In this article, I discussed how engineering companies can learn some customer service lessons from online businesses such as Amazon. A natural progression is to reflect on our own Customer Service at NASH. How are we embracing this brave new world? In my previous article I identified three core ‘touch points’ to help drive high-quality customer service:
- Acknowledge all enquiries swiftly
- Provide detailed, costed work quotes rapidly
- Issue despatch details for finished work as soon as possible
NASH is committed to delivering the highest possible standards of both mechanical seal engineering and customer service. Our own customer relationship system is based on these three essentials. We also add a couple more that both benefit many of our customers and help NASH grow and develop our services even further.
1. Acknowledgement Receipts are sent out to all enquiries within 24 hours
We log customer reports of mechanical seal problems onto our system as quickly as possible.
At the same time, also check that a seal’s Duty Conditions and Service History are in place. If necessary, we also request any further information we need for us to undertake a diagnosis of the problem and development of a solution.
We commit to confirming these actions to our customer within 24 hours.
2. Detailed work quotations are sent out promptly.
After stripping down damaged seals, we send customers a detailed quotation and Inspection Report that includes relevant photographs documenting the condition of key components.
We understand that for many customers, mechanical seals are process-critical. The lead-times of many weeks or even months often quoted by seal OEMs can cause real issues for many businesses. An essential element of NASH’s service proposition is to reduce lead times. As part of our philosophy of active lead-time optimisation, our team checks live orders daily to ensure we hit or beat our delivery schedules.
We regularly turn around repair work in as little as one or two weeks. On the rare occasion, there are delays, we let customers know immediately.
We normally send out our quote within three working days.
3. We notify customers of scheduled dispatch of their repaired seal
As soon as a repair is complete and the seal is ready to be returned, we advise customers of despatch 24 hours before the seal leaves our workshop.
Customers find 24 hours notice of despatch both helpful and valuable. Not infrequently, they email us back with modified delivery requirements. Of course, we are normally happy to meet these.
With every Advice of Despatch email sent out we attach a Conformity/Pressure Test Certificate and fitting, operating and maintenance instructions. Also, on the basis that a picture paints a thousand words, we include a photograph of each finished seal to provide a ‘visual heads up’ of what we are about to send them.
We notify customers 24 hours before we despatch their repaired seal.
4. The value of feedback
We always want to know what our customers think about us. Positive comments are always great but it is any less-positive comments that are the real value in helping us improve in ways that truly enhance our customer service.
NASH always welcomes customer opinion at any time, both formally and informally.
Consistently listening to customers and acknowledging their feedback is essential. Without this vital customer input, we would struggle in our mission to constantly keep our processes in tune with customer needs.
We send out a feedback questionnaire following each delivery.
5. Chasing up unanswered quotes
While not strictly part of our service delivery flow, we recognise that our customers are busy people. It would be easy for us to assume that lack of response to our quote means our customer does not wish to proceed. However, the reality is often quite different. Distraction by other priorities can mean that sometimes customers simply forget to raise a purchase order against our quotation.
NASH policy is to always chase up quotes where we have heard no response. Many of our customers genuinely appreciate this approach. For us, this avoids building up a backlog of open quotes while for our customers, these reminders can mean that repairs are completed in good time rather than being a last minute rush – a benefit to everyone!
We follow-up our quotes to make sure your repair doesn’t get forgotten.
At NASH we are proud of the effort we put in to delivering the best possible mechanical seal service to our customers. However, we recognise there is always room for improvement. So, if you are an existing customer with ideas as to how we can serve you even better, please let us know. Alternatively, if you have yet to experience the NASH way and would like to see how we can benefit your mechanical seal maintenance and repair needs, please get in touch.