Customer Service: The Art of Giving People More than They Expect
Visiting a good restaurant quickly loses its appeal if the service is incompetent and unmotivated or even noticeably absent. But of course, bad service is not only a nuisance in restaurants: An innovative product is always fine, but if the expertise, the support and the willingness to listen on site or by phone are lacking, the result in most cases is dissatisfaction and misunderstandings. Customer service or customer care exists across all sectors. Whether it is the restaurant or the machinery manufacturer, every industry lives from its customers and those are the very people you have to take care of not only during an ongoing project. As Michael LeBoeuf said: «The greatest asset of any company is its customers, because without customers there is no company». Kraft Curing Systems GmbH in Lindern, Lower Saxony, has been living by this principle for over 25 years and is continuously working to offer the best customer service in the entire concrete industry and to revolutionise it.
With now 11 service technicians and two customer service coordinators in Germany, Poland, the USA and India, Kraft Curing Systems GmbH offers a strong service team. The range of services includes not only the commissioning of the systems, it also means troubleshooting with the customer as well as on-site maintenance and service. More than 1,600 Kraft Curing Systems units have been delivered worldwide to date. Approximately 30 % of these were installed in the USA, which is why the service network in North America was expanded last year. With two additional US technicians, equipped with service vehicles, spare parts and modern tools as well as measuring devices, all services and maintenance contracts were successfully completed and problems were solved. The local service office near Philadelphia also has a large spare parts warehouse, which has been further expanded and stocked up due to the supply bottlenecks and delivery difficulties, especially for control components, during the Covid pandemic. Because not only the on-site service, but also the response time of the service teams contribute to the quick and uncomplicated support of the customer. This also includes the fast delivery of spare parts so that the customer’s production run is not disrupted or delayed.
But it was not only in the USA that investments were made in the service, but also in Europe. This year, an emergency spare parts warehouse was built and set up at the production facility in Lindern, Lower Saxony. This helps to avoid long delivery times for electrical and also mechanical components and to offer an even faster and more efficient service. Kraft Curing Systems has made it its business to deal with its customers’ problems within 24 hours. The customer is guaranteed fast delivery of spare parts and on-site support – regardless of the country in which the plant is located. True to the motto: Nothing is impossible. Every problem can be solved and there are individual and quick solutions for all of them. First and foremost, the client should be supported, costs and efforts should not be a priority.
«We had a very well-functioning Kraft Quadrix system installed 2 years ago in a very short assessment and installation time. The results met our expectations and the adjustments, improvements after commissioning were carried out quickly and professionally. The availability, response time to any problems, questions are dealt with very competently and quickly. We are very grateful to Kraft Curing Systems and its employees for this. Because only with a win-win situation you can survive in today’s highly competitive market.»
Mr Roland Erni of Sebastian Müller AG, Switzerland
Another possibility to assist the customer on site is remote support via service glasses. Besides the classic 24/7 telephone support, the Kraft Curing Systems GmbH service team also offers assistance via these service glasses. Here, the service technician sees everything the customer sees and can provide interactive support. In this way, we not only solved service cases, but also put complete plants into operation during the corona pandemic. Regular maintenance is the decisive criterion to prevent breakdowns, problems or a drop in performance of the systems. Because just like your car, concrete curing equipment such as vapor generators need regular checks and inspections. Like the car’s tyres, the Vapor Generator’s air filter must be checked and replaced regularly. That is why Kraft Curing System GmbH is committed to providing precisely this service. A new type of maintenance contract has been introduced for some years now, meaning scheduled service intervals for the customers and carried out by the technician on site – for trouble-free operation of the system. Whether the technician travels by service truck or by plane is irrelevant. Because every maintenance includes the components that the technician carries along or that are sent in advance. Efficient and successful maintenance always requires the right spare parts and tools.
«Kann GmbH Baustoffwerke, Kaltenkirchen plant, has been working closely with Kraft Curing Systems for many years. To improve our product quality, we as a customer benefit greatly from the expertise, a fast response time as well as excellent service. We are accompanied by very good technicians. All appointments are reliable and always kept.»
Mr Stephan Bartsch, Kann GmbH Baustoffwerke, Germany
However, this does not only include the system maintenance and inspection and the competent and dedicated performance of the service technician on site, but also the process optimisation. Service sheets or maintenance protocols on paper are thing of the past at Kraft Curing Systems. This year, the company is introducing service pads that enable a more straightforward easy report generation. This not only helps the technician, but the reports can be signed directly on the tablet and shared with the client via email or Wi-Fi.
The core competence of the service is reflected in the servicetechnicians on site. If your own colleagues are dissatisfied or even unmotivated, this is a major drawback. Consequently, Kraft Curing Systems GmbH is not only concerned with customer satisfaction, but the satisfaction of its staff or colleagues also plays a very important role. Kraft Curing always offers its employees training, further education and workshops to improve their skills. These team meetings not only help to build their respective skills, but also strengthen the team spirit to provide the best service.
«The satisfaction of our customers is our top priority. No matter what problem or suggestion the customer has, we react immediately and implement the right levers to support our customers. No matter what time of day it is, we are there for our customers. Excellent customer service is more than just answering customers’ questions and solving their problems. We always listen to our customers, and strive to implement the customer’s ideas.»
Johannes Knurbein, Service Technician, Kraft Curing Systems GmbH, Germany