Delivering first class industrial refrigeration maintenance to owners and operators of cooling equipment

Author

Pat Draper

Regional Manager - Midlands

Sectors

Brewing and Distilling

Dairy

Food Manufacturing

Freezing and Chilling

Pharmaceutical & Process

Temperature Controlled Storage & Distribution


For over 50 years, Star Refrigeration has focused on providing a high quality service to our customers, resulting in one of the best retention rates in the industry. Pat Draper, Star’s regional manager for the Midlands, discusses the role customer service plays in industrial refrigeration service and maintenance and reveals the impact customer care has in achieving Star’s average customer satisfaction score of 9.9 out of 10.

Putting customer service at the heart of engineering

As industrial refrigeration contractors, customers are always at the heart of every decision we make. While technical service delivery is vital, customer satisfaction is paramount in building strong relationships with customers which often last for years.

‘Better for customer’ is one of Star Refrigeration’s key values and this approach is not only followed by our engineers but by our management and administrative staff too. With one of the highest customer retention levels in the industry, Star are proud to consistently deliver great customer service. Over the past decade, more than 75% of our customers continued to engage with us as their first choice provider over multiple service and maintenance projects.

Building partnerships and exceeding expectations

It is vital for refrigeration service and maintenance providers to foster close working relationships with their customers. Time should be spent getting to know each new customer, with managers and engineers taking part in a thorough induction process on every new site to develop real insight into the customer’s specific needs.

By maintaining regular contact throughout the customer’s journey, industrial refrigeration specialists can share technical knowledge, provide feedback on the condition of the refrigeration plant and demonstrate exactly where the investment has brought tangible benefits in an accessible and straightforward way.

Having a customer satisfaction strategy in place is key to improving customer service. Periodic satisfaction surveys are one way of ensuring a regular flow of communication. This allows for identification of areas where internal or external development or further improvement is required. While a high satisfaction rate is always the ultimate goal, this can only be achieved by continually collecting and analysing feedback to ensure continuous improvement of products and services as well as a speedy response to unforeseen problems.

Customers should have the confidence to contact their service provider at the first sign of any issues, knowing their concerns will be listened to and acted on swiftly, with their business needs placed at the forefront of the contractor’s response.

Energy-Optimisation

Customer feedback also helps refrigeration maintenance contractors to ensure continuous improvement of processes, drive senior management decisions, and develop training plans for staff.

Engineering expertise and continuous development

Refrigeration and heating plant owners operate in a range of sectors including temperature-controlled distribution, food and drink production, leisure and ice, data centres, pharmaceutical and petrochemical processing, and district heating. With customers’ needs varying so widely, a culture of continuous learning and development can empower engineers to meet each and every site’s individual requirements.

A strong commitment to company staff leads to a culture of care, honesty and integrity across the organisation, which reflects in the work that  is carried out on site. Around 80% of Star’s management joined the business as field engineering staff and in the Midlands region alone, our management team have a combined 90 years’ experience within the company.

Encouraging good practice in people management as well as seeking a vibrant blend of skills and experiences within the workforce brings fresh perspectives to problem solving. By driving a culture of innovation, customer needs are understood and fulfilled. Star Refrigeration is an Investors in People Platinum accredited company, and champions a diverse workforce, with a real commitment to the recruitment and development of female, minority group and young employees. Our approach was recognised at the recent RAC Cooling Awards, where we were Highly Commended in the category of Diversity Impact.

Helping customers save money and cut costs

Ultimately, industrial refrigeration contractors are here to support our customers through expert asset management, eliminating plant faults, reducing lifecycle costs, boosting energy efficiency and ensuring compliance with complex health and safety regulations.

Refrigeration represents a significant cost for many organisations, with cooling systems averaging a 20-year life expectancy. However, bespoke maintenance programmes aim to extend this significantly. Through careful spares management, refrigeration contractors should aim to avoid critical issues by recommending timely component overhauls when parts become obsolete.

Star sparesLikewise, specialist energy management systems are not only an important tool in the fight against climate change, they can also generate significant savings on energy costs and help organisations access reductions on climate change levies. Star Refrigeration’s data driven market-leading technology such as Ethos has helped some of our customers reduce their energy bills by up to 30%.

Focusing on health and safety not only protects the engineering team, it also safeguards everybody else on site. Throughout the COVID-19 restrictions, the refrigeration industry continued to work with customers to ensure unbroken compliance with health and safety requirements. Constant attention should be given to ensuring customers’ businesses remain safe and legal, with many contractors managing their customers’ statutory inspections and reports alongside routine service and maintenance.

For more information about Star Refrigeration’s expert service and maintenance packages, please contact us on 0141 638 7916 or email star@star-ref.co.uk

Delivering first class industrial refrigeration maintenance to owners and operators of cooling equipment