December 12, 2017
Our new strategy defines services as “the support we provide to our customers associated with our products – whether that be parts, financing or other valued activities.”
A Superior Customer Experience.
SEM (a Caterpillar brand produced by Caterpillar Qingzhou facility) Service Engineer Shi Qing, knows firsthand what it takes to deliver a superior customer experience – and he’s been doing just that for the past three years. Shi provides training and service support for a fleet of SEM wheel loaders located in a remote area near Algeria, more than 9,000 kilometers (5,500+ miles) away from his home in Qingzhou, China.
The SEM wheel loaders under Shi’s care belong to a contractor on a main artery of Algeria’s new National Highway that extends from the Mediterranean Sea through the Sahara Desert and into mid-Africa. The highway is a key project of China’s Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily between China and the rest of Eurasia. Road construction in the mountainous landscape requires complex bridges and tunnels to navigate deep canyons and rugged terrain. Many experts consider it the most complex and difficult construction project within Algeria.
To cope with the challenging construction conditions, the contractor originally bought 21 SEM wheel loaders. SEM sent senior service engineers on site to provide product training and maintenance. These wheel loaders worked more than 20 hours each day without a major failure due to the professional maintenance provided by engineers like Shi.
“Problems can be quickly fixed as long as an experienced technician is on site,” Shi said. “But without experience, customers may need to dissemble the machine several times to find a problem.”
Indeed, timely troubleshooting has won high praise for Shi from the customer. “Because of the great product and services provided by SEM, we don’t need to spend a lot of resources on parts procurement and product maintenance. We can focus on the project.”
Faced with an increased demand for construction machinery as the project grew, the contractor placed a subsequent order for SEM machines and parts. Since then, the contractor has been negotiating with SEM to add SEM track-type tractors and motor graders to their fleet – and they recommend SEM products to other China contractors in Algeria.
Shi’s been with the project for three years, sometimes living in harsh conditions – even making do without refrigeration for food preservation. As scheduled, he will return to China when the project is completed in 2018. “Living so far away from home makes it somewhat hard to avoid loneliness, but I have made friends with the operators, repairers and people from our contractors here,” he said.
Shi’s deep understanding of customer needs and willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done helps ensure customer success and creates value over the life of the relationship. And that’s a winning recipe in anybody’s book.