Florian Liebert, Plastics Industry Manager for Zwick, recently spoke with Nori Wittenzellner, Customer Advocate for Zwick USA, about the outstanding response she has received from customers and the rewards associated with her role. Below is a summary of their discussion:
Approximately 18 months ago, Zwick determined that there were opportunities to enhance the manner in which customers are engaged between the ordering process and on-site installation. We looked at the number of processes that take place from the placement of an order to the completion of installation and we concluded that we could do more to help our customers prepare for the arrival of their testing systems. This is when we decided to establish the Customer Advocate position. Nori Wittenzellner holds this position at Zwick USA and I spoke with her to bring you the latest perspectives on customer support.
FL: I understand that you have received excellent feedback from customers – would you mind sharing some of the general comments that have come in recently?
NW: One of the best things about my role is the connection I have with our customers. They often send me emails once the installation has been completed, expressing thanks for the information they received to prepare the site and indicating that the order confirmation was helpful. In this position, I am empowered to take action on behalf of our customers. I enjoy knowing that I am able to make a difference for them and that I can apply my creativity to address their needs.
FL: Now that you have held the position of Customer Advocate for more than a year, what would you say are some of the more challenging issues you have managed?
NW: I have actually tackled quite a wide variety of issues. Perhaps one of the more challenging scenarios is the pre-acceptance process for customized orders. The nature of these orders introduces some complexities that require coordination between our technical teams in Germany and the order champion at the customer site. As pre-acceptance involves on-site check out of the order prior to shipment from Germany, I interface with our contacts at the customer site to ensure that their trip is timed appropriately and that the process runs smoothly. In some cases, we also send staff members from our Service department to participate in pre-acceptance meetings. I communicate with our Service group to ensure schedules are aligned to accommodate this when needed.
FL: What are some basic yet essential things customers should be aware of after they have placed their orders?
NW: Adequate preparation of the site to provide the power required is an important consideration. There are some machines that require transformers and as this can take time for our customers to set up, I provide a confirmation of the power requirements as early as possible.
FL: An integral part of your role involves managing communication flows to ensure order processing, order confirmation, pre-installation communication and shipping functions run according to plan. Please tell us a bit more about what takes place from order confirmation to installation.
NW: After the order confirmation takes place and the manufacturing process is proceeding, communication between our sales and service professionals begins. The communication ensures that the proper steps are taken to deliver an outstanding installation experience for our customers. Once installations are completed, I process any post-installation requests and identify resolutions to any issues that may have been presented.
FL: In closing, what would you like for our customers to know about Zwick’s approach to customer support?
NW: I would simply like for everyone to know that they can contact me and I’ll follow up to coordinate information or resources on their behalf. Making sure that our customers are satisfied and that they are pleased with our products is my primary goal.