“We had done a big exercise in developing a brand promise. What we had to do is to have a service business to make that brand promise live in the interactions between our own people and our customers. We needed to have a big training program for our employees. Our customers told us that we were a very skilled service organisation that could fix caterpillar machines. Of course you would expect this from a dealer, but they were also critical of other aspects. For example, we only visited them when we wanted to sell something.
Subsequently we decided that we would have a two year program to install the brand values and behaviours related to the customers in our own employees. Our brand promise consists of the headline “We take care of it” and the brand values that we wanted to promote were:
- We are a skilled company
- We developed excellent personal relationships with our customers
- We empower them: making our customers successful
We saw a mixed reaction among our employees. It was great that we had DOOR on our side, because it was great to relate the brand values and the brand promise to training exercises. But it was very hard work for DOOR and for us, in order to achieve the right mix. I think the learning point for us was that we had an international company and what works for one location in one operating company doesn’t necessarily work for the other company in another country.”
“What we were absolutely amazed of was the quality of the training personnel of DOOR. As a result, , the interaction between your skilled trainers and our people was really terrific in the actual training session.
The results have been variable, but always positive. Some more positive than others. I think the most effective gains were in the operating companies which took the materials that we had developed and adapted it to their own particular needs. When they did that, we saw really big increases in the NET loyalty scores from our customers over a period of time!
We hadn’t anticipated how difficult it would be to take our brand values and match them to the theory and the training knowledge that DOOR has. So actually the effort that we had to put into this was quite surprising, both for DOOR and for us.
The most memorable moment for me was when I saw an event in one of our subsidiary where we had 600 people all together for two days. We combined one of our quality waves into one enormous training session. To see meetings on that scale, where we were looking at really enthusiastic groups of people learning about ‘We take care of it’ and learning how to behave to deliver the brand promise was very thrilling for me.”
“You meet people at DOOR who are committed to our business, committed to our success and to our programs. They are skilled, very enthusiastic and have excellent personal skills. These are the kind of people that you want to be in front of a training program. It tells you a lot about how good the training program itself is, if it is delivered by confident and skilled people.
Some difficulties were in the fact that being a training company means that you understand human sociology and training methods. We are a market driven organisation and what we wanted to do in terms of customer experience and how we wanted to transform that did not always immediately fit into these methods. It was much more difficult than we thought to bend or shape the training practices into something that could deliver a brand promise and behaviours linked to it. That was a difficult process for both of us.”