The customer case studies seen here describe actual outcomes experienced by Global Partners Training clients whose team members have completed our enhanced customer relationship training. By asking participants to connect lessons learned in their training to real-world results, we bring to life compelling anecdotes that illustrate how our leading-edge training can unlock value for you and your customers.
A field service engineer in Korea was facing a very upset customer who needed replacement parts that were no longer manufactured. Using active listening skills, the field service engineer determined that the root cause of the customer’s frustration was actually his need to increase the power of his equipment. The engineer was then able to solve the problem by offering alternative new equipment that was actually cheaper than the requested parts.
Not only was the customer very thankful to get the extra power they needed at a price lower than what the parts would have cost, they were able to avoid stopping production to modify their equipment. And the equipment supplier made a six-figure sale of new equipment.
The Germany-based customer of a telecom network provider was demanding expanded scope and risk for an ongoing project, but was unwilling to pay for the additional work. By applying communication techniques learned in training to get to the heart of deeper customer issues, needs and goals, the service manager realized that the customer’s real concern was about financing, and that they would be willing to pay for the additional scope as long as the supplier could help finance the costs. This realization enabled the supplier and the customer to reach common ground and move forward to close a half-million dollar deal.
A sales account manager and field service manager were meeting with a key industrial equipment supplier customer in the U.S. to discuss the final details of a large capital equipment purchase, when the leader of the customer team said: “This all sounds pretty complete. We just have a few questions that we want to talk over before we give you our final decision.”
Thinking that the customer wanted a moment alone with his team, the sales account manager said to his field service colleague, “Why don’t we step out and let them have their discussion?” But the customer surprised the account manager by responding, “No, if you wouldn’t mind leaving us for a moment; we want to talk about these issues with him,” indicating the field service manager.
One of the great advantages of prioritizing customer focus in your business dealings is that it helps you be more proactive — even to the point of being able to anticipate problems that a customer is likely to encounter and then solving them without being asked. Here’s a current example, now that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing problems and complications with what used to be routine processes.
A laser manufacturer was working with a customer to replace older, proven systems with new technology. Built in Germany, the new equipment arrived during the early days of the pandemic in Shreveport, Louisiana, where installation was completed but training was not. However, the laser manufacturer’s service people were attuned to being customer focused. They proactively spent time with the customer’s people learning exactly what they knew and didn’t know about the new technology, and then tailoring a training and support program specifically to address the gaps in the customer’s knowledge. As a result, the customer avoided countless hours of lost manufacturing time due to not knowing how to operate the new equipment.
What happens to customer focus when the customer is being unreasonable? It becomes an opportunity to ask smart questions that uncover underlying issues. Here’s an example. A customer of a high-tech manufacturing equipment provider was demanding replacement of a machine because it could not perform at precisely the same level as a similar machine that was operating beyond its specifications. To the customer, this seemed like a reasonable request; but the supplier knew the reality was that the two machines could not perform at the same level if one of them was operating beyond spec.
Rather than simply insist that the customer accept this reality, the service supplier asked why it was so important that the two machines performed at the same level, then worked with the customer to find a solution that addressed his real issues. The resulting solution not only saved the supplier millions of dollars in equipment replacements, it also saved the customer from significant lost output while the new equipment was being installed.