[White Paper] Beyond Tech Support – Creating Lasting Customer Value

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Many call centers offer technical support for a variety of software issues and questions. But the successful terminal automation solutions provider knows customer value is defined well before the tech support call.

This solutions provider asks many questions of its customers to learn what is needed for efficient operations. Its staff includes those who have worked in the terminals sector or are actively involved in industry organizations, so they have insight to its real-world challenges. This provider delivers the solutions needed, tested and demonstrated to be reliable, and complements its information management solutions with effective training and responsive updates to maintain performance edge. It seeks feedback to ensure its solutions deliver the performance expected.

Client testimonials validate the effectiveness of Schneider Electric’s commitment to ‘customer value by design’. This strategy helps Schneider Electric information management solutions meet the needs of its terminal operator customers and help them remain efficient in a rapidly changing industry.

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[White Paper] Beyond Tech Support – Creating Lasting Customer Value

  1. 1. Beyond Tech Support – Creating Lasting Customer Value 2011 / White paper Make the most of your energy SM
  2. 2. Summary Executive summary ..................................................................................... p 1 Introduction ................................................................................................. p 2 Putting end-user requirements at the heart of technology ............................ p 4 Helping customers keep their customers happy. .......................................... p 4 . Engaging customers and empowering employees........................................ p 5 Conclusion .................................................................................................. p 6
  3. 3. Beyond Tech Support—Creating Lasting Customer Value Executive summary Many call centers offer technical support for a variety of software issues and questions. But the successful terminal automation solutions provider knows customer value is defined well before the tech support call. This solutions provider asks many questions of its customers to learn what is needed for efficient operations. Its staff includes those who have worked in the terminals sector or are actively involved in industry organizations, so they have insight to its real-world challenges. This provider delivers the solutions needed, tested and demonstrated to be reliable, and complements its information management solutions with effective training and responsive updates to maintain performance edge. It seeks feedback to ensure its solutions deliver the performance expected. Client testimonials validate the effectiveness of Schneider Electric’s commitment to ‘customer value by design’. This strategy helps Schneider Electric information management solutions meet the needs of its terminal operator customers and help them remain efficient in a rapidly changing industry. Supporting terminal operations—above and beyond typical “tech support” expectations White paper on customer service for terminal operations | 01
  4. 4. Beyond Tech Support—Creating Lasting Customer Value Introduction In today’s world of ever-changing technology and rapid development of more advanced products and services, it is difficult for companies to determine which solutions are best for their organization. It’s no different for terminal operators. They need to keep up with industry challenges and choosing the right solutions provider to keep their business running efficiently and effectively at all times is key. Providers of terminal automation solutions need to find a way to stand out from the competition. Typically, they try to out-do their competition with the latest and greatest technological advancements. But for the customer, it’s also becoming more about reliability and reputation for outstanding customer service. Today, clients in the terminal automation market require standards of customer relationship management that go beyond traditional customer service and that proactively create value for customers. Terminal businesses look for committed partners to provide a unique value proposition, eliminate downtime and create lasting customer relationships that go beyond tech support. White paper on customer service for terminal operations | 02
  5. 5. A comprehensive approach to customer support
  6. 6. Beyond Tech Support—Creating Lasting Customer Value Putting end-user requirements at the heart of technology In a saturated market with limited technological differentiation, terminal automation service providers need to find innovative ways to succeed in growing their customer base. Terminal Operators need to know that their provider is constantly working to improve its products and services to ensure they continue to provide efficiencies and keep up with changing market conditions and most importantly, that they understand the requirements of the end user. Even the most sophisticated software technologies rely on human brain power for their development. Innovative real-time information technologies designed with the help of developers who have previously worked in the terminal automation sector is the best way to ensure that the provider has a clear understanding of end-user requirements. This knowledge helps to identify the underlying issues facing customers and to address those issues in a timely manner. Customer-centric providers solve industry challenges by listening and gathering feedback from customers and developing products that address their concerns. Helping customers keep their customers happy Even when providing turn-key solutions, design and delivery of the product is only the first step to a long relationship with customers. One of the biggest challenges for terminal operators is system reliability. It’s an old adage, but time is money. Companies can’t afford downtime and when there is a problem with their system they need the provider to find an answer quickly. Making sure the newly installed system runs without downtime should have highest priority, when providing user training, routine maintenance and periodic updates to address changing process conditions. Solutions should create efficiencies and help streamline relationships between terminal operators and their stakeholders. For example, remote multi-terminal “Since they began working with our IT staff, our downtime has been cut by 80 percent... Schneider Electric promised us good customer service and they deliver on that promise. The system works great and Schneider Electric’s tech support is extremely responsive to my needs. In today’s market, responsiveness and quality service is critical to our business.” management software helps integrate operations across multiple terminals, leading to better volume management and faster decision making and reporting. In addition, it keeps all stakeholders and especially drivers happy with faster, more reliable loading and less downtime. Dan Donovan, Inventory Manager Global Companies LLC White paper on customer service for terminal operations | 04
  7. 7. Beyond Tech Support—Creating Lasting Customer Value Engaging customers and empowering employees Customer feedback and input are critical strategic drivers for creating and maintaining market leadership. In a customer-centric business, companies should conduct quarterly customer feedback calls to ensure the solutions are working to solve that customer’s particular challenges. In addition to regular customer surveys to keep a pulse on performance, some companies go further in engaging their customers by inviting them to serve on customer advisory boards to advise the company on products and services. Furthermore, annual customer meetings provide an avenue for attendees to provide comments and voice their concerns. Beyond soliciting feedback, companies can use these With DTN Guardian3 systems, our whole team has access to faster, better sales information from the terminals. We’ve asked for the tools we need, and Schneider Electric has delivered. Now our people can do their job—which is to provide consistently excellent customer service. events as a platform to inform users on upgrades and enhancements based on their feedback, as well as to conduct additional training for its solutions. Smart companies know that people are the single-most important factor of Dan Donovan, Inventory Manager Global Companies LLC success. When terminal operators contact tech support they expect the person on the other end to know their company and the system and to determine what it requires to solve the problem, in as little time as possible. Therefore, employees should be encouraged to develop long lasting and meaningful relationships with customers that go far beyond answering their calls. Just as developers, tech support staff should have significant experience in the terminal automation sector, and should get to know their clients through dispatches to customer sites to provide installation services, upgrades and customer training. When assisting a customer, they should be allowed to do their job without having to pass unnecessary internal hurdles. This means that management leaves it up to the professionals and empowers them to find the quickest and most effective way to assist clients and rewards employees who take charge on customers’ behalf. Establishing new best practices in the industry, Schneider Electric’s approach to creating customer value was recently honored with the Frost & Sullivan Customer Value Enhancement Award 2011 in Terminal Automation for the Oil and Gas Industry. As this industry continues to change at a rapid pace and as the needs of our clients evolve, Schneider Electric will continue to honor the creation of lasting customer value as the most critical pillar of the way we do business. “The yearly Schneider Electric User’s Summit helps us meet with the product development and support teams one-to-one. We have meaningful input and we see things get done. People at Schneider Electric are accountable and they’ve done a lot of things we’ve asked for.” Danny Hayes Supervisor of application of programming Lion Oil White paper on customer service for terminal operations | 05
  8. 8. Beyond Tech Support—Creating Lasting Customer Value Conclusion Schneider Electric: • Works with its terminal operator customers to identify their automation needs • Follows up for feedback to assure performance goals have been met • Delivers lasting customer value Our customer loyalty speaks for itself. “The crew at Schneider Electric is dedicated to finding solutions for us. When I needed an answer one night after hours, I received a response two minutes later, and I had a workable solution that night.” Mickey Smith Pipeline Engineer Countrymark Co-op “Hats off to your support group. They are fantastic. Those guys are doing a top-notch job. When we call them, they get things done fast. We respect them and they respect us. They keep our DTN Guardian3 systems running and everything depends on that system.” Danny Hayes Supervisor of application of programming Lion Oil White paper on customer service for terminal operations | 06
  9. 9. ©2012 Schneider Electric. All rights reserved. Schneider Electric USA 9110 West Dodge Road Omaha, NE 68114 Phone: 1-800-391-1175 Fax: 1-402-255-8125 http://www.schneider-electric.com August 2012

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