How a change in behaviour and attitude of client facing employees leads to higher client satisfaction

Chemicals & Manufacturing
André Koch

Challenge

In 2013, the André Koch AG changed its holding company and management board. Since the automotive finishing market was shrinking, the company developed a growth strategy and invested in new recruitments. Within a short period of time, new employees joined the sales department and the back office. In addition to the staff increase new product launches and an increasing number of clients also led to challenges in the internal and external communication. This new pace and required professional client communication was an internal change the prior employees also had to face

Solution

"1st step: Sales workshop and TTT success insights A 1-day workshop was designed for the sales and engineering force. Before the content was defined, a situation analysis was carried out. Two Krauthammer consultants accompanied some of the sales representatives to client meetings to see how they approached their clients. In addition, all training participants completed a TTT success insights-assessment (DISC). The results from the reports were harvested during the workshop. 2nd step: Customer service skills for back office A 2-day-programme for 13 back office employees had to be developed. The goal was to improve their customer service telephone skills. A Krauthammer consultant also observed the behaviours of the employees here as well, to identify their needs before designing the programme. Based on this “field day”, the programme focused on topics like proactive client behaviour, taking ownership/responsibility by enjoying the customer contact, communication basics and application, eye-to-eye-level with the client, dealing with objections, and treating them as opportunities, complaint handling, and last but not least, representing the company in a confident way."

Results

"Both the workshop and training led to a much stronger team spirit across departments. Before this, back office employees tended to suffer from “department-thinking” (“I’m not responsible for this”, “This complaint is not my fault”) which decreased considerably after the training. The team understood that clients needed their issues to be solved instead of getting involved in unclear internal responsibilities. The training participants also realised that colleagues and/or clients might have different attitudes, and that it can be helpful to change perspective to understand the reason why a colleague or client behaves the way he does. Ivica Juric, Applications Engineer, describes the result as: “better communication with each other due to an increased understanding of colleagues, clients and superiors”. Regarding the sales and engineering force, Enzo Santarsiero observed that “the DISC model helps our employees manage their stakeholders in a much better way. Now that they can “read” the behaviours of their clients and prospects, their communication and their customer orientation improved”. Moreover, after the workshop and training employees understood that the company can only improve if each employee works on themselves. The positive experiences the employees have had, since the Krauthammer training motivates them to further enhance their new skills. Internally, they decided to hold a monthly workshop."

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