Five Lessons Learned From GE And Stanley Black & Decker On Strengthening Customer Service Using The Cloud

Feb 18 2014, 12:00pm CST | by

Accepting the challenge of delivering great customer service needs to start at the very center of any business with the deliberate decision to unify diverse, disparate legacy systems around the customer first.

Galvanizing insight, information and knowledge around the customer moves all forms of service out of react mode to anticipating, educating and ultimately co-creating valuable customer experiences. Add in man-machine data and companies can quickly accelerate up their customer service maturity.

At Salesforce’s Dreamforce last year I spoke with Ashley Haynes Gaspar, General Manager, Software & Services, atGE Oil & Gas’ Measurement and Control business and recently spoke with JoAnna Sohovich, Global President of Stanley Black & Decker, Industrial and Automotive Repair  Both of these leaders are exceptional in their insight and expertise in selectively applying cloud technologies to attain their specific service objectives.

Using the Salesforce Service Cloud, both are revolutionizing their businesses and their experience and lessons learned provide valuable insights shared below.  Salesforce is not and has never been a client of mine and I paid my own travel and hotel expenses to Dreamforce last year.

Lessons Learned:

The faster you can share knowledge and expertise throughout the social network of service employees, departments, organizations and devices and machines, the faster you mature to service excellence.  Both Ashley and JoAnna spoke often of the accomplishments their companies are achieving based on more agile, fluid flows of data both between people and between people and machines. Based on their insights I created the following Enterprise Cloud Customer And Equipment Service Maturity Model.  For both companies, the ability to create communities that involve people and machines is essential to reaching the next level of service performance.

Building a social network of products is essential if you’re going to overcome service challenges later this decade.  Both Ashley and JoAnna often remark how their businesses can readily see the value of speaking with machines and anticipating how their performance will impact the value they deliver to customers.  GE estimates that it costs $1M for every day an oil and gas rig is inoperable due to broken equipment or a parts shortage.  Having each part on an oil and gas rig part of a social network would alleviate costly downtime while providing a solid foundation for the GE Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) goals in progress today.  At Stanley Black & Decker the goal is to move beyond smart tools to genius tools that anticipate and help co-create with customers, expanding on the smart toolbox initiatives in place today.“The best customer service experience is one that never has to happen,” said Alex Bard, SVP and GM of Service Cloud, salesforce.com. “Innovative companies like GE Oil & Gas and Stanley Black & Decker will empower products to communicate in advance and alert users of impending problems before they arise. In order for this level of customer service to be offered, enterprises need the right tools and business processes to proactively listen when machines start talking.”

Automating service to the lowest technological common denominator of your customer base drives higher adoption.  While both companies have the capacity to deliver state-of-the-art technology applications, Stanley Black & Decker found that their MacTools franchises just needed simple text messages and alerts accessible on flip phones. Using this approach the company was able to increase the cases logged from 20% to 100%, and their text-to-case application is a favorite with their franchisees and employees.

Strengthen service strategies with a deliberate integration of intelligence and knowledge so customer co-creation is attainable.  Co-creation is the highest level of customer service maturity because this is where enterprises’ efforts to deliver service scale beyond cost constraints to deliver revenue and significant cost savings for a customer.  At this level service is no longer about just satisfying customers, it’s about seeing how service intelligence and knowledge can actively contribute to their revenue and profit growth.  GE is using sensors on their drilling and exploration equipment to provide customers with real-time dashboards of equipment performance, reliability and MRO schedules so costly downtime can be averted.  GE is aggregating the data collected from the myriad of devices and equipment to provide customers with predictive analytics showing relative device and entire facility health levels.  This is leading to millions of dollars saved a year.  Stanley Black and Decker co-creates revenue and profit growth with customers by tracking and automating the renewal of contracts with its CribMaster business.

Service is being revolutionized from responsiveness to transparency. The Drilling Customer Experience initiative at GEOil & Gas and the immediate availability of intelligence and knowledge at Stanley Black and Decker illustrate how the essence of excellent service is shifting from being responsive to transparency with customers.  For GE, the ability to deliver real-time machine status and have specific equipment on an oil and gas rig located hundreds of miles offshore provide Chatter updates to engineers fuels co-creation.  The vision of having an oil and gas rig completely automated would save millions of dollars a year, further delivering co-creation value to GE’s customers.  The same holds true at Stanley Black and Decker, where smart toolboxes, smart tools and the ability to cross-sell across divisions is leading to greater co-created value opportunities with customers too.

Source: Forbes Auto

 
 

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