When a company is more than a century old, corporate values and reputation are not taken lightly. For Whirlpool Corporation, earning the trust of consumers is not just about the appliances they sell but also about how they respond when issues arise.
Over the past few years, the service organization at Whirlpool Corporation has transitioned roughly 70% of metro-area claims to their Preferred Service Provider (PSP) network.
A PSP is an independent company that has made a commitment to represent Whirlpool Corporation and their values in delivering the promise to consumers. They receive the most up-to-date product knowledge and all the resources necessary to provide a service experience that meets the highest standard.
There are currently 78 companies in Whirlpool Corporation’s PSP network with 43 of those exclusively servicing products from the Whirlpool family of brands.
Simone Silva, Director of Field Service Operations shared:
“We have always had a network of servicers but they were not exclusive. At the time when we started talking about exclusivity, there was lots of hesitation but we’ve now shown that by using this model, they are better able to focus and be experts on our product. This reduces both the time needed for training as well as the number of parts they need to have on hand. When an exclusive preferred service provider goes to a home, they know what to do and the part needed to service the appliance the first time.”
While PSPs are independent companies, Whirlpool Corporation also has two service branches, located in Los Angeles and Boston, that are actually internally owned. This allows them to experience service from the perspective of those on the front line. These branches also exist as a bit of a laboratory where they are able to test new ideas and pilot new policies. Engineering and Quality departments are also able to get closer to the consumer to best understand how they interact with products and how their consumer experience can be continuously improved.
Looking into the future of service, Business Management Software (BMS) has now been embedded into the Whirlpool Corporation service system. BMS is a software package that connects all the different aspects of service–call center, service provider, parts, etc…–into one integrated system. For example, a consumer is now able to go to Whirlpool.com to schedule service and be able to track the process every step of the way down to the GPS location of their service technician and estimated time of arrival. Simone calls this the “next generation of service technology and experience.”
When Simone was asked what she wanted people to know about the Whirlpool service organization, she said:
“We have more than 1,500 employees dedicated to providing an optimum service to our consumers. Everything else is an enabler–PSP/BMS–those are just the tools we use. At the heart of all we do to provide trusted care are the human beings who are dedicated to that promise. From our call centers in Benton Harbor, MI and Cleveland, TN and Knoxville, TN as well as the trainers and field service managers nationwide, they are the ones right there where things are happening and are the real reason for our success.”
July 25, 2016