As the saying goes, the customer is always right. At ALMCO, we are always interested in what our customers want and need, but recently, we took that to a new level. Our parent company, Innovance Inc. conducted a Voice of the Customer exercise and interviewed ALMCO customers to understand what matters most to them, and what can be done to make the entire customer experience better.
How it Worked
Every company that purchased a piece of ALMCO equipment since the start of 2020 was contacted and asked to participate in a short interview. From there, Innovance Marketing Director, Greg Thomas, held one-on-one video calls with each customer to discuss what their equipment acquisition experience was like. “I asked a few open-ended questions about what worked well, and what could be better both about the purchasing experience, and the equipment itself,” Thomas stated. “Everyone was very candid with their responses and appreciative of the opportunity to provide feedback.”
The Big Takeaway
The last question asked during the interview was, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely would you be to recommend ALMCO on your next finishing or parts washing equipment project?” This helped us to gauge the customer’s overall experience. The average response was 9.3, with 8 being the lowest rating. In fact, one participant chuckled a bit when asked this question and then said, “I would give ALMCO a 12, and I have already told lots of my engineering colleagues that if you are looking to buy a parts washer, you better be looking at ALMCO.”
The ALMCO team was thrilled to hear about the overwhelmingly positive experiences our customers had throughout the equipment purchasing process. Some common positive feedback we received was around ALMCO’s staff expertise, the lab samples customers received to prove the finishing process, clear and responsive communication, high-quality equipment, and significant labor savings. By the way, we counted the “12” as a 10.
Not All Rainbows and Butterflies
Everyone loves to hear the positive, but it is not quite as easy to hear about suggestions for improvement. However, in the spirit of continuous improvement, hearing feedback on ways to enhance our purchasing process was exactly what we were looking for. Along with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received, we also gained valuable insights into what we could do even better. Some customers said that getting a deeper understanding of their entire production process would help define the right equipment options and finishing process sooner. Making the quote form a little easier to read and understand was also mentioned several times, along with simplifying the lab report when sample parts are run.
Based on customer feedback, we have started the process of redesigning our current quote form, and we’ll be working on the lab report next. In addition, we are placing a more focused effort on understanding the entire production process that the ALMCO equipment will be placed into to identify the right solution more quickly.
The ALMCO team would like to say “thank you” to every person that took the time to meet as part of this important exercise. We strive to always be improving the overall customer experience as well as our equipment itself.