Valuing Customer Relations
In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic substantially interrupted and severely restricted our direct interaction with our customers. In dialog with our customers, we therefore concentrated on digital channels and formats, which included webinars for new products. In order to continue our product development without delay, we held (in some cases whole-day) meetings for certain technical projects during which customers and LANXESS development teams cooperated virtually. Interactive formats made it possible for these meetings to be conducted internationally.
When forming our customer relationships, the top priorities are customer satisfaction and avoiding customer complaints. Based on a central customer relationship management (CRM) system and a uniform complaint management platform, each of our business units has its own market- and customer-oriented complaint management and optimization processes. Shared elements of these processes include clear targets, for example in relation to the reduction of customer complaints or processing times for customer complaints, as well as a corresponding statistical analysis of the feedback received, and structured monthly reporting to the management of the respective business unit.
In order to conserve resources in our logistics, the Lubricant Additives business unit began to introduce Drumguard, an innovative and certified load system. The new load securing system for the transport of plastic drums saves packaging andtime. Our customers also benefit, as the load securing system is reusable and thus saves costs. Alternatively, there is a well-developed global return network.
In our digitalization offensive, we use software to improve the speed and efficiency of the communication between our customer service teams and their respective customers. In light of the large number of simultaneous orders, it is a major challenge for our customer service employees to keep track of changes across the entire order acceptance, production and delivery process. Here, we are assisted by software solutions that continuously search our ERP systems for changes in order data records, factor in external information and compare it with dymnamic specifications.
Customer satisfaction surveys are essential for LANXESS in order to determine potential for improvement in customer relationships and to check whether customer requirements have changed. LANXESS conducts an anonymous online survey of all relevant customers in all business units once every two years. In the 2019/2020 survey, the customer retention index (CRI) score was 77 and thus slightly higher than in the previous 2017/2018 survey (75). In terms of content, the survey aimed to evaluate LANXESS' performance overall and to indicate whether customers would recommend LANXESS. Customers were also asked if they intended to continue the business relationship in the future and to assess the advantages resulting from this relationship.
Based on these encouraging results of the customer satisfaction analysis, we will continue to implement targeted measures in the business units in order to at least maintain this very good level of customer satisfaction and keep successfully retaining our customers in the long term.