Dräger is an international leader in medical and safety technology products. Founded in Lübeck, Germany in 1889, Dräger is in its fifth generation as a family-run business and has grown into a global enterprise with more than 14,500 employees worldwide.
With sales representatives spending often several days finding answers to customers’ product questions, Dräger needed a way to make it faster and easier to access detailed specialist expertise from across the global business.
- Faster access to product expertise enables Dräger employees to provide a more effective customer service
- Salespeople estimate a 12 percentage point increase in working time, after spending much less time searching for answers and information on products, applications, and related services – time they can spend on customer-oriented activities
- Number of questions needing to be answered several times through different channels was reduced by 64% within five months
- 94% of users are very satisfied with the Starmind solution and would recommend it to other colleagues.
"Especially for new colleagues at Dräger, the enormous amount of information on many different channels about our multitude of products is very difficult to grasp. Starmind has significantly reduced this complexity, giving us an intuitive tool for fast information retrieval and independent learning. That has helped us improve the training process for new employees, and we can answer customer inquiries independently much faster".
Martin Meis, Team Leader Sales Consumables & Accessories Germany Region West, Dräger
Challenge: Provide fast access to product expertise
Since 1889, Dräger medical and safety products have helped clinicians and emergency responders to protect, support, and save lives. Today, the company’s “Technology for Life” philosophy is at the heart of its continuing commitment to innovation, quality, and customer intimacy.
To help ensure its customers get exactly the right Dräger technologies for their needs, the company’s sales teams work hard to provide their contacts with up-to-date information on suitable product, application, and service solutions. But surveys of the sales teams revealed that when customers had questions, salespeople could often spend several days tracking down the answers from more than 6,000 colleagues in product management, sales, marketing, and the Dräger Academy.
It was clear from the surveys that salespeople were spending far too much time searching for information and internal experts – time they could have spent on more valuable interactions with their accounts. What’s more, because only a handful of experts in product management and marketing were known to salespeople, they were inundated with questions, and often had to answer the same questions repeatedly through different channels for different sales colleagues.
The Dräger sales management team knew the company needed a more efficient process to handle sales-related questions and answers in order to increase employee and customer satisfaction. So, it looked for a way to provide faster access to the implicit knowledge held in the heads of employees, identify additional experts to help spread the knowledge-transfer workload, and ensure each question only needed to be answered once.
"We started using Starmind to help our salespeople make their work easier and provide more effective customer service, but that’s just the beginning. I’m excited to see what more we can achieve with Starmind throughout our global business.”
Florian Volkenand, Head of Global Academy Business & Soft Skills, Dräger
Solution: Make expertise accessible in Starmind
After assessing multiple vendors, the Dräger team recognized the value that Starmind could create throughout its business – starting with the need to provide salespeople with relevant information and suitable, high-quality answers to their questions more efficiently.
Today, by accessing Starmind on their mobile devices or through a browser, salespeople can get answers to their questions within a few hours. And if the question has already been answered from a previous inquiry, they can get access to instant expertise. That means they can spend their time taking care of the needs of customers rather than searching for answers, which ensures they provide effective customer service.
It’s a step-change in efficiency for salespeople, and it has made life a lot easier for Dräger’s product experts. Starmind’s patented AI algorithm can identify and notify numerous experts for almost every question, helping distribute the workload more evenly throughout product management, marketing, Dräger Academy, and sales. Dräger can now give more people across the business the opportunity to share their expertise, providing everyone with unprecedented access to the collective intelligence of the organization.
Just five months after the pilot implementation, employee surveys showed that 94% of users were very satisfied with the solution and would recommend Starmind to other colleagues. And in that time, the number of questions that had to be answered more than once by Dräger’s experts had decreased by 64%.
"Starmind is a very valuable tool – I can get high-quality answers in hours rather than days,” says Michael Wylezek, one of Dräger’s account managers. “And what’s really exciting is this is the first step towards making all of the implicit knowledge around Dräger more transparent and accessible.”
Michael Wylezek, Account Manager, Dräger
Result: Less time searching, more time for customers
Employee experience surveys conducted since the launch of the Starmind solution have shown that salespeople saw a 12 percentage point increase in working time, because they now spend 48% less time searching for experts and knowhow. That’s a significant amount of time they can redirect to more valuable activities for customers.
Dräger’s experts have got more time back in their day, too. In the first 15 months since implementation, 6,369 questions have been asked and answered on Starmind, and each answer has been reused an average of 5.2 times. Now, only 18% of questions are raised and answered several times, compared to 50% shortly after implementation. And as Dräger’s “corporate brain” grows over time, the company expects that figure to shrink even further.
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