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BusinessNewsOEMSustainable FreightTrucking

Daimler Trucks drills down on customer experience

Customer alignment critical as industry evolves to electrified and autonomous trucks

Daimler Trucks North America (OTC: DMLRY) is creating a customer experience organization that builds on annual Customer Experience Day exercises started two years ago.

The unit of Stuttgart, Germany-based Daimler AG unit sells more heavy-duty trucks in North America than any competitor. Its market share is nearly 40 percent.

“It is not enough to offer the best commercial vehicles available,” said Roger Nielsen, DTNA president and CEO. “I believe strongly in changing the customer experience and I will continue to prioritize from the top down”

Evolving business

As truck manufacturing evolves to focus on electrification and autonomous applications, customer understanding and alignment is critical. 

Daimler created an Electric Vehicle Council to share knowledge between customers gathered through the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet of 30 electric-powered Freightliner eCascadia Class 8 tractors and eM2 medium-duty trucks. 

The first two eCascadias will be delivered to customers this month. The initial eM2 was delivered to Penske Leasing Services in December 2018.

“The customer role in our development process is key,” Andreas Juretzka, Daimler’s e-Mobility Group lead, said in Las Vegas where test drives of the trucks were offered earlier this year.

Veteran leadership

Paul Romanaggi, a 34-year company veteran, will lead the new customer experience organization. He will oversee future transformative efforts across the business, including

Paul Romanaggi is the new Customer Experience Officer for Daimler Trucks North America (Photo: DTNA)

Freightliner, Western Star and Detroit Diesel for new truck sales, used truck acquisitions and aftermarket service. 

The group also aligns aftermarket Fleet Service, Warranty, Call Centers, Aftermarket Service Products and Service Systems to better serve customers.  

Romanaggi served in customer advocacy roles in parts, service, warranty and quality among others. He reports to Stefan Kurschner, DTNA senior vice president of aftermarket. 

“It’s our priority to transform the organization, whose focus has primarily been operational excellence, to one that is equally as focused on customer service excellence,” Kurschner said.

During Customer Experience Day, employees and customers from across North America  

collaboratively brainstorm solutions to embed customer experience into the DTNA organization and culture. New channels for customer engagement and a suite of metrics focused on customer satisfaction have resulted from the sessions.

Navistar’s vision

Daimler is not alone in organizing around the customer. Earlier in August, Navistar International Corp. (NYSE: NAV) discussed details of its customer-focused Vision 2025 program that it hopes will grow relationships and market share.

As a result of its strategic planning, technology approach and service expansion, Navistar intends to lead the industry by 2025 in predicting when a truck needs repair, directing fleet managers to the best-located service facility and completing the repair within 24 hours.

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Alan Adler

Alan Adler is a Detroit-based award-winning journalist who worked for The Associated Press, the Detroit Free Press and most recently as Detroit Bureau Chief for Trucks.com. He also spent two decades in domestic and international media relations and executive communications with General Motors.

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