Axel Koetter of Solarmax: “Repairs within 48 hours”
The Solarmax Group had gotten their start two years ago by providing customer service to former customers of Sputnik. How were you able to convince your customers?
Axel Koetter: What our customers value in us is the competence of our service hotline staff, who are able to solve problems within a short period of time. Should that not be possible, that is when our second-level support comes in. And we do not make a distinction between being contacted by an installing company or the operator of an installation. We have gotten a lot of praise for our customer relations, which also includes staying in touch with our end customers.
To avoid losses in yield, inverters should be replaced or repaired as quickly as possible. How fast can you be?
Our response times are one thing that we are very proud: We are now quicker than even Sputnik was in their day – even overseas. We can replace defective string inverters within 24 hours. It usually takes us 48 hours tops to repair a faulty central inverter. This makes it possible to get an installation back into operation as fast as possible, thus avoiding losses in yield.
How do you manage to that quick?
One additional factor that makes us so fast is our customer service concept Solarmax Premium Installer: As part of this, we equip the warehouses of our partner installing companies with our string inverters, which makes replacing faulty ones much faster. Also, we have a growing number of external service partners who, of course, also benefit from regular trainings that we offer.
What are your plans for further expanding your customer service?
In the first two quarters, we have gone on a road show to provide training for installing companies and technicians in Germany and Switzerland. We intend to do more of the same and invest in the communication with our customers. This will allow us to steadily improve our products and bring down costs.
Further, we would like to continue to tighten our service network. This includes getting new service partners overseas involved and training them. Beyond that, we are working on the country-specific expansion of our customer services, both for our established and our new products – such as our storage system Maxstorage TP-S. (IK)
Axel Koetter is Head of Service at Solarmax, a German producer of solar inverters and energy storage systems. He is looking back to more than three decades of experience in after sales service organisation.
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