Customer service is vital in today’s busy and complex world of truck operation and fleet management. Here, Danny Broomfield explains that as well as a wide range of products JOST UK pulls out all the stops to support its customers – and their customers too. Every truck on the road should be supremely fit for purpose. They have to be able to operate profitably and efficiently in all conditions, winter and summer, put in long hours, be easily serviced and be safe at all times.
Achieving and maintaining all these criteria is a monumental task that could not possibly be achieved single-handedly; it requires a team of knowledgeable and dedicated people. JOST UK contributes to this on two levels, by providing superb quality vehicular products and systems and with a comprehensive range of customer support services.
JOST’s product portfolio includes fifth wheel couplings, landing legs, steering systems, towing hitches, tipping gear and axles, all of which are recognised throughout the industry as being at the very top of the quality spectrum. Installing JOST equipment on a vehicle or trailer ensures quality and reliability over a long working life, but not an infinite working life. It is an inescapable fact of real life that all parts wear and, if used too long, will eventually become dangerous.
Therefore, part of JOST’s after sales responsibility is to provide replacement parts to the service and repair market. In order to combat the adoption of unauthorised ‘copycat’ parts of unknown quality, JOST goes to great lengths to offer its genuine parts at reasonable prices and, possibly more importantly, with rapid delivery. The idea is to create supply lines that offer no excuse for using sub-standard parts which are less likely to serve the vehicle operator satisfactorily and may even endanger life.
It is important to note that the fitment of unauthorised parts is likely to invalidate legally-required certification and therefore also invalidate warranties and insurance.
JOST has a network of over 60 service agents around the country, all strategically located so that it is never difficult to get to one. They can provide the best possible service and repair for any JOST product. In order to be able to ensure fast turnaround they hold stocks of the most commonly required parts; for the more unusual parts they can quickly access Jost’s central stock records on-line and request express delivery.
Train, train and train again
The other major component in JOST’s customer service provision is training. This can take many forms, cover many subjects and be delivered in a variety of ways.
One of the main delivery channels is a programme of regular training days held at JOST’s offices in Bolton. These are mainly, but not exclusively, aimed at service agents and provide technical, theoretical and hands-on learning opportunities on the entire product range. Importantly they cover new designs and requirements, but also run through the fundamental principles and practical issues.
JOST always bears in mind that these courses are intended to provide both new knowledge for junior fitters and refresher opportunities for older hands. It also tries to inject an element of fun into each session, because people learn better when they engage with the event. It always asks for feedback from every delegate, so that it can identify future improvements.
JOST will also take its training course to workshops around the country, to customers’ sales offices and to third party venues. This is because some people, particularly those from smaller companies, find it hard to take the time away from work to come to Bolton.