Foley Inc., Piscataway, N.J., was ranked number one in product support customer loyalty within Caterpillar’s “Americas North” territory, according to Marcos Sallowicz, Caterpillar’s northeast district manager.
This region, which includes both North America and Canada, is home to more than 50 dealerships.
“The customer value survey is a great way to get a high level view on how well Caterpillar and our dealers are meeting the needs and expectations of our customers. The feedback customers give helps us focus on specific ways to improve the customer experience,” said Shelly Scholl, Caterpillar’s Harrisburg District parts and service sales representative.
To accurately measure the dealerships in this territory, Caterpillar surveyed a random sampling of customers and recorded their responses to a wide variety of questions. All dealer scores were compared to each other, as well as the scores of various competitors.
“By receiving this valuable feedback from our customers we are able to better focus on the areas that need improvement within our company. By knowing what is important to them, we know how to prioritize the constant improvements we are working on every day,” said Tom Wagenblast, vice president of product support at Foley.
This survey, which was conducted via mailed questionnaires during the spring of 2009, shows that Foley’s parts and service customer satisfaction was considerably higher than the territory’s average. Customers were asked to rate their overall satisfaction with both the parts and service departments at their local dealership. They also were asked if they would purchase parts or service again, or recommend the dealership to another person.
When measured against other equipment manufacturers, Caterpillar outperformed competitors in areas such as parts availability, courteous employees, value of shop service and the accurate filling of parts orders, according to the manufacturer.
“Whether it is providing cost effective repair options, productivity improvements or technical information, we’ll work to understand the particular needs of the customer and get them back to work as quickly as possible,” said Jon Souliere, Foley service manager.
While customer satisfaction is a top priority, this survey reinforced several points Foley already held with high importance, including relationships.
Glenn Bouthillette, Foley parts and service sales manager, explained that Foley is deeply invested in customer contact.
“You cannot build a relationship if you don’t talk. Meeting with our customers face-to-face helps to build trust and lets us better understand their business and challenges. Only then can we help our customers save money and manage their equipment the best way possible.”
Foley also invests heavily in training and retaining top quality field and shop technicians, which customers rely on to not only service their equipment, but educate them as well.
“One of the things I enjoy most about working with Foley Inc. is their strong desire for continuous improvement,” Scholl said. “I’ve seen Foley carefully review the results of this survey and go back out and talk to customers to better understand what opportunities for improvement may exist. When the initial 2010 survey results came back, the first thing I noticed was that Foley had increased their score on every single question – an amazing achievement. This year’s number one ranking is a great testament to Foley’s commitment to provide customers with the best experience possible.”
“To be ranked number one in Cat’s America’s North territory is a tribute to all of our employees who are in contact with our customers on a daily basis. They are the reason we were ranked number one. We hire, train and retain the best people in the industry and rely on them to take care of our customers,” Wagenblast added.
While indicating Foley’s strong points, the survey also indicated some areas of opportunity for the Caterpillar dealer.
In an ongoing effort to continuously improve and keep satisfaction levels high, Foley will be zeroing in on further improving the parts counter and shop service areas in 2011.
“Although peak times during the day sometimes result in dropped phone calls, we make it a priority to call our customers back. We understand their time is valuable,” said Foley Corporate Parts Manager Joel Mazzucco.
“Our goal is to make Foley easier to do business with,” Wagenblast added. “Besides our new phone system, which allows us to monitor and call back any customers who couldn’t get through, we will also be rolling out our new interactive shop service log.”
“Measuring customer loyalty is a critical way Caterpillar holds its dealers accountable for delivering to customer expectations. Foley’s consistent increase in the last three years, culminating with the highest score in the United States in 2010, is a great example how excellent business practices and processes can be translated into material benefits to our customers,” Sallowicz said.
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