THE BACK OFFICE : THE FRONT DOOR FOR VOH CLIENTS
08 July 2021
A truly central hub for the company, the back office receives all client requests received by VOH. This service is operated with the responsibility and professionalism of four colleagues who directly process contacts, or transfer them to another department as required. Although each of them are specialists, they can all readily assume the various back office tasks.
When you call VOH SA, Nathalie Mercier-Vaucher, Florence Tanner, Cristina Quiroga, or Sabrina Wiedmer will answer. The back office is this the Front door for VOH SA. The common professional focus of these colleagues is their commercial support role. They are, in effect, responsible for responding to client requests or for routing these, as appropriate to whichever other colleague in the company is the most appropriate to deal with them.
Each individual manages an individual sector of the back office: export, catalogue items, after-sales service, and personalised solutions. However each of them is capable of managing the work of a colleague if necessary. Nathalie Mercier-Vaucher, is also deputy manager of the company. Her presence in the back office thus entails the direct involvement of the management board in the client relationship, a major asset for VOH, whose management thus remains close to the realities on the ground.
EXPERIENCE AT THE SERVICE OF THE CLIENT
With a combined experience of fifty-nine years with VOH SA, the back office team is highly skilled and has a profound understanding of every smallest detail of the workings of the company. This valuable knowledge enables the team to respond with full autonomy to the greater majority of questions and issues that it receives, which is a mark of quality, and also supportive of the other departments, who can focus entirely on their specialist fields.
Our back office colleagues have advanced technical knowledge of the use of VOH products. “By experience, we have come to know our clients and their environment well. We are in a position to be able to direct them to the right product from our range before the purchase is made”, explains Cristina Quiroga. In addition, they can inform them on repair options, lead times, and updates to devices. Concerning personalised solutions, the role of Sabrina Wiedmer is directed more towards the management of projects: “For a specific, non-catalogue request, my role is to analyse the requirement and compile a technical specification which will be sent to our technical office.” A thorough understanding of the client’s request is therefore an essential, and the challenges involved are fascinating: the correct response is a faultless technical solution and adherence to the “target” price set by the client’s representative.
RE-INVENTING ONESELF IN THE CONTEXT OF THE PANDEMIC
As the entire team is involved in client relations, communication between these colleagues is essential. “We have an open plan configuration, which facilitates exchanges between us”, explains Nathalie Vaucher. With the onset of the pandemic, remote working replaced office working. However, communications have remained fluid between the members of the team.
Another effect of Covid: visits to the company showroom have been less frequent. However, the team has been able to seize opportunities and to maintain contact – regularly receiving news from company clients.
The easing of restrictions in early spring this year enabled the whole team to meet again in person. And this has been good news. “Remote exchanges are fine, but being back together again is so much better. This has facilitated, amongst other things, exchanges with logistics, and with the technical office”, Florence Tanner is pleased to be able to report.
THE SOFTWARE SALES CHALLENGE
The major involvement of the back office is essential to the success of each new project. Let us take, for example, the commissioning into service of LINKiX. Nathalie, Cristina, Sabrina, and Florence are involved in the description of items. As Florence put it, “we need to work on the translation of technical office engineers’ terminology in order to make it commercially compatible”. “Selling software is quite different from selling a physical product”, explains Nathalie Vaucher. “This involves the acquisition of new skills and reorganisation of workflow, since functionality is constituted in the form of licences. Furthermore, we need to be able to explain the different components of the product, ranging from the operating system to characteristics of the embedded software.”
There is no doubt: the company’s technological choice, which emphasises embedded intelligence within VOH products, will, in future, determine how to structure pricing. This is a task on which the back office team are already working, in order always to be able to respond with maximum precision to the future needs of the company’s clients.