In 2017, it has been 24 years since I joined Sumitomo Construction Machinery. My first job was supporting technical field service in Japan. Through 14 years of this activity, I learned a lot from our valuable customers about the importance of after-sales service as well as product quality.
From 2006, my responsibility expanded to Europe, Southeast Asia, China and India market, and in 2013, I was assigned to Customer Support Group manager of PT. Sumitomo Construction Machinery Southeast Asia, covering mainly Indonesia and also other ASEAN countries and now I am living in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The first mission which I decided after moving to Indonesia was improving distributors’ mindset about the after-sales service which our distributors in ASEAN countries had not taken very seriously. First of all, I started to interview both the after-sales service team and sales team of our distributors in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. I figured out that both teams had related problems; for after-sales service team, “It is difficult to build up trust with customers,” and for sales team, “One of reasons why we cannot sale well is poor service response by after-sales service team.” To be honest, inner miscommunication in the organization seemed to unconsciously give unreliable impression to their customers. Considering claims held by both teams, I found it was necessary to realize closer communication between sales and after-sales teams. To build bridge between them, I actively joined distributors’ meeting and involved all of them for settling problems together one by one. Keeping up with this action, I succeeded to integrate sales force and service force, and they were able to work in close cooperation with each other. As a result, we finally won the trust from customers at the point of both service and product quality. As for Asphalt Paver business which is rapidly growing up in the market these years, we have been providing after-sales service as well. Our after-sales service provides not only proper operating instruction but also “pavement method” cooperating with our reliable distributors. By carrying out our mission for customers, we resulted in drastically decreasing troubles in the actual pavement work as well as machine trouble.
Now I am struggling to organize a program and textbook by recollecting actual trouble cases occurred before. At the same time we are educating our distributors from the service skill point of view. I am very sure that anyone can offer good quality service with this program and textbook. Moreover, I will have to tackle bringing up not a serviceman but “a service-adviser” who can offer technical service together with wide range of proper advices from how to solve troubles and to keep the machine in good shape to ideal operation method, which is a key factor for us to be trusted from customers.