point of contact with the Customer is the Contact Center, an operation managed by a company outside Polti. Its organization offers two response levels: the first gives mainly general commercial information such as places of sale, prices, features, product comparison and through a fully automated IVR system the address of the nearest CAT, simply by typing on the keyboard of the telephone the postcode of residence of the Customer. The second level, on the other hand, deals with technical issues and offers customer support during the use of the product itself.
The winning strategy for efficient After Sales.
The CATs, on the other hand, take on a more significant role in contact with the Customer, since it is up to them to address any problem related to the functioning of the product. With the valuable support of the Service Provider, in the last two years a process of improvement of the service has been started through a redefinition of the network, composed of over 250 centers, and of the support activities provided by them with the aim of raising the position of CATs from simple technical points to "service providers"; which today range from the distribution of "courtesy products" to original accessories and spare parts and that in the future can be integrated with additional value-added services.
All this was made possible through the implementation of a highly integrated information system that allows the continuous collection of data in real time so as to allow the management and coordination of the various processes including an immediate feedback to the customer, in addition to the processing of performance indicators for assessing the level of service offered and any improvement plans to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the network.
The overall structure of the assistance network and its management approach have proved to be good choices that have increased the performance levels of Polti. The results have been achieved thanks to the commitment, the sense of belonging and the dedication of a highly motivated, competent and customer-oriented team. Individual motivation is an asset that depends on individuals, who with their daily work bring to life the principle of the centrality of the customer: no matter what role they are employed to do, in any case their motivation and determination are fundamental to creating an efficient and effective After Sales service. The well-matched, coordinated, well-integrated and interactive team ensure that the results of the team are greater than the results of its individual members.
The most difficult challenge you had to face and how you overcame the problem.
The challenges within the Polti Group have been many, varied and with varying degrees of difficulty: having overcome them has contributed to improving After Sales service and the perception of the same by all the players in the process, starting from the end customers, to the sales force, as well as the personnel of the Sales Points who recognized this change, increasing the trust in the brand.
The willpower and the determination to achieve results, supported by a terrific close-knit team, have allowed me to overcome all the obstacles and problems encountered in these first two years of intense work!
Full speed ahead and never be satisified!