A personal touch on professional relations

Sanjay Kale, Head of Plant Engineering in Citec India, shares his views on how to make customers satisfied.


According to the latest customer satisfaction survey, Citec’s customers are in general pleased with the services they receive. Of the respondents, 95 per cent could re-select Citec as their supplier, and 96 per cent would recommend Citec to their colleagues or acquaintances. Almost every third respondent evaluated Citec’s total operations to have improved in the past year.

Altogether Citec has to a great extent managed to meet the respondents’ expectations. However, one of the objectives of the survey was to identify areas that need to be improved. In the future, Citec will therefore pay even more attention to areas such as keeping project schedules and to adequate allocating of resources.

The survey was based on 150 telephone interviews with key customer contacts and it was performed in late spring 2015.

How is your Citec career related to customer satisfaction?

I started at Citec as a Quality Manager, my next role was a Section Manager, and now I work as the Head of Plant Engineering (earlier known as Competence Services). One of the things I’ve been responsible for in all of these positions is customer satisfaction. I need to understand the customers, be available for them all the time, convince them that we can do what we promise and ensure quality services. That is our prime motive. Working for better customer satisfaction has become my clear goal during the 9 years I have been at Citec.

What are the most important things needed to ensure customer satisfaction?

Quality, I would say, is the most important factor behind it. In addition, customer response times and customer engagement initiatives are equally significant. In today’s competitive market, being cost effective along with providing an added value is a key to sustaining customers. Making the right competence available, being flexible with resourcing, offering a local presence and flexible engagement models have also helped.

What motivates you in terms of working for the customers?

I enjoy my present role because it challenges me in different ways on a daily basis. Furthermore, I have always enjoyed guiding and inspiring my team. Recruiting high-end competence and retaining the motivation in the team is important. I also constantly need to discover and plan ways to do things better for the customers.

What are the biggest challenges in keeping the customers satisfied?

As we have customers at various far off locations, there are limitations when it comes to meeting them in person. Additionally, there are cultural differences, which need to be handled with tact and respect. My current role as PE Head is both very demanding and exciting since I have to manage our resources as well as the customers; it’s about being able to please the customer without overburdening ourselves. Therefore, we customise our tools and processes to suit the customer needs in the best possible way. By standardising our products, designs and modularisations, we are able to further enhance our own efficiency – and customer satisfaction.

You work close to the customers. Can you easily form personal relationships with them?

In the end we are all humans and tend to look for some warmth; it is essential that we add a personal touch to our professional relationships to keep them healthy and flourishing. I’ve been fortunate since I’ve succeeded in developing close relationships with many of our customers.

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