THUMBS-UP

Hilti is increasingly using e-business and online channels for communicating with customers. One country organization leading the way is Hilti Great Britain

Four product photos, a web link and some text, “The Hilti Radio Charger: it’s here!” Social Media Manager Jess Matthewman clicks the “publish” button, and the contribution is visible on the Facebook page of Hilti Great Britain. The reaction is swift. Jess Matthewman can trace the enthusiasm of users on her screen. The number of “thumbs-up” likes continues to climb for the robust, practical radio charger which charges tool batteries and can stand up to construction site conditions. Within less than one week Facebook contacts resulted in more than 350 customer discussions and 100 concrete orders placed. A comparable result via traditional acquisition channels would have taken customer account managers weeks, if not months of time. Digitalization and e-business have fundamentally changed the sales patterns at Hilti Great Britain. In 2004, social media was in its infancy and Hilti GB sold products and services exclusively offline. Seven years later e-business accounted for 11 percent of sales. In 2016 the online business will make up almost 50 percent of sales, a tremendous expansion. “Availability, measurability, scalability and individualization are just a few of the advantages of digital platforms,” explains Kris Levey, Head of the Digital Team for Hilti Great Britain and Northern Europe. “They have developed to provide true added value for our customers and our business.” 

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn provide new interactive possibilities. “Let’s talk about cordless. We want to know when you first used a cordless tool, and what was it like compared to your normal kit? Do you have a favorite tool? What would you like to see next?” This is one survey example which was responsible for valuable data conveyed via social media channels. The supply of training and information videos is also much more diverse. More than 2500 customers ‒ a number which continues to grow – are already using Hilti Great Britain’s technical webinars. They either interact live or through recorded sessions on the comprehensive online library. Once customers are on the Hilti GB website, many browse the digital “Innovation Magazine,” which uses animation, photo galleries, audio and video material to give life to Hilti solutions. “Whether online or offline, we go where our customers are – anytime, anywhere and from any device,” summarizes Kris Levey. This is why customers keep giving Hilti Great Britain the thumbs-up, on all channels. 

Digital where the customers are

Up to now, the sales counter at Hilti Stores was the central element for interacting with customers. This was the only place in the store where employees had computer access to customer data, tool lists and product information. Since 2016 employees have been able to use tablets as an alternative. This has made sales and interaction with customers much more flexible and practical, effectively allowing them to take place anywhere in the store. All the information can be accessed at any time and sales agreements can be concluded. In addition to Hilti Stores, Hilti salespeople continue to be outfitted with this technology. 

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