Dealer participants attending the Caribbean Service Training, hosted by Parts & Power and Northern Lights Inc from 14-16 July 2015 in Tortola BVI, were all positive in their reviews and comments. There were 6 ratings of “Excellent” (5 out of 5) and 6 “Good” (4 out of 5). There were the inevitable complaints about Service Trainer and Technical Director, Dan Durbin’s notoriously bad drawings. But he always managed to get his point across. The participants were unanimous in the fact that the quality of the instruction was very good to excellent.
In addition to his decades of field service experience, Dan has been doing Service Training since the 1960’s for such organizations as the Army Engineer School, several Colleges and a variety of Diesel Engine/Generator manufacturers. He still does training for Northern Lights at customer training events in FL. Northern Lights SE Regional Service Manager, James Newball who has been with the company of over 6 years, said he even learned a few new things at the Training. James attended the training to support Dan’s efforts, and to explain Service issues that the factory is seeing around the world. It was also James first visit to the Caribbean to meet the Dealer network and hear, first-hand, the challenges faced by NL Dealers and Customers in the Caribbean.
All the participants learned about changes to the CaribbeanNorthernLights.com website. It recently received a major face lift thanks to the efforts of Jennifer Dowling and Scott Putnicki at NL factory headquarters in Seattle, WA. Information for customers and dealers is available on the website, as well as links to NL Parts & Operators Manuals, the Dealer Secured website, “Ask a Tech” inquiry link and Service Tips. A Parts Special was revealed that is only available to customers who visit the CNL.com website.
Northern Lights Dealer Service Training is challenging because of the various backgrounds of the dealers participating. Some are Mechanics looking for more information on DC and AC electric. Others are Electricians looking for more information on Diesel Engines. Dan is very good at getting the theory and hands on training across though.
Diesel engines are a continually changing product these days due to the changes required to maintain emissions compliance by the EPA, IMO and various other regulatory organizations. Although AC and DC electricity is constrained by the laws of physics, there are new products being introduced every year to meet customers increasingly sophisticated power demands, which make generators more complicated. “One of the best features of Northern Lights Generators,” commented Parts & Power MD Tom Gerker, “is that their DC logic has remained largely unchanged for over 40 years.” It worked well in the 1970’s and works well today. Despite that, NL is always striving to improve their systems, so the product continues to evolve.
That is the reason that Northern Lights and Parts & Power puts on regular Regional Training for their Caribbean Dealers.
Northern Lights Inc and Parts & Power want to extend their gratitude to the 12 participants who made the sacrifice in time and expense to attend the training, and become more knowledgeable about the product. Their Dealerships will receive a “golden wrench” next to their Dealer name on the NL Dealer Directory and on the CaribbeanNorthernLights.com website. We also want to extend thanks to the hard working staff at Parts & Power for making the event such a great success.
On November 28, 2013, Parts & Power held its 8th annual Customer Service training session for its entire staff at the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Tortola, British Virgin Islands. In its quest for excellence, Parts and Power hosts training each year for all of its staff members from the Managing Director to the Receptionist, to continually improve customer service as well as product knowledge. They close their doors to the public for one day while all staff members attend the training.
This year’s training theme focused on Customer Service and Teamwork, and included training modules such as:
Going the Extra Mile; once you have met the customer’s basic needs, what could you do to show that you are committed to providing the best service possible?
Providing Electronic Customer Service; a growing number of customer interactions are taking place online. To provide excellent customer service online, you need to understand what works and what doesn’t work, and how to make the most of the tools that are available to you.
Understanding Netiquette; new words have been invented – and new uses found for old words in order to describe things which simply did not exist before the Internet came along and changed our world. It is important to understand the dos and don’ts of electronic communication.
Civility in the Workplace; civility is about effective self-awareness and effective social awareness. Participants were introduced to the concept of civility, and the idea that even a little consideration can go a long, long way.
Teamwork and Teambuilding; it’s not enough to just sell products and services, employees must also generate in their customers a feeling of partnership with the company…a belief that they are the best people to do business with.
The entire staff actively and enthusiastically participated in role plays and teambuilding exercises designed to enhance customer service both internally and externally, and provide for a more pleasant and civil workplace. Fresh Start: participants were asked to clear their minds of any previous interactions with coworkers, and introduce themselves to each other as if it was the first time they met. Teamwork: selected 1 staff member from each department within the organization and facilitated an inter-department panel discussion on some of the critical issues facing each department, how those issues impact customers and the other departments, and how they can work together to address these issues. Teambuilding: each participant was asked to select 3 coworkers and express appreciation for their help…be specific about how they helped you.
Feedback from the participants a few weeks after attending the training indicates improved communications throughout the organization, improved teamwork between departments, and improved interactions between employees internally as well as with customers externally.
Immediately following the training session, participants were asked the following question, and below are some of their responses:
What changes in your behavior will you implement at work immediately?
“Smile more and thank co-workers for their help; build a team, and instil confidence in others; pay careful attention to emails sent to customers; more civility and being more friendly; more communication between co-workers and customers; getting along with people who I once had problems with; solicit input from other departments more regularly; try to be more patient with the people who seem to intentionally piss me off; I need to be more available or approachable, not seem too busy for others; more co-workers working as a team; expressing appreciation more; be more interactive with communications; more involvement with staff; consideration for others, my attitude/outlook and the way I respond to others; be more considerate with people’s feelings before making statements.”
Parts & Power is one of the oldest and leading power generating companies in the Caribbean, and they carry products from leading companies such as Northern Lights Marine Generators, JCB Excavation Equipment, Perkins Diesel Engines and Generators, Dometic Air Conditioning and Refrigeration…just to name a few. In addition to the extensive range of products they carry, Parts & Power separates itself from the pack by providing excellent customer service and a knowledgeable sales staff.
Kudos to the management and staff at Parts & Power for their commitment to providing excellent service to their customers, as well as their mission to make Parts & Power a great place to work!
**Training was facilitated by Mary Finley, Training Specialist and Managing Director at Talent Management Group. firstname.lastname@example.org