CNH Industrial’s commitment to its customers is a cornerstone of the Code of Conduct, in which the Company undertakes to fully meet the expectations of end customers, stating that all CNH Industrial executives, managers, and employees shall strive to exceed customer expectations and continually improve the quality of the Company’s products and services. Next in importance is the ability to manage customer relations across the board, ensuring accessibility in the event of information requests and problem reporting, as well as clear and timely answers. This aspect is also crucial in laying the foundations for future success because it provides an understanding of the degree of customer satisfaction; furthermore, the feedback and suggestions received help identify the changes to be made to existing product ranges, and the new product lines to be developed to meet future market needs. The Company considers this aspect important for building trust, while stakeholders view it as an opportunity to improve equipment use and to limit disruptions in the event of problems.
Commitments, actions, and targets are set out in the Sustainability Plan (see page 44).
As evidenced by the stakeholder engagement results, customer engagement and support is considered important to build strong relationships and to help customers get the most out of equipment. More transparency in communications and specific training courses on equipment use are required for customers and dealers.
Stakeholders suggest a more localized approach to different markets by adapting CNH Industrial products and services to country-specific conditions. In EMEA, a company like CNH Industrial is expected to adapt its business lines to different market needs. Each country presents different economic challenges and technological requirements. Stakeholders demand engines with the same power and design specifications, but using different technology. Moreover, from a customer perspective, dealer skills and training are fundamental. Customers require high quality and reduced time-to-market, while dealers operate as a critical link between the Company and its customers. Customers’ involvement in innovation has been prioritized in LATAM, both to tackle the lack of technical product knowledge and to provide training on the correct operation of engines and machinery.
Moreover, CNH Industrial products target the agricultural and construction sectors, which are crucial to the development and infrastructures in Latin America. That is why stakeholders emphasize ongoing customer involvement and support. In APAC, on the other hand, stakeholders demand a more structured approach to customer engagement. Adequate training programs on the proper operation and best use of machinery are not usually available to farmers. Consequently, many tractor breakdowns are the result of farmers’ mistakes, low quality fuel and oil, challenging field conditions, poor maintenance, and intensive use.
Each brand is responsible for managing customer relations and for defining main guidelines. Each Region has a Commercial Services function that reports directly to the Regional Chief Operating Officer, who is a member of the Global Executive Committee. Through the brands, the function provides the services required to implement defined customer strategies.
From the initial contact onwards, CNH Industrial interacts with and provides assistance to its customers to give them an experience that meets their expectations. The Company’s Customer Care departments are dedicated to developing, managing, and promoting customer service solutions, fostering enduring relationships, and satisfying customer needs and expectations. Via the brand websites, toll-free numbers, emails, and smartphone applications, customers may directly request information or make a complaint 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Customer Care staff manages the entire process from initial customer contact to final feedback to the customer, ensuring a resolution in the timeliest manner. Each and every CNH Industrial brand, Region, and department has a reference person for each type of information request or complaint, ensuring issues are dealt with as quickly and accurately as possible.
A Compliance Helpline was activated in 2014, i.e., a web platform managed by a third party, enabling customers to ask questions or report possible violations of the Code of Conduct, Company policies, or applicable laws (see also page 57).
CNH Industrial’s Customer Service centers work in close collaboration with brands, dealers, technical services, quality and other functions, providing services in the following areas:
- Customer Relationship Management (pre and post-sales): aimed at managing the overall customer experience by ensuring a direct and effective communication channel to assist customers with accurate and timely inquiry feedback and complaint management
- Lead Qualification (pre-sales): set up to enable interaction with customers and deliver a caring professional service while collecting customer feedback and measuring customer satisfaction with the services offered
- Breakdown Assistance and Assistance Non-Stop (post-sales): services designed to intervene by any means to ensure minimum downtime in the event of a breakdown.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) effectively manages and facilitates customers’ cross-channel exposure, transaction, and interaction with a company, product, brand or service through designed methods and processes throughout the entire life cycle of a product. At CNH Industrial, the customer experience should be positive, respectful, and attend to the needs and expectations of the customer purchasing new machinery.
The complaints received through the CRM are organized by type or category, and assigned a target date or objective for completion. Most product complaints have an eleven-day target for completion. If a case goes beyond the target date, the Customer Relations manager reviews it and decides whether to escalate. Escalation usually involves external company resources, such as field services or dealerships. Customers who have filed a complaint are invited to take part in a phone survey.
Lead Qualification is a process through which the sales leads gathered via brand websites are verbally qualified and assigned to the appropriate dealer. Before this assignment occurs, all leads are contacted via phone to confirm their dealer contact request. A follow-up call is made five days after qualification to confirm that the customer has been contacted.
Breakdown Assistance (BDA) intervenes in case of vehicle breakdown for Agricultural Equipment and Construction Equipment customers, to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to limit downtime as much as possible. Through BDA, equipment failures reported by customers are notified not only to the dealer but also to the brands, so that the latter may also help resolve the problem. A dedicated Parts Shipment and Delivery team oversees the location and delivery of parts, including overseas shipments. The BDA service tracks customers until all issues are resolved, allowing them to get back to work as soon as possible. In NAFTA and LATAM this process is carefully monitored; furthermore, once the issue has been solved, dealer and customer satisfaction surveys are carried out to evaluate service and process performance, measured in hours of Total Vehicle Downtime (see table on page 223).
Assistance Non-Stop (ANS) ensures a round-the-clock, 365 days per year service to Commercial Vehicles customers. Established to provide instant technical support for vehicle problems, the service is operational across 31 European countries, and is available in ten languages. All employees working within this service receive specific training and regular refresher courses. As soon as the customer and vehicle are identified and located, every assistance request is managed by an operator who carries out a pre-diagnosis of the problem. When the fault has been verified, the operator contacts the nearest mechanic, who is directed to the breakdown site. The operator continues to monitor the process until the repair is complete, assisting the mechanic, if needed, and keeping the customer updated until the vehicle is released. The Customer Center shares a database with relevant departments that lists faults by number and type, and matches them with the faulty model and duration of the breakdown. The ANS service can be contacted via a universal toll-free number or through the IVECONNECT system (see also page 206). In the event of a breakdown, the IVECONNECT system allows the driver to contact the Customer Center directly from the vehicle by sending an automatic breakdown assistance request. In turn, the Customer Center sends the driver regular updates on the status of his request and the estimated time of arrival of assistance, all directly through the on-board telematics system. The Customer Center can activate the nearest mechanic through ANS Mobile, an application available on Android and Blackberry devices, which can locate the nearest mobile repair van and its movements using GPS.
CNH Industrial recognizes the social role played by advertising, and advocates positive and responsible values and conduct across all forms of communication. In 2013, the Commercial Vehicles segment released the new Charter for Ethical Advertising to promote responsible marketing and advertising in the markets in which it operates. Based on the applicable legal and advertising standards in these markets, the Charter sets out the basic principles of communication for those working in or with the segment, including advertising agencies. The Charter centers on three core values: respect for the customer, both personally and professionally; fairness and integrity in communicating and passing on product information that is accurate, truthful, and clear; and commitment to offering useful solutions to customers through the goods and services provided. The central role of the customer drives the business ideology of the Commercial Vehicles segment. Designed as an operational tool, the Charter uses clear, concise language to facilitate its application across the segment.
Moreover, the Iveco brand is an active member of the European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) and of the Utenti Pubblicità Associati (UPA), an Italian association of major companies investing in advertising and communication that supports the Istituto di Autodisciplina Pubblicitaria (the Institute for Advertising Standards).
In 2014, no significant final rulings (as defined in the paragraph on Significant Final Rulings on page 62) were issued against the Company for non-compliance with regulations or voluntary codes concerning marketing communications, including advertising, promotions, and sponsorships.
Through extensive planning, execution, and evaluation of activities, Customer Relations Management aims to design, operate, and coordinate multiple interaction touch-points to deliver a real brand experience to the customer, and to define guidelines on how to listen to customer input and monitor satisfaction levels to improve the quality of the services offered.
Indeed, the Company continually monitors results and customer satisfaction levels, inviting every customer who has ever received assistance to participate in follow-up surveys.
Agricultural Equipment and Construction Equipment brands closely monitor specific factors at their customer service centers to ensure ongoing service improvement. These factors include response time, vehicle downtime, satisfaction with Breakdown Assistance, and information and compliant management. Customer satisfaction assessments are usually performed via an Internet survey recommended to every customer who has submitted an information request, and their frequency depends on the services offered.
To this end, other projects are carried out as well, as for example the Red Select and 5 Star Surveys in NAFTA. They are managed directly by Customer Care, each consisting of three different surveys carried out during the first months after a purchase, to measure customer satisfaction with regard to both product and buying experience. Customer feedback is passed on to the relevant departments, providing opportunities to improve customer satisfaction and identify early trends. The results of these surveys are consolidated and submitted to the marketing research teams on a monthly basis.
Commercial Vehicles brands assess customer satisfaction with the ANS service (see also page 222) 72 hours after service delivery. The general level of satisfaction with the service is assessed based on three elements: the telephone service or call center, the on-site assistance, and the service dealer (winch or tow). Assessment results lead to a plan of action to be implemented by field services.
CUSTOMER SERVICE PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
|Agricultural Equipment and Construction Equipment||EMEA||NAFTAa||LATAM|
|Contacts managedb (no.)||150,380||74,898||18,494|
|Average Call Center response time (seconds)||18||36||8|
|Vehicles repaired within 48 hours (%)||54||41||79|
|Customer participation in satisfaction surveysc (%)||31||4||n.a|
|Satisfaction index (Scale 1-10)|
|Contacts managed (no.)||74,569||-||63,891|
|Average Call Center response time (seconds)||40||-||20|
|Roadside repair under 2 hours (%)||75||-||72|
|Customer participation in satisfaction surveyse (%)||40||-||35|
|“Satisfied” or “Very satisfied” customers (%)||97||-||95|
(a) Commercial Vehicles are not marketed in NAFTA.
(b) Breakdown Assistance contacts are not included.
(c) Based on customer information and complaint survey data.
(d) Data no longer collected in EMEA due to data protection legislation.
(e) Survey carried out to objectively evaluate and measure customer satisfaction with the Assistance Non-Stop service in case of vehicle breakdown.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK PROCESS
The Market Research department manages CNH Industrial’s market research projects worldwide. It defines the objectives of each assignment in collaboration with internal customers (mainly Marketing and Product Development), and achieves them by applying dedicated methodologies to collect customer feedback and suggestions. The approaches used include in-depth interviews, focus groups, computer aids, telephone interviews, web surveys, and product tests.
Integrating Feedback into Product Development
CNH has always considered the customer’s opinion as a fundamental basis for developing new projects and for defining a customer-oriented brand strategy. To meet these targets, the marketing research organization, both globally and regionally, supports all business units through market research with the aim of gaining and collecting customer inputs to use in future product developments.
Through various projects, the Market Research department compiles key information on:
- specific customer needs, based on different geographical, economic, and cultural backgrounds
- possible issues customers may encounter during product use
- customer interest in new solutions and features
- general brand perception.
All results are fully integrated into the Company’s processes in order to build brand strategies in line with customer needs, and to provide them with the best-in-class products and services required for the growth of their businesses.
Customer research complements the global product development process, with emphasis placed on incorporating customer needs and preferences early in the design stages. Research teams work closely with internal clients on both brand and technical sides to design projects that accurately and efficiently elicit customer input.
Research project methods vary based on the strategic questions to be addressed. The Company leverages leadingedge tools to effectively capture information and make the experience of participating in research a positive one.
Research findings are incorporated into the product design process, creation of business cases, and overall strategy to ensure development and execution are customer-driven.
Through Customer-Driven Product Definition (CDPD), CNH Industrial customers actively participate in the development and testing of new models. CDPD consists in: visiting and collecting feedback from customers, analyzing their suggestions, meeting with product platform teams, customer testing on new model prototypes followed by a comparison of their main features, and, finally, integrating customer suggestions into final product specifications. All of these stages lead to product designs that not only ensure optimal performance and efficiency, but also meet the needs of the customers who work with CNH Industrial vehicles every day.
CNH Industrial also tracks parts’ usage to support the Breakdown Assistance program (see also page 222). Usage is organized by product range for the current month, the last three months, and the year to date, and is passed on to the Company’s Quality units on a monthly basis. By reviewing the data, the Quality units can identify developing trends and if previously identified and corrected trends have been addressed.
In the Powertrain segment, customer relations are managed by a new Technical Service and Customer Solutions function, which is guided by the Continuous Improvement Process (CIP). Through the CIP, customer feedback is received, analyzed, and then shared across the organization as a learning source. When applied to the Company’s operations, this translates into the careful analysis of processes throughout their various stages, in order to identify and fine-tune the small, gradual, yet continuous improvements to be made. The CIP ensures the customer’s voice is heard throughout the Company, allowing for the development of ever-more effective solutions that anticipate customer requirements and optimize the product range.
SUGAR CANE HARVESTER CAMP IN MAURITIUS
In 2014, at the Africa Sugar Cane Harvester Camp in Mauritius, Case IH presented its high-power agricultural equipment solutions for the sugarcane industry. The event was well attended by representatives of major Corporate customers and large agro-industrial farms operating in the sugarcane and bio-ethanol sectors in several African countries, including Sudan, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.
Mauritius was an ideal location to host the in-field demonstrations as sugar has been cultivated on the island for nearly four hundred years and remains one of the pillars of the country’s economy. The tropical climate is particularly well suited to cultivating sugarcane, with high temperatures all year round, heavy rainfall, and plenty of sunlight during the growing season. However, the volcanic nature of the island means the stony soil needs regular de-rocking, requiring robust, reliable equipment to run non-stop throughout the entire harvesting season, from June to December.
The Sugar Cane Harvester Camp gave attendees insights into advanced farming practices for large-scale sugarcane production, along with presentations of Case IH’s product offering. Attendees also had the chance to test-drive Case IH sugarcane harvesters and high-horsepower tractors during actual, in-field operations. The Camp was organized by Case IH in collaboration with its local dealership and with the support of the local contracting company, a Case IH customer for more than 40 years, which provided the demonstration machines.
The Sugar Cane Harvester Camp demonstrates the brand’s continued commitment to the sugarcane industry.
Case IH offers the high-capacity Austoft 8000® Series, built to perform well under demanding workloads; and the Austoft® 4000 Series, specifically designed for small to medium-sized landholdings, but also delivering versatility and excellent maneuverability for big plantations where row spacing is reduced. A few of the innovative features found on these machines are outlined below.
The SmartCruise adjusts the engine’s revolutions according to load demand without the performance losses associated with hydraulics, and with consistently lower fuel consumption (around 20%), longer engine life, and reduced downtime for maintenance. This is crucial for most customers as they need to run harvesting operations 24/7, with some sugarcane harvesters working more than seven thousand engine hours per season. The unique Antivortex system improves the removal of extraneous matter, and reduces cane lost through the extractor fan.
The Auto Tracker automatically adjusts the harvester’s base cutter height through sensors in the hydraulic suspension system, reducing sucrose losses by up to 33% and root damage by 27%, so safeguarding the following year’s production.
CNH Industrial Capital offers a range of financial products to dealers and customers in the various Regions in which it operates. Its goal is to maximize CNH Industrial sales by serving the brands with tailored financial solutions while securing an appropriate level of profitability defined in terms of Corporate equity remuneration. As a captive business, CNH Industrial Capital depends on the operations of Agricultural Equipment, Construction Equipment, and Commercial Vehicles, and its geographical presence is consistent with the industrial footprint of the Company.
In 2014, the total managed portfolio reached approximately $27 billion with contributions from all Regions. The main products offered consist in wholesale financing to dealers, and retail financing for the purchase or lease of new and used equipment and vehicles. CNH Industrial Capital serves more than 500 thousand customers and three thousand dealers worldwide, with a staff of around 1,300 employees.
During 2014, CNH Industrial Capital implemented a unique global structure in continuity and legacy with the pre-existing CNH Capital and Iveco Capital organizations. A significant effort was made to adopt a common and unified framework of operations consistent with CNH Industrial’s internal Governance (Code of Conduct, Transparency, and Data Privacy), and to secure compliance with external regulations. Process standardization and system integration were carried out in parallel with the adoption of common and centralized credit policies, representing a significant instrument of governance as well as an essential element to improve both portfolio credit quality and operational efficiency.
Significant efforts in 2014 went into strengthening the customer selection process, not only as a consequence of external drivers (such as sanctions, applied on a selective basis up to individual customer level), but also as part of the continuous focus on portfolio quality improvement. Beyond ensuring the appropriate consideration of non-economic indicators in the credit approval practice, these efforts resulted in the upgrade of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards (see also page 59).