Due to the current Corona situation, it is extremely difficult to travel and meet customers in person. Especially the work in the international project business faces many challenges as a result. In the last months SCIO also had to find new collaboration possibilities in order to avoid international barriers - New communication channels have been created and personal handling skills have been extended: thinking along and inspiring customers.
This is what Montserrat Garcia Alujas stands for. The Spaniard has been supporting SCIO for two years in the sales department for the patented industrial labelling process of the subsidiary PrintoLUX. Montserrat Garcia Alujas talks about how she interacts with customers all over the world and what challenges she faces, especially in the international project business:
Question: How would you describe your role in sales?
Garcia Alujas: I primarily manage customers in Spain, Italy, Portugal, countries in Central and South America, and some Eastern European countries. This includes marketing our labelling systems and products and maintaining existing contacts. The customer is not only looking for a good offer with the right value for money for his industrial labelling, but also for individual advice and long-term support. As a recognised labelling specialist for almost all industrial sectors, we are the right contact for such needs. After a sale has been made, in many industrial sectors the relationship may end for others, but for us it is only just beginning. We believe that good customer care also includes building up a relationship based on trust. Especially long-time customers appreciate this.
Question: What does good cooperation with customers mean to you?
Garcia Alujas: For me, the priority is to build trust. The customer should not see me as a salesperson, but as a partner on which he can count in all situations. I am always available for my customers and ready to answer all their questions and help them with any problems they may have. In sales, it is also important to be able to anticipate in order to include solutions for unplanned situations. In this way, I can always provide the customer with a specific solution to his problem and not just sell a product. Just the regular exchange with the customer guarantees that we always know, for example, when the customer needs certain materials and in which quantities, which we can then deliver to him on demand. In this way, we also know whether new projects are in prospect, which we can plan together with the customer. Sustainable customer loyalty is our top priority.
Excursus: The PrintoLUX process
The SCIO Group company PrintoLUX® offers process-optimised label production for machines and industrial plants. This sets new standards and replaces former processes in many application fields. Automotive, machine/plant construction, energy or chemical and pharmaceutical industries: the patented PrintoLUX® process is used wherever labels with variable content, in high consistency and at fair prices are required and must be available quickly. PrintoLUX does not sell a product, but a solution. In many cases, the customer first needs advice and an evaluation of the current situation. Based on this, PrintoLUX, having many years of experience, develops customised solutions and standards, in cooperation with the customer. Customers can order ready-to-use printed labels, including on-site installation, directly or produce them in-house using PrintoLUX® labelling systems.
Question: How does the Corona pandemic affect your daily work?
Garcia Alujas: The Corona pandemic has transformed my job. I'm usually always on the road visiting customers at their various locations. I see the current situation as an opportunity to find new ways of communicating, bridging the physical distance and building trust. Even at a time like this, the customer must get the feeling that he is important. He wants to continue to handle his work and projects in a proper manner, and in order to do so, it is important from our side that we are able to address the current circumstances at the customer's site in a situation-specific manner. Doing so not only creates trust, but also binds customers in the long term.
Question: How exactly do you keep in touch now and what happens if the customer needs help with the maintenance work you mentioned?
Garcia Alujas: In the present Corona situation, video conferences and telephone calls are the only communication options. Even so, my requirement remains the same. Maintenance work must be done and when questions arise, I continue to look for the best solution possible. A perfect example here is one of our long-time customers in Mexico: FFT México. The company works with two of our largest labelling systems, which they are currently using on four major projects for customers in the automotive industry. These systems recently required maintenance and replacement of some parts. After a short training session, the company can take over the label production with PrintoLUX® systems itself, but we usually provide on-site support for maintenance. Due to the Corona situation, we had to come up with something new: For this situation we conducted the maintenance using a live connection with the people on site and one of our technicians, and I interpreted. The customer was very satisfied - perhaps this is also a successful model for after the Corona pandemic - at least for smaller problems, we have therefore already established this as our standard.
Question: Does it make any difference whether the customer is in Germany and therefore close by, or on the other side of the world?
Garcia Alujas: Of course, there are other challenges if the customer is located further away. I must be much more flexible. Despite the distance, our customers know that I will take care of their needs and that they can always reach me despite the time difference. It's very important for me to be responsive to customers and understand their culture so that I can understand their way of working and adapt to them accordingly. Language is of course a key factor here. This enhances our ability, as experts in industrial labelling, to serve customers worldwide and to respond individually to their various needs and build trust.
Thank you for the interesting talk.
You can find out more about PrintoLUX' patented labelling process here.