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Becoming a Trailblazer: Koenig & Bauer writes the book on putting customers first
E-books continue to gain popularity. Newspapers are going digital. But printing presses aren’t going away—and neither is Koenig & Bauer. This 200-year-old maker of industrial printers plans to thrive in a changing marketplace by winning more market share.
Koenig & Bauer constantly asks its customers what it can do to become a better business partner for them. When the company raised the question in 2008, the answers were revealing.
“They asked us to be more proactive in identifying their needs,” recalls Thomas Goecke, Head of Digitalization & Marketing, Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed. “It’s no longer enough to sell them the fastest printing machines on the market. They need us to approach them with ideas on increasing their profitability and to provide services that allow them to run our presses at the highest levels of efficiency and availability.”
Koenig & Bauer wanted to embrace this role—but soon realized its CRM systems couldn’t keep pace. A patchwork of legacy and homegrown solutions left stakeholders with a fragmented view of the customer journey and very little insight into market trends.
“It’s hard to say exactly how much this situation was costing us,” admits Goecke. “But we were definitely missing out on new deals because our salespeople didn’t have all the relevant information in front of them when they talked to potential customers.”
Keeping presses humming and customers smiling.
Koenig & Bauer considered several leading CRM solutions before settling on Salesforce.
“Other solutions seemed outdated and complex to use,” Goecke explains. “But what really convinced us is that Salesforce wasn’t selling a CRM platform—they were selling a business model of making their customers more successful. So, we knew they could help us blaze a new trail.”
Koenig & Bauer integrated Salesforce with its ERP systems—as well as its printing presses. This integration gives Koenig & Bauer not just a typical 360-degree view of each customer account, but a 3D-360-degree view—including CRM data in combination with usage data of the industrial assets. In addition, the company’s PressCall feature enables customers to open a support chat, including a Salesforce case, by clicking a button on the operator’s console of their printing presses.
“Within Salesforce, we can see much more than routine CRM data,” explains Lukas Fahnroth, Project Engineer for Digitalization & Salesforce, Koenig & Bauer. “We also see each customer’s press usage data, so that we can monitor what’s going on in their production plants and advise them on how to improve. This has enabled us to become trusted advisors to our customers.”
Every hour that a Koenig & Bauer printing press isn’t working, a customer isn’t generating revenue. And every hour that a Koenig & Bauer technician spends at a customer site costs the company money. By monitoring press performance and proactively performing remote maintenance as much as possible, Koenig & Bauer is improving its customers’ profitability as well as its own. “We’re often able to stream video-calls directly out of Salesforce, which helps customers solve simple problems themselves,” says Fahnroth. “If necessary, we can even access their machines remotely. All of this has enabled us to reduce customer downtime, which of course means higher profitability and greater customer satisfaction.”
Engaging customers with one convincing voice.
Koenig & Bauer doesn’t intend to eliminate hands-on technical support, of course. In fact, the company is working to deliver higher-quality field service by empowering its technicians with Field Service Lightning.
When technicians arrive at a customer site, they now have all the account information they need on their mobile devices, including all relevant contact details. Having the work order at their fingertips—as well as a complete history of services performed and parts used—enables technicians to find solutions more quickly. And as technicians work, the notes they record in Field Service Lightning instantly become part of Koenig & Bauer’s knowledge base.
“When our customers think of Koenig & Bauer, they picture our field service technicians,” says Fahnroth. “They often have a very trusting relationship with the people who come and fix their presses. Field Service Lightning is helping us reinforce that relationship by enabling our technicians to be even better informed and more focused on solutions from the moment they walk into a customer’s plant.”
Koenig & Bauer knows it can further increase customer satisfaction—and reduce the cost of providing service—by preventing downtime. That’s why the company is implementing a predictive maintenance program. As of 2019, Koenig & Bauer will be able to pull customers’ press usage data into Salesforce, analyse it, and find errors before they occur. The company then schedules service calls with customers—turning unplanned downtime into planned downtime. The company will also be able to count on proactive maintenance services as a new revenue stream.
“When we speak with customers, we’re now speaking with one voice,” remarks Fahnroth. “We’re all using the same production data from Salesforce and telling the same story. This enables us to offer highly specific consulting on how our customers can improve their processes to boost their profitability.”
Page after page of promising results.
As Koenig & Bauer continues to fight for market share, its executives now have all the data they need to make strategic decisions. The company uses Tableau CRM to assess the performance of its sales and service agencies around the world. And from within Salesforce, Koenig & Bauer can automatically generate documentation on machine performance, which is useful for helping the organization to work jointly with customers to increase performance of their assets, increase profitability and as well opens up new opportunities for cross- and up-selling.
“Our executives are making decisions that help harmonize our sales, service, and marketing efforts around the globe,” says Goecke. “Our VP of Sales and our sales directors regularly check Salesforce to get market insights.
And our CEO recently said, ‘Working without Salesforce? I can’t imagine that!’” Koenig & Bauer’s data paints a positive picture. Before implementing PressCall, the company was unable to return about half of its support calls due to incomplete information provided by customers via voicemail.
Today, the company achieves 100 per cent coverage—and creates cases automatically in Salesforce. Koenig & Bauer has also shortened its response times and increased its first-call fix rates.
These enhancements are showing up on the bottom line.
“We at Koenig & Bauer Sheetfed continuously increased our market share over the last five years,” Goecke reports. “This is also a result of our strong customer-centric focus.”
- Customers can instantly start a chat with a support agent by clicking a button on their printing presses
- Field service technicians have complete customer information at their fingertips from the moment they walk in the door
- Executives can easily assess the performance of sales and service agencies around the world