Harman Luxury Update

HARMAN Luxury Update

Customer Loyalty

By David Tovissi
Vice President and General Manager
HARMAN Luxury Audio

David Glaubke

A reliable, loyal customer base is crucial to build a business that can withstand headwinds like we have all been facing. It's important for all of us to keep cultivating customer loyalty by giving your customers a reason to keep coming back. We have all heard the old adage that it costs much more to attract a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. Increasing customer loyalty can have one of the largest impacts on a business.

When I first joined HARMAN in February 2019, I spent my first several months interviewing our employees and our customers to determine what the Luxury Audio Business Unit was doing to attract and retain its customers. The feedback that I received helped formulate a plan that has been in progress since the summer of 2019.

Invest in and Prioritize Customer Service

One of the easiest ways to build loyalty with your customers is by servicing their needs when they have a question or a concern. I remember my first leadership meeting and speaking with Brian Wolfe, Vice President of Global Customer Service, about this topic, and he shared that Luxury Audio had a resolute team of Customer Service agents who were very educated and experienced in assisting both dealers and end-users when they needed help. I validated that assertion but also observed that there were some gaps in our coverage and that we were using the same talent to answer questions about when a product would be available for delivery as well as how to trouble shoot an ARCAM AVR. Brian shared how the rest of the Consumer Audio business was overseeing Customer Service and I challenged him to devise a similar solution for Luxury Audio. Earlier this year, Stefan Happe, the Global Customer Service Manager for Luxury Audio added over a dozen more Customer Service agents to the Luxury Audio team and created two levels of call support. The additional headcount allowed for the average time it took to answer and resolve a customer’s issue to decrease dramatically, which increased the level of customer satisfaction.

Our products are very innovative and I am pleased to state that our Customer Service methodology has also seen innovation. Customers expect quick solutions to their problems. They want to invest in companies that answer their questions and resolve their issues.


Communicate Regularly and Transparently

During my initial on-boarding I heard from many customers that they did not receive any news or updates about our products except at trade shows like CEDIA. With six brands and over 100 unique SKUS, it's important for Luxury Audio to share how our business is performing and be transparent in our communication. This newsletter is the result of your feedback about keeping you informed. Of course, timely communication was never more important than during the beginning of the pandemic.

Whilst we are seeing some improvement in lead times and many critical parts and components start to see more inventory, we will use this newsletter to update you on our products that you need to deliver and install for your customers.

Earlier this week, I was made aware that our manufacturing partner for our ARCAM and JBL Synthesis AVRs and Processors will be able to produce another 7,000 units in the coming weeks. Which is much better news than what we were anticipating, and we also see relief in our ability to produce ARCAM and JBL Synthesis Class G amplifiers. We are still struggling to procure the needed components to build the high powered JBL SA4 and MA4 amplifiers. That problem does not see any relief until early next year.

Building loyalty with you is our highest priority. If you have any suggestions on how to better earn and retain your loyalty, please share your thoughts with me by sending me an email at david.tovissi@harman.com.