AGCO Parts recently presented “Changing the Customer Experience: An AGCO Case Study,” to attendees of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Customer Support Seminar in Milwaukee. The AEM Customer Support Seminar invites industry leaders to provide presentations, case studies and examples of technology working with dealer networks, the workforce and customers for company excellence.
Jennifer McMahan (Whitfield), Director of Customer Experience for AGCO Parts, NA, spoke to industry participants on Sept. 26 about how focusing on customer experience instead of customer service can transform an organization.
“Customer service needs to be effective, efficient and responsive since it builds your customers’ confidence in doing business with you,” said McMahan. “But, customer experience is more than just great customer service, it’s how your customers ‘feel’ about doing business with your company. It’s making sure you have the right people, the right process and the right tools to support your customers’ needs. The ultimate goal of customer experience is reached when your customers become an advocate of your brand.”
Jennifer spoke to a crowd of more than 120 industry leaders about how AGCO Parts, NA has begun to transform its customer experience system through evaluating how AGCO’s people, processes and tools are affecting the dealer network they work with, as well as their customers. “Before, we gave it our best effort and we didn’t have documented processes,” she said. “We had limited cross-functional alignment and communication — informal expectations. Our data and our systems were not aligned with our dealers.” McMahan added, “But now, we have made significant investments to create targeted performance metrics, process adherence and clearly documented expectations. We are investing in tools and systems to be better aligned with our dealers and have monthly scorecards for better transparency of information.”
Jennifer presented a pyramid with several steps to achieving customer advocacy, and noted that we still have a long way to go to truly reach the top in customer experience. But, according to the results we have seen recently, we are well on our way. In 2010, we (AGCO Parts, NA) received best-in-class awards from the North American Service-Parts Conference in recognition for its service, quality and safety.
Additionally, according to the 2011 Heavy Equipment Parts Manager Survey of agriculture and construction companies by Carlisle Research, AGCO Parts experienced a double-digit increase in overall satisfaction. In addition, overall availability satisfaction rose 10 points, and new-model availability increased 12 points, according to the survey.
“It makes a difference if you take the time to be your own customer,” concluded McMahan. She challenged the attendees to take a hard look at the way customers interface with each of their companies to encourage the same growth that AGCO Parts continues to strive toward.
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