The Evolution of Customer Experience

Jenny Snow-Boscolo

by Jenny Snow-Boscolo - Senior Director of Customer Experience On May 2, 2022, 01:00 AM

It’s no secret that customer expectations are changing, regardless of the consumer or product. This is true in our personal lives, and it’s true in the equipment industry. How we buy, sell and interact has and is continuing to evolve, and is much different today than it was even a few years ago.

Two of the biggest drivers of these changes are technology that makes information more prevalent and easier to access, and the acceleration of digital communication during the pandemic.

A major contributor is what I call the “Amazon effect.” As a consumer, I myself have a new level of expectation around the information I’m able to access when deciding what to buy, and then tracking my order. That includes deciding if I want to pay more for convenience —the payment forms accepted, the speed of shipping, etc. It’s a cost-benefit analysis I think we’re all pretty familiar with. 

Likewise, tools like Zoom and Teams have fundamentally changed how we can “meet,” and we’ve spent the past two years getting more comfortable with how to use this type of technology. Again, as a result, our behaviors have shifted due to the circumstances and the technology.

These types of experiences in our day-to-day lives influence what we expect to see in other places. That’s why Genie, which has always made it a priority to offer high-quality customer service, knows we must maintain a forward-looking approach to customer service.

How We’re Evolving

Our equipment, of course, is a critical part of our customer experience. But I want to look beyond iron. One example is the new customer portal we introduced last year, which allows customers to access information about their orders, including shipment tracking, invoices and CE certification, as well as a configuration lookup. Now, I have to acknowledge that today’s supply chain and logistics challenges can make it difficult for manufacturers to predict when something will be delivered. But that considered, we’re focused on improving the accuracy of the information we’re providing, and we’re working to make the most current information visible to customers.

There are additional improvements in the works for the customer portal, too. The biggest one is a move to single sign-on (SSO) for all Genie®accounts. Currently, if you have a Parts account, it’s a separate login from the regular portal site. The SSO update will give customers the ability to access everything with a single account. On top of this, we’re working to make additional information accessible from this single account, including parts, operator and service manuals, as well as a manufacturers’ statement of origin lookup. I think it’s worth noting that these changes are in direct response to things our customers have told us they’d like to see.

Another customer-centered effort is our commitment to being a leader in educating the aerial equipment industry. We want to share our knowledge of MEWPs, telehandlers and other machines with equipment owners and endusers. That’s why we offer numerous training opportunities, have a library full of safety material and produce educational and product walk-around videos. We also created the Aerial Pros blog, which you're reading now, to share operating tips, safety and training info, updates on ANSI and CSA standards, and more. 

Another internal example is our use of personal management systems to make sure we’re efficient with our time. Think of this like Lean manufacturing, but for people. A personal management system is a set of policies and processes that helps Genie team members be more efficient so that they spend less time on administrative tasks and more time focusing on things that benefit our customers —like product development, training and technology. 

Finally, there’s my job, which was created to provide a dedicated focus on our customer experience. This, too, shows our evolution. As many businesses do, we tend to interface with our customers via our regional sales and customer service teams. Combining that local knowledge with the power of a large global team is how we will learn to serve them best. The purpose of my role is to ensure that we are aligned across all our regions and supporting each other.

Your Input Matters

Since our founding, Genie has emphasized a customer-centered approach. Now, more than 55 years later, we’re still evolving our customer experience. And while the “best customer experience” might look different now than it did five years ago, and will likely look different in the future, our focus is still the same: making sure our customers have a quality experience every time they interact with Genie. 

Aerial Pros