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Customer Support as Competitive Advantage



Siemens Automation and Drives (A&D) manufactures hardware and software automation components, providing tailored automation solutions in a range of industries. Working in a global market, Siemens A&D’s outstanding service and support has made customer satisfaction a strategic competitive advantage.


Building on a wealth of experience and a pronounced service culture, Siemens A&D SIM ATIC products support group sought ways to optimize this competitive advantage with improvements in key areas.


Siemens A&D turned to Kepner-Tregoe Resolve®, a system for the analysis of technical failures that enables support personnel to process each customer situation in a structured manner. Collaborating with KT, Siemens identified improvement objectives that would result in faster issue resolution and a better customer experience. These included:

  • Use a systematic assessment of the customer situation to determine the ideal approach to resolution
  • Describe the problem through exact isolation of its cause
  • Use a standard, structured method to establish true cause
  • Avoid unnecessary testing
  • Document cases in a clear, uniform, and complete manner

A comprehensive Resolve program was implemented to address these objectives with a combination of trouble-shooting training and coaching, defining triggers for escalation and the use of systematic problem solving, building management support, integrating systematic troubleshooting into processes and systems, and installing systems for feedback and control.


All objectives were met as Resolve’s comprehensive, systematic problem management improved both the speed and quality of issue resolution. As the program was rolled out, customer satisfaction grew and remained at an all-time high and backlog declined precipitously, resulting in fewer, critical customer situations and “emergency rescue” activities.

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