Siemens (BT) Drives Customer Loyalty with Proactive Customer Complaint Tracking
Siemens Building Technologies Division
Founded more than 110 years ago, Building Technologies Division has built its name and reputation on quality, innovative products and services. Likewise, BT now operating in 51 countries worldwide, leads the market in providing technical infrastructure for more secure, comfortable and efficient buildings.
Currently, the Division is placing a renewed focus on building customer loyalty. Driven by the Zug-based Customer Focus Team, Building Technologies has engaged in a variety of initiatives designed to enhance customer loyalty, from surveying customers to managing complaints to interfacing with key customers.
"Customer loyalty is very important to us. Our mission is to be the company’s lens to the customer’s perspective, promoting a customer-focused culture," said John O’Sullivan, Program Manager for Complaints Management.
Complaint management is one of the core components of the Customer Focus Team’s multi-part efforts. Through customer surveys, BT identified this as a major area of opportunity to enhance the customer’s perception of the company. To accomplish its goals, BT needed a simple, yet powerful way for employees across 51 countries to manage and track customer issues.
After evaluating a number of options, the Customer Focus Team selected i-Sight Service and Complaints software. The web-based nature of the software would enable rapid roll-out across all countries, and make it accessible, in real time, by users worldwide. "i-Sight was the most user-friendly tool. We could implement it pretty quickly in all countries," O’Sullivan said.
With i-Sight’s customization capabilities, the solution is easily adapted to BT processes and workflows – rather than requiring the Division to change its processes to fit the software. The intuitive interface allows end users to learn and begin using the software in a matter of minutes.
Recognizing that many individuals and cultures are not comfortable filing complaints, BT created a way to identify customer issues proactively. "If customers are frustrated and do not formally complain, then we have lost an opportunity to address their issues effectively," O’Sullivan said. "We’d rather be proactive than reactive."
The company now performs customer surveys after key projects or significant interaction with a customer. If any survey shows low scores, the Customer Focus Team generates a "ticket" in i-Sight, ensuring that someone addresses the root causes of unsatisfactory survey results.
For all complaints entering i-Sight, BT assigns a "broker" to oversee the case. The broker sees the issue through a formal process managed by i-Sight from start to resolution. From there, the broker identifies the best person to address the issue. Workflow and business rules in the software ensure that all parties resolve their assigned issues within a set timeframe. If not, those issues escalate to a higher level. Everyone involved in a case receives automated notifications regarding the status of issues and remaining timeframes.
"i-Sight leads you through the process. In fact, you don’t even need to know the process. The tool guides you proactively," O’Sullivan said.
All resolutions stay in i-Sight and are searchable, giving BT a knowledge base by which to find previous solutions. With i-Sight, the Division now has a standard, best-practices approach for managing complaints consistently across all locations, ensuring that every step is taken, from start thru’ corrective action and on to resolution. Upon closure of an issue, the software automatically emails a survey to collect customer feedback and close the loop.
With detailed reporting, i-Sight also helps BT identify common issues and find solutions that ultimately reduce the number of customer complaints and enhance customer loyalty.
Currently, the Customer Focus Team is rolling the solution out to all Building Technology offices globally. With widespread use, BT expects better management of customer issues to support a number of business objectives.
From a quality assurance perspective, O’Sullivan says, formal documentation in i-Sight gives the company evidence rather than anecdotes. With that record of complaints, the company can drill down to see trends in quality issues and take corrective and preventive action. Documentation also provides important traceability if the company ever needs irrefutible proof of its handling of a complaint case.
An automated complaint management workflow reduces the time required to solve customer complaints, which in turn drives customer satisfaction, customer loyalty and customer advocacy. Ultimately, increased loyalty goes back to the bottom line.
"By handling complaints faster and more effectively, we build stronger relationships with our customers, and encourage their loyalty," O’Sullivan said. "With a structure and process in place, we can be more proactive in analyzing and managing those complaints."
"By handling complaints faster and more effectively, we build stronger relationships with our customers, and encourage their loyalty. With a structure and process in place, we can be more proactive in analyzing and managing those complaints."
- John O’Sullivan, Program Manager for Complaints Management, Siemens, Building Technologies Division