Atlas Machine & Supply, Inc. has been in business in Louisville, Kentucky for more than 100 years. Executives at the company, which designs, manufactures, sells and repairs industrial machinery in the Ohio valley, were confident their customers were happy with Atlas.
But Were Customers Really All That Happy? Atlas President Rich Gimmel couldn’t shake his concern.
He saw subtle changes that suggested a gap between how the company perceived itself and how customers perceived it.
Were they still the vendor of choice in their markets?
The Daniel Group Gets Answers: Gimmel decided to implement The Daniel Group’s ServiceConnect process to survey customers in Atlas’s compressor, pump, and machinery divisions.
The Daniel Group customized its questions to serve the needs of each division.
The results, Gimmel says, were an eye-opener. “Little things we might consider insignificant were considered huge by our customers, such as the failure to return their calls fast enough, or to let them know we’re on our way to fix their equipment. For us to just show up is a huge irritant to our customers.”
The Daniel Group contacts customers every month for Atlas and reports real-time results through its proprietary online system. “What this has done is driven accountability for customer service to all levels of our organization,” Gimmel says. “It has changed the culture here by sensitizing our people to things that do or do not meet customer needs, and the accountability that goes with that.”
Keeping customers by addressing problems pro-actively Gimmel says The Daniel Group’s work “has awakened us to customers who were dissatisfied and were planning to go to a competitor. My worst nightmare is the guy who just quietly says ‘the heck with you’ and goes somewhere else. Now, we can address any issues pro-actively.”
That change in focus is enhancing the company’s stellar products and services.
Gimmel had tried contacting customers himself before hiring The Daniel Group, but found The Daniel Group received more candid responses. “People don’t want to discuss potentially small problems with me. They’d tell me they didn’t want to get anyone in trouble.”
“It never ceases to amaze me that the interviewers who work for The Daniel Group have a way of getting through past the voice mail, past the gate-keepers. Frankly, they do a better job than some of my sales people.”
Gimmel finds The Daniel Group lives what it teaches. “I have tremendous respect for Lynn Daniel and the organization. When they say they’re going to do something, they do it. Their response to us is tremendous. They treat us like we’re the biggest customer they’ve ever had.”