Amplifon, a global player in the hearing aid industry, is a company where audiologists serve as the first point of contact for their customers. These people have a distinctly people-oriented profile and attach great importance to the quality of their service. This was especially evident in long sales processes in which information and pampering were the benchmarks. The low retention rate and a lack of sales drive among the audiologists made Amplifon realize that change was needed. Tine De Boodt is a trainer and audiologist at Amplifon. For her, RIO offers a common language.
One of our company’s objectives was to become more efficient. Our schedules were getting busier and busier and yet we remained stuck in our protocol. We had a fixed sales tool and made every customer go through the process in the same way. That took an enormous amount of time and the results never materialized. We knew something was wrong. We were already working in a very personal way but not one that was personalized to the customer.
Tine De Boodt
Amplifon also noted that the flow of information communicated throughout the organization via the internal newsletter was limited. Updates on products, quarterly figures and targets were lost when shared digitally. Click rates showed that employees only opened the mails occasionally and only clicked through them sporadically.
approach to challenge A
- Workshop for the regional managers and internal coaches in which commercial processes are analyzed, the skills to be developed are determined and objectives and KPIs are established.
- Taking a close look at the commercial methodologies that are already being used and to what extent they are integrated in the daily operations of the audiologists.
- Interactive and hands-on training with a pilot group, selected on the basis of the opinion of the regional managers and BSPI testing.
- Elaboration of a customized blended (online & offline) transformation process, the associated tools and plug-and-play solutions.
- Creating broad support for the RIO methodology within the organization through ‘Train the coach’ for all regional managers and the rest of the teams. Didactic support for the internal commercial topic owners so they can responsibly establish the learning goals of their team.
- Training days in function of deepening and anchoring the ‘transformation’.
- Result measurement
approach to challenge B
In-depth analysis of the language used in the newsletter using the RIO plug-in, an algorithm developed in collaboration with the University of Antwerp that provides insight into the RIO ‘weight of word usage, then revealed that 43% of the words used were O-, 35% I- and 22% R-language; while previous assessments had shown that 40% of employees were relational, 35.5% informative and 23.5% outgoing.
outcome of challenge A
The realization that we don’t have to ask open-ended questions to every client, that we should be more direct and don’t have to go through the entire tool to be successful was really enriching. The fact that some clients are already prepared to decide during an initial meeting was met with disbelief. Until we tested it in practice and indeed saw that O- clients experience multiple appointments as a real waste of time and for that reason simply abandon the purchase. They responded positively to a closing question during an initial appointment and test, which resulted in us saving an enormous amount of time for both our customer and our audiologists.
Tine De Boodt
outcome Of Challenge B
Using the RIO algorithm, the mismatch between the language of the newsletter and the DNA of the employees was mapped out.
Employee behavioral style
What researchers at the University of Antwerp had previously observed – the link between click behavior, language use and personality – was confirmed in practice. Employees were not reading the newsletter because the topics and word usage were not adapted to their channel of trust.
The management team followed the advice to add relational authors to the communications team and the positive effect was visible in the short term.