Chef’s special: Profit – served with a personal touch
It is five in the morning at the Helsinki airport. Two men are hurrying toward the exit gate, coffee mugs in one hand and suitcases in the other. If you look closely, you can see that both men are walking at a brisk pace, not just quickly, but with a sort of enthusiastic, almost elastic anticipation. They are clearly eager to get where they are going. Who are they? Let us introduce to you Mr. Teemu Anttila and Mr. Jonne Pöyhtäri, Key Account Managers at Elematic Customer Services, Finland. "We are basically ready to go within 24 hours if a customer calls us with a problem that requires on-the-spot attention", explains Teemu. "Yes, we are very excited about travelling and do not argue with the prospect of enjoying a delicious, exotic meal at the end of a long working day", his colleague Jonne fills in with a young man's healthy attitude towards food.
Global on-the-spot problem solving
"Earlier, the common way of doing things was for the customer to fax or call us with a problem and we would solve it remotely. Now we can easily hop on a plane and go solve the situation on the spot, if required. We also try to share our previous experience from years past in order to prevent problems before they occur", says Teemu. "It all comes down to us genuinely listening to customers and then considering, what would be the best option with regard to their situation. We do not have a ready list of solutions that we present to clients, but rather we tailor a solution in cooperation. "We want customers to feel that we are in this one hundred percent as people, not just as business partners", says Teemu. "Elematic's Top Service packages include a deeper and more intense cooperation with the customer", describes Jonne. "We work proactively, which means that we call and visit key account customers even outside problem situations to make sure that their operations are optimized and everything is working toward ensuring maximum profit." "Customers can tell us what ever it is they would like to do and suggest anything (well, almost anything), our task is to then determine how it can be realized in practice", Jonne smiles.
Training is preventive action
The mission of Elematic and the CS team in particular, is to find new ways of serving customers and solving their everyday problems. An efficient way of ensuring that customers have ready answers to the most common problems is through training. "We invest more and more in the quality and content of training and in the generating of training packages", says Jonne. "Although standardized, each package is tailored with regard to the products the customer has acquired". A good example of training that has become very popular is the Elematic Precast Academy, which is arranged again 15th - 18th April, 2008, in Helsinki. "If a customer has bought a new product or an entire production line, they have invested a substantial amount of money. Sufficient training ensures the best possible start-up and use of this investment for a relatively small additional cost", Teemu defines.
When asked to come up with three words that define their view of key account managing, both men have an answer ready instantly. "Flexible, pro-active, and value creating", says Jonne. "Commitment and openness", says Teemu, "We want our customers to feel that they are not dealing with a faceless enterprise, but with a real person". That was a bit more than 3 words, but oh well, the end justifies the means and who's counting anyway!