Nieves Montoro has worked at TK Elevator for more than nine years. She talks about how putting the focus on the customer is one of the basic tenets of customer service and should be made a priority for companies at all levels. We at TK Elevator believe in this, too.
TK Elevator: Tell us a little about yourself, what you studied, your career, and what brought you to the elevator industry?
Nieves: I graduated from CEU San Pablo University in Madrid with a degree in Journalism and Communication in 1994. After collaborating with various media outlets and working in several SMEs, my first big opportunity came from Movistar, a company where I ended up working in different roles related to the service quality of automated customer services for more than ten years. In 2009, I took a sabbatical for a year after the birth of my daughter África, after which I embarked on a new career path that in 2012 eventually led me to my new home: TK Elevator.
TK Elevator: Describe your position at TK Elevator and what excites you most about your job?
Nieves: My main task as a customer service manager is to respond to the more complicated issues affecting customers and analyze them in an effort to improve our customer service processes. The immediate task is to resolve the complaint or claim brought forward by a specific person in a given situation, while analyzing data to establish corrective measures that enable us to act more efficiently and decisively in similar situations in the future.
We attempt to standardize complaints and claims when managing them, reducing them to an isolated incident so the customer raising the complaint can appreciate the solution offered and stays with us. To do so, we need to be polite, show empathy, listen actively, apply diplomacy, and have a lot of patience.
The most exciting part of my job is the whole process of research and data collection necessary to provide customers with answers. It requires talking numerous times to all parties involved, reviewing documents, consulting with technical and sometimes legal experts, presenting the management with the different options, and then negotiating with the customer again.
The best part is when the incident is resolved and the customer, who realizes that they are not just a number, but a priority, expresses their gratitude.
TK Elevator: What made you choose TK Elevator?
Nieves: I chose TK Elevator because of the stability and security that comes with working for a large global company. Because of the opportunity to develop a professional career in a global environment and the connection to colleagues from other countries who face similar situations in very similar scenarios.
Customer centricity has to be a constant in all processes and departments, as it is what ensures both our success and continuity.
TK Elevator: How would you define “customer centricity”?
Nieves: It is one of the basic tenets of customer service and should be made a priority for companies at all levels. Customer centricity means prioritizing the customer and their needs over the rest of the characteristics that define a company.
Both the management and employees need to ensure that the customer experience is seamless at all times in order to achieve a total commitment to the brand. To do so, there must be an alignment of objectives and everyone must pull together in the same direction. If the customer is happy, they will remain with us. However, if we additionally achieve excellence, this one customer will bring us more customers, and the more satisfied customers a company has, the better its bottom line will be.
It’s relatively easy to define it, but achieving it is a challenge to coordinate.
TK Elevator: We keep our customers at the heart of our business by making their life as easy as possible. Can you share some of your experiences at TK Elevator in this regard? How do you live it?
Nieves: Accessibility is in our DNA in terms of our business area. Stairlifts are synonymous with independence and autonomy for our customers. It’s odd how many people are reluctant to use them because of an unfounded negative association with old age, but once it is installed, they can no longer live without it.
It’s exciting to know that the stairlift changes the lives of many people who get back to enjoying the little things in life because they regain independence in their home. We have many testimonials from customers – people whose lives have made easier thanks to us and who readily admit that they recommend it to all their friends because it has changed their lives. It’s very satisfying to feel their happiness – like a child with a new toy – when they talk to you and to hear straight from them about the salesperson who sold it to them or the technician who checks it periodically. This emotion is what we must preserve from the very first moment and it’s what is satisfying about our jobs.
TK Elevator: Is it important for you to work for a company with such strong customer focus? Please explain.
Nieves: Yes, of course, it is. Companies with a long-term outlook have to invest in technical means and human resources to ensure the excellence of their customer service. There is an old saying that the customer is “our bread and butter,” and that’s why we must take care of them, listen to them, and give them what they need so that they choose us and remain with us because the competition is increasing in strength. This not only depends on the employee’s politeness. There also needs to be support from the company, from the plant, from the decision-makers... Customer centricity has to be a constant in all processes and departments, as it is what ensures both our success and continuity.
TK Elevator: Any further remarks/comments you would like to share with us regarding the topic “customer centricity” at TK Elevator?
Nieves: I believe that it is fundamental for customer centricity to have empathy and avoid having any prejudices. There are many statistics that remind us how easy it is to lose customers and how difficult it is to win them back, the clamor made by the unhappy ones and how silent the satisfied ones are, the percentage of customers who will never complain but are not happy... That’s why we have to put ourselves in the customer’s shoes, listen to them, and always give them the right answer.
Nieves, thank you very much for your time and words.