26 April 2018
As new technologies emerge and new forms of the built environment gain traction, one brand is using inspired design thinking to reimagine how it operates.
For the 2018 INDE.Awards, the inaugural Multi-Residential Building award is proudly presented by Bosch, iconic German designers of kitchen and laundry appliances. For nearly 130 years, Bosch has taken a future-facing approach to design, recognising that living spaces of all sizes and nature deserve nothing short of the best home appliances. One of the most recognisable global names in appliances, Bosch powers countless kitchens, laundries, and homes around the world and has earned a reputation for reliability and innovation.
We caught up with Maja Pejovic the Brand Manager at Bosch, and Lauren Evans, Bosch’s Operations Manager at the brand’s Customer Interaction Centre, to find out how the growth of new forms of design demand is affecting the brand’s approach to product innovation. Recognising the impact that technology and user satisfaction is playing in this context, the Bosch philosophy continues to leave an indelible mark on the future of design – and its service – in our times.
In recent years, businesses and brands have found it difficult to navigate the waters of ‘service’ in the digital age. No longer do products and logos, alone, sell products and create meaningful connections with their audiences – to some degree, the experience of the product and the experience of the brand are one and the same. Bosch has been recognised as a leader in this, marrying its approach to service with its similar approach to the functionality of developed products. Is this central to the Bosch identity across the decades? And, will this continue in the decades that lie ahead?
Maja Pejovic: For generations, the Bosch brand has been trusted by millions of consumers around the world. Meeting their high expectations requires more than just offering top-level products. As Bosch, we aim to deliver an all-round support and service experience that reaches the same level of perfection, reliability and quality as our home appliances, and this commitment will be at the core of the Bosch brand for the years to come.
Every year, millions of consumers experience the Bosch brand directly through service encounters. These experiences have a major impact on consumers’ satisfaction, their loyalty and their quality perception of our brand. This makes it all the more important for us to prove ourselves as competent, straightforward, respectful when providing customer service. We do this by providing service solutions that exceed consumers’ expectations.
Lauren Evans: From a customer service perspective, we recognise that the service we deliver is paramount in the consumer journey. Customer Centricity is something which is a company value for us, and we always keep this principle at the forefront when designing our service delivery. Yes, this will absolutely be continued to be improved upon in the decades that lie ahead.
Aside from exhaustive mannuals, FAQs and even new phone apps and web platforms, Bosch backs up every product with a strong service commitment (from initial consultations all the way through to ongoing maintenance). How important is the end-to-end customer experience for Bosch?
Maja Pejovic: A positive service experience has a positive effect on every aspect of our consumer relationship. Our consumers encounter Bosch service in different situations along their journey. We want to make sure that they have a positive and memorable experience at all touchpoints with our brand. Whether customers need expert advice for their Bosch home appliances, need help with problems or simply want to give us feedback on our products and services, the Bosch customer service team is available around the clock.
Lauren Evans: The end to end customer experience is essential in that Bosch customers know that in the event that they need assistance with their appliance, there is a helpful and knowledgeable team to support them in their needs.
And how has this changed over time?
Maja Pejovic: Service situations in which consumers interact with our brand are by no means limited to the repair visit of a service technician. Increasingly, customers seek information, usage advice or troubleshooting on our brand website and on our social media channels. They call our service hotline to speak with a human service advisor. No matter how, where and why our consumers get in touch with us, we provide them with consistent top-quality service to help make their lives a little bit easier.
Lauren Evans: I think generally in the industry, companies have become more aware of the importance of service and customer centricity which has naturally led to more and more of a focus on these areas.
What new challenges do you think we will be facing very soon?
Maja Pejovic: With electricity and water prices on the rise, energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly important consideration. Customers are now looking for more efficient home appliances to minimise the impact on the environment, as well as to cut down on running costs – and this is especially true in multi-residential applications where sustainability is a key driving force in the resulting design and overall intent.
Bosch is focused on delivering innovations to improve water and energy efficiency while providing top performance. An example of our commitment to energy efficiency is the Bosch heat pump dryer range with ActiveAir technology, which are designed to work without conventional heating. Existing heat is reused efficiently during the entire drying process, making them amongst the most economical dryers in Australia with up to an 8 star energy rating. This results in improved energy efficiency as well as quicker dry cycles. The Fast Dryer technology pumps in air at a higher operating temperature, drying your clothes up to 8 minutes per kilogram faster than other Bosch heat pump dryers.
Efficiency, precision, simplicity and streamlining appear as important to Bosch today as they have been since its earliest beginnings. Why do you believe these aspects of design and experience appear to be timeless? Or, are they more important than ever?
Maja Pejovic: Bosch home appliances set worldwide standards not only with their high-quality materials and pioneering precision but also by means of their unmistakably clear designs which transfers our high quality standards even into the smallest details, allowing the consumer to experience them with all the senses. The design of our home appliances always supports the function of each appliance and focuses primarily on the user, and makes complex technology surprisingly simple to operate.
If you could define the ‘Bosch experience’, what would that be?
Maja Pejovic: For generations, Bosch has been developing innovations that serve people with “Invented for Life” at the core of our brand. For home appliances, “Invented for Life” means giving people peace of mind for their daily life at home.
From ovens and dishwashers to washing machines and cooktops: Bosch home appliances always achieve perfect results. Superior technology and pioneering functions are at the heart of our brand promise. Our products perform constantly throughout their entire product life cycle and feel new even years down the line. Furthermore, you can experience the high quality of our home appliances with all your senses – sight, touch, sound, smell and taste.
Since the early stages of the twentieth century, Bosch has established a clear voice for itself as a leader in innovative industrial design. Do you believe this has remained consistent throughout so many years at the forefront of the global appliance market?
Maja Pejovic: Bosch entered the home appliance market back in 1933 and is one of the leading appliance manufacturers in the world today. Bosch home appliances set worldwide standards not only with their high-quality materials and pioneering precision but also by means of their unmistakably clear designs which transfers our high quality standards even into the smallest details, allowing the consumer to experience them with all the senses.