3 Pillars for Building Customer Relationships that Last
Customer relationships are the foundation for success at Panasonic. Our customers inspire the technology that’s solving some of the toughest challenges across the most complex industries. But we don’t get there through superficial sales calls or by communicating only when there’s a problem. We get there through carefully fostering customer intimacy.
As Vice President of Mobility Service and Engineering at Panasonic, I work with a team that prioritizes customer intimacy every day, because that’s how we deliver true value to our customers. The journey of developing customer intimacy is not unlike a relationship or even a marriage. All successful relationships – personal or professional – require a deep understanding of each other, a commitment to serve, and dedication. We seek out the answers to these questions: What are our needs? How do we support each other? What does our future look like together? To build customer relationships that last, my technical services team is guided by three main pillars to ensure clients are set up for success: Listen and learn first, provide unmatched support and build trust and loyalty.
Listen to Industry and Operational Challenges
In any relationship, listening is key for effective communication. When building customer intimacy, it’s crucial to listen to challenges, opportunities and feedback to truly understand the industry landscapes and develop a customized product to set our customers up for operational success.
We encourage feedback on a day-to-day basis not just from customers, but also from channel partners, employees and prospective customers so we can take into consideration the many factors that contribute to business challenges and develop an all-encompassing solution. This aspect of partnership is so important, our team can spend anywhere from 18 months to three years holding weekly, detailed technical conversations with prospective customers to fully appreciate their needs before we even begin talking about specific products or pricing. We never just have one person to do all the listening – we have an entire team of engineers dedicated to understanding companies’ needs and providing support throughout the entire journey.
Once a purchase is made, issues may arise that we’ll want to catch before they become bigger problems. A key aspect of listening is keeping an open mind and talking about the hard truths of what’s working and what’s not. One way we do this is by conducting in-person field visits to customers to put ourselves in their shoes and see firsthand how they’re using technology. Recently, we joined one of the nation’s largest transportation and logistics companies for a ride along to see on how they’re using the Panasonic TOUGHBOOK FZ-N1 during their day-to-day activities, and to identify any challenges they may be facing and opportunities to improve their work. As a result, the team learned about the organization’s needs in the context of their day-to-day tasks and was able to provide advice to avoid running into future issues. Information gathered during ride alongs and other customer field visits helps inform the design and functionality of future devices, accessories and more.
Support Doesn’t End After a Sale
We’re committed to being trusted advisors for our customers, and that includes providing all-encompassing support. While our model of continuous feedback means we spend a significant amount of time and resources communicating back to our factories and making changes in service to fit customers’ needs, Panasonic’s Mobility team of more than 600 dedicated service employees around the world make this possible. But our ecosystem of support doesn’t just stop there. We have engineering teams dedicated to solving tough problems, and partnerships with leading companies that serve as resources throughout every stage of the buying, implementation, usage and upgrade phases.
Our unmatched support builds trust because our customers know we always have their back. Customers won’t just hear from my team when a problem arises or when they would like to make a purchase. We’re reaching out every couple of months to check in and become embedded in the technical operations of our customers. When we check in, feedback goes directly to our engineers so the wider team can understand how the technology functions now to make the experience better in the future.
No partner can provide this type of support unless they’ve listened, learned and understand the needs or challenges in front of them. Whether building a personal relationship or customer trust, the support needed to make the relationship work relies on that first foundational pillar to achieve the second, unmatched support – and over time, loyalty.
Building a Qualified Team Customers Can Trust
As with any successful relationship, customer intimacy develops out of trust. It’s not just our technical qualifications, but also a deep understanding of our clients’ needs from an industry perspective. Our team based in the U.S. has more than 500 collective years of technical experience in public sector, public safety, utilities and energy, manufacturing, logistics and more. Our engineering team boasts 40 advanced degrees across disciplines, 28 industry organization memberships and 84 certifications, so when a customer needs help, they can always trust we have the knowledge and skills required to assist.
As companies grow and become more globalized, too many lose sight of one of the most important facets of business – a strong customer relationship. When you partner with Panasonic, you’re working with an organization that invests significantly in building customer relationships so you can improve the way work is done and achieve operational excellence with customized devices and technology to suit your needs.
To learn more about how we can work together, visit our services website.