Interview with Zeiss Head of Sales & Service
In this series of interviews with Zeiss Consumer Products management, we have already looked at product development at Zeiss Sports Optics (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=379311) as well as the changes that have taken place in the organisation and production (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=366209 & https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=379310 ), and more recently, Customer Service (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=382308).
Today, I am speaking with Oliver Zehme, Head of Sales and Service in the Zeiss Consumer Products Business Group, and he is here to tell us about some changes we will see in the future when we encounter Zeiss Sports Optics and its products in traditional dealers, or on Zeiss websites or those of internet traders. Because this area of activity is new to me, I am going to simply let Herr Zehme tell us about it, although I may interrupt him from time to time with a question, so I am handing over the narrative to him now.
Herr Zehme: “Thank you Lee. Let me say from the beginning that in recent years Zeiss has been too inward-looking. This is now changing in so many ways, as we improve our business-to-business links with our dealer partners, and move closer and more openly to our end-customers who use our products.
The principals we have started to follow in my area of activity stem from what is called a ‘360 degree’, meaning ‘all-encompassing’, concept, but the marketing jargon isn’t important. What is important is that this holistic concept tells us to focus first on providing solutions to our customers’ needs, so in recent times Zeiss has been moving closer to them and gathering through market research a better understanding of their requirements. This means how they use their optics, and what they want from them. This provides the basis of our product development, but simply putting new product on dealers’ shelves is not enough in today’s market.
We need to ensure we provide answers to customers’ questions, and to provide this information in a consistent way, so that when our customers see key facts on social media, websites and in printed material, these are repeated at the dealers point of sales. These key facts will form part of our future dealer training and dealer displays. We want to enable our customers to make the right purchase decision based on their specific needs. This creates a better purchase experience and it’s an important part of building our future Zeiss fan-base.
Troubador: “It can be difficult for a dealer to tease from a customer, especially a beginner, the information which will lead to the selection of the right product, and even more difficult to ensure this process is done in a consistent way in all dealers around the world. How will you achieve this”?
Herr Zehme: “This is very true and it is a big challenge, but we believe we have found a good solution. We have created a table or chart of information, which displays in a very structured way the competences and capabilities of our bino assortment, with the clear intent to easily identify which product the customer should use for which specific activity. It also delivers, per product, the necessary information about the technical features and product performance. This is not a totally new idea but we intend to use it more efficiently and intensively. We already have a version of this matrix available and we will be making full use of this and future versions to train dealers and their employees around the world, so that they clearly learn the differences between the products, and by doing so, learn what questions to ask customers in their store. In addition it will used as part of the display in the dealers’ stores, and in different media, so that customers can more easily acquire an understanding of which product will suit their requirements.
(Troubador: See the attached photo of one version of this matrix).
“As far as possible, we will work to make our displays in the dealers self-explanatory, so that the customer can readily understand the differences between our various products. As well as the matrix I have mentioned, we will also have a key-information card for each product on the front of the shelf, so that instead of customers having to just stare at rows of black binoculars, while waiting for a sales assistant to come and explain about each product, they can see the key differences for themselves, and with the help of the matrix get a good basic understanding of what the products are suitable for. As stated already, we want to make shopping for our products easier for our customers.
Troubador: “But what do you have in mind for internet-sellers who are such an important part of the retail landscape today?”
Herr Zehme: “The web sites of internet sellers offer us the opportunity for more intense story-telling. We can show videos that can explain in a more powerful and visual way how to use our products and which activities they are suitable for. Later we would also like to offer our bricks and mortar dealers the chance to use these videos by making available display cabinets with integrated video screens, so that their customers can benefit from them too.
In fact there is much that we can do to improve our relationship with our dealers, from easier ordering, to the training of dealers and their staff, to making positive changes. Our sales vision is to become the preferred supplier for the retail sector. We see ourselves as a consulting partner helping to grow the bino sales of our dealer.
Troubador: “Herr Zehme, thank you for the insights you have given us into a side of the business that we, the customers, perhaps take for granted.
The principals we have started to follow in my area of activity stem from what is called a ‘360 degree’, meaning ‘all-encompassing’, concept, but the marketing jargon isn’t important. What is important is that this holistic concept tells us to focus first on providing solutions to our customers’
Lovely marketing bull shit!!!
Anyway I love my Zeiss and I love their customer service....
Hello and thanks for posting this interview.
Now if only Zeiss would make a Nikon EII and Swarovski Habicht killing Porro.
This binocular must be built to the highest standards with the best available materials , and oh yes I would like it in 7 x 35.
All metal , state of the art glass and coatings , NO PLASTICS OR GLUE HOLDING THE PRISMS OR LENSES IN PLACE , I know that Zeiss can do this.
Zeiss SAID in the interview that they would be listening to their customers.
Should I be holding my breath.
o:D o:D o:D 8-P.
Lost in translation in the new Zeiss product recommendations poster:
Stalking Stalking for most Americans is something criminally actionable.
Of course hunters know the difference, but it jars most others.
High Seat A high seat for Americans is the baby chair at the dining table.
No obvious binocular connection. Again, hunters know the difference, but it is a very European term.
I will pass your comments to Herr Zehme.
I so wish i had looked closer at the graphic! Binoculars recommended for stalking - clearly the pocket pair that can be easily hidden and held by a baby in a high chair...
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