A long-term relationship the V-ZUG way

Micky Pinkerton

V-ZUG’s superior reputation for design, quality and innovation is underpinned by an equally exemplary approach to customer service

The new product range from V-ZUG is called Excellence, but the term could easily be applied to everything this renowned Swiss appliance manufacturer does. V-ZUG’s commitment to high-performance doesn’t stop once the delivery van has sped off into the distance. In fact, it’s only just begun, with a comprehensive after-sales service providing customers with a range of tailored interactions, from insights into the products’ capabilities from the V-ZUG community of chefs and home cook heroes, through to its integrated product care systems.

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We caught up with Australian Managing Director, Nic Naes, to hear more about V-ZUG’s proactive, personal and approachable service promise.

Indesign: What is the essential connection between V-ZUG’s overall ethos and its customer service approach?

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NN: Everything does come back to who we are as a company and who we are as a business. We speak with pride about being a boutique manufacturer and when we talk about ourselves as a boutique manufacturer or a boutique company, we speak with pride – immense, genuine pride – about our ‘smaller dimensions’ […] When you’re proud of your smaller dimensions and proud of having a very curated approach to everything that we do, it does allow us to be much, much closer to the customer.

Indesign: The obvious examples of this are your customer on-boarding, including V-ZUG’s Gourmet Academy, and the thoughtful ease of updating the products’ software with new features or functions. In what other ways does V-ZUG deliver on its proactive, personal and approachable service promise?

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NN: Customer experience needs to be framed around the term of V-ZUG Care, which we refer to as our warranty. The concept of how we deliver a brand experience to customers, if you had to find a place where similar things are available, you’d probably look at high-end automotive cars, not appliances. Because appliances are typically serviced in a reactive way. The oven stops working, you ring to service it. With V-ZUG Care, we are shifting this to be one step ahead. We have the technology and the know-how and this boutique scale of the business that enables us to be more proactive, so we can actually see in there a little bit earlier [to fix something before it becomes a problem], just like how you service a car. [More generally] we never introduce technology for technology’s sake […] we need to make sure that there’s a genuine customer advantage in it.

Indesign: How does the new Excellence then extend the V-ZUG commitment to enhancing customers’ lifestyles?

NN: We believe we have found a really good mix [between design and technology with] a beautiful interface that’s rapidly evolving. It’s a beautiful interface via the connectivity on your smart device that enables you to push, create and upload recipes via your phone and push them to the oven and you can control the oven from the phone […] So much thought has gone into the Excellence range that we have effectively eliminated the need for the customers to make too many choices. In some people’s minds, the thinking is that in luxury and greatness, it’s about having all these different options and all these different choices.  We think the opposite: that luxury and greatness, it’s about not having to make the choices.

Indesign: V-ZUG’s focus on continuous innovation across the entire business, and not only in the products, comes through in so much of what we’ve talked about here. What can your customers look forward to next from V-ZUG?

NN: As of November 1 we’re moving from a 5 year to 10 year warranty, and it’s not a warranty that is cluttered with asterixes, excluding this and excluding that. We really want [the customer] to have complete peace of mind. Even things that are typically excluded from other appliances, whether it’s the replacement of a light bulb, or things like that, we really want to have that super boutique experience. And coming back to the smaller dimensions, and our brand philosophy, is the reason we can do it.