Security expert Michel Huger and service technician Roland Simion work as a team to serve customers in southern Germany’s Allgäu region. They’re convinced that first-rate solutions and a personal touch are behind the trustful partnership that Bosch enjoys with customers.
“We sell solutions and services that are backed by people”
There are customers for which Roland Simion and Michel Huger know that they have to dress warmly… At 8 a.m. they’re standing down in the valley, equipped to deal with any eventuality. There isn’t a single cloud in the sky. A cabin of the gondola lift whooshes toward them and glides into the boarding area. And off they go, or more accurately up they go: climbing a thousand meters up to the top station on the peak of the Fellhorn, just a yodel away from the Austrian border. It’s where Simion and Huger will be working today. They have been supporting the customer Fellhornbahn for years on behalf of Bosch Energy and Building Solutions.
When they clamber out at the top, there are big hellos. Everyone is already well-acquainted. In 2020, Bosch security expert Michel Huger planned a state-of-the-art fire alarm system that relays alarms to an integrated control station down in the town. He and Bosch service technician Roland Simion studied the situation to decide which technologies were needed in order for the lift stations to withstand the extreme weather conditions that can occur on the mountain. The final task was to connect the individual signal stations with Bosch’s EffiLink network. This cloud-based platform makes it possible to remotely analyze and reconfigure the system and deal with any problems. This greatly facilitates the everyday work involved, ultimately also benefiting the customer.
Bosch security expert Michel Huger and Bosch service technician Roland Simion on their teamwork in the Allgäu region of Germany
The Bosch duo works like a rope climbing team
The security expert and the technical expert work hand in hand like a rope climbing team. In fact, they don’t just work together but also complement and support each other. “Generally speaking, the systems that customers can choose are all pretty similar,” says Huger, who, as sales manager for fire alarm, public address, and voice alarm systems from Bosch Sicherheitssysteme GmbH, inquires about the needs of customers. “So it’s good when we can give them some extra value.” He sums up his credo: “We sell solutions and services that are backed by people. When customers opt for the Bosch brand, they therefore also buy my services as a security expert and Simion’s support as a service technician. They want to know who they’re dealing with. This is one of the secrets of our success.”
Huger and Simion are both natives of the region, where they have deep roots. Simion, who trained as a telecommunications electronics technician at Bosch 35 years ago, has been looking after the Fellhorn Lift for over 20 years. Huger joined Bosch in 2008. Both of them are convinced that personally talking with customers is one of the reasons for their success. “When you talk with one another, it’s easier to define malfunctions. Customers usually aren’t interested in the technology behind the system – that’s my job, after all. As long as they have someone to talk to, they’re reassured,” explains Roland Simion and heads for the equipment room. It isn’t always at a dizzying height, but it’s usually hidden away in a remote corner of a building. There he sometimes sets up a makeshift "office" on two upside-down beverage crates.
Credibility is an interplay of long customer loyalty and data
Simion appreciates the possibilities that digitalization opens up. Starting with the practical benefits. “Since the data are imported to the cloud, I have less work checking everything and can remotely let the customer know if a component needs to be replaced. That’s a real value add.” This combination of long-term customer relationships and transparent data also makes it easier to sell new solutions and services. Simion is able to explain which parts need to be replaced and when, and which ones might continue working a while longer.
Huger’s sales activities also benefit from this. His territory comprises the entire area between Lake Constance and Mittenwald southeast of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. When he’s called for projects that involve planning a new system or expanding an existing one, he works with the responsible service technician. “We coordinate our activities and support one another. The service technician knows the customer and is familiar with the system’s technical features and also with potential challenges for the customer, for which I can suggest appropriate solutions,” explains Huger, who often familiarizes himself with new software in order to stay up to date. It isn’t enough for him to design concepts from his desk. He wants his customers to know the person behind the solutions and services. Because of the trustful relationships he develops, companies repeatedly contact him when they need advice.
Problem identified, problem solved
Roland Simion’s laptop is his office. He serves around 120 customers in the region. Each morning he checks online whether any problems have come up during the night; that’s when there can be surprises. Can the scheduled maintenance dates be kept or does “first aid” have to be provided somewhere, scrambling his plans for the day? The service technician has therefore made it a rule to at least keep his first appointment before dealing with other requests, in order to stay more or less on schedule. “And if I get stuck, which occasionally happens, I can turn to colleagues elsewhere in the Bosch world. I’ve never personally met many of them, but we communicate just fine digitally.” So far, Roland Simion and Michel Huger have been able to solve every problem that has come up, thus keeping their customers happy.