NovAtel's Annual Journal of GNSS Technology Solutions and Innovation

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Page 48 of 51

customer service Achieving customer Delight the novAtel wAy EnginEEring-basEd customEr sErvicE: problem solver, feedback loop, sales force enhancer, competitive differentiator—a companywide effort. C ustomer service is a necessary function but not typically the basis of an organizational brand or culture. At NovAtel, however, the environment and stature of its Customer Support group could not be more distinct from the stereotypical customer service department. The company's organizational structure itself reflects the importance of the customer support function at the company. Bruce Cody, Customer Support manager, is not separated from the executives by a layer of middle management. Instead, he reports directly to Graham Purves, executive vice president. The very nature of NovAtel's OEM business model dictates a strong customer support focus, adds Lori Winkler, marketing communications manager. "Most of our competitors sell end-user products, whereas original equipment manufacturers have always been our focus," she says. "We have to be very technically skilled to serve this market." Access to engineering talent Direct customer access to engineering professionals is a defining feature of NovAtel's cus- For more Solutions visit http:/ / tomer support philosophy. "Customers don't have to go through some kind of screening process or lower level support people before they can get to an engineer to talk about their need," Cody says. "Our Customer Support people don't just do customer support," Cody adds. Customer Support staff helps customers integrate NovAtel's technologies into their products and trains them on the equipment. The staff also provides technical support to NovAtel's sales force. "Where a lot of companies have one group of application engineers who go out and do the fieldwork and another team of customer support people, we combine those functions into the same group," Cody says. Customer Support staff in turn have dedicated engineering resources available to call on should the need arise. generalists with special talents The nature of the work requires every Customer Support staffer to be a generalist who can help just about any customer solve a problem. Inevitably, however, staffers become unofficial specialists in some industries. 2013 velocity 49

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