It’s quite noisy where you are at the moment – what’s the construction project all about?
Andreas Briel: We are building a new high-bay warehouse to provide additional capacity. Demand has been growing constantly for years, so we are happy to accept the noise as the mark of a growing business.
For a global company, growth also means satisfying the individual needs of more and more customers spread all over the world...
Briel: Yes, but we are proud of our achievements there, too. In November 2020, we sent out a satisfaction survey to our customers. In addition to determining the Net Promoter Score, the focus was on communication, delivery times, product quality, service performance and our price/performance ratio. Having already received very good to excellent marks in all areas two years ago, we were curious to see how our customers would rate us after nine months of no customer visits due to the pandemic.
We were delighted that we were once again able to im-prove on previous years and achieve a very good overall score of 1.8 – with a 100 percent likelihood of being recommended! To achieve results ranging from “excellent” to “very good” in 2020 – the year of the pandemic – is an extraordinary testament to the efforts of our employees and a great motivation for all of us.
In your opinion, what is the reason for the high level of customer satisfaction?
Briel: It‘s complex. On the one hand, we score highly due to our wealth of experience that is unparalleled in the industry. We are as familiar with the very different taste preferences and regulations that exist around the world as we are with the various tobacco products. Moreover, our dedicated employees have helped ensure that our complaint rate has improved significantly in recent years, which is also reflected in our outstanding customer survey results. In addition, due to our affiliation with the Körber Group, we have production and sales companies as well as representative offices around the globe. This means our customers are advised by trained experts in all areas along the entire value chain, from the tobacco plant to the end product.
How important is this advice to the global tobacco industry?
Briel: We offer flavors for absolutely every tobacco product on the market. The technical and sensory requirements for each product vary and are highly complex. Our approach is to work with our customers to find inspiring flavor solutions for everything from combustible cigarettes and their ingredients to cigars, pipes or heated tobacco and smokeless products. One of the keys to our success is our knowledge of what works in which region and our ability to select the right products for each market.
When customers approach us requesting a new flavor, it’s essential to know the region where they want to sell their end product. Cultural backgrounds have shaped different taste expectations all over the world, so it is important to be able to match flavors with geographical taste preferences. In addition, the industry is being shaped by a growing number of increasingly stringent rules and regulations. Our Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Department supports our customers in this area and helps them to meet all the legal requirements. Consulting services like these are also what we mean when we call ourselves the specialist for flavors and casings for manufacturers all over the world.