For Queensland Thermo King, growth is about more than just external changes. While the market leader in Australia’s bus and coach HVAC space has worked hard in recent years to expand and extend its new Brisbane premises, it’s not the complete display of its evolution.
Instead, its main development can be seen inside Queensland Thermo King’s shiny new four walls, where an internal shuffle has allowed it to prioritise an important part of its air-conditioning operations.
“While we’ve had the opening of our new premises in Brisbane, which has been good for us, a big focus has been on our rejig,” Queensland Thermo King Customer Solutions Manager Allan Lowes told ABC.
“Through new additions and a change in thought when it comes to servicing, we’ve been able to take our offering to customers to the next level.”
This shift started a year ago when Queensland Thermo King first began looking at its internal processes and staff. Lowes says the brand wanted to find a new way to offer a point of difference for its trusted network of customers within the bus and coach industry.
To do so, it shifted its gaze away from its latest product range and instead settled on an innovative way of serving customers.
“We wanted to move away from our normal sales focus on business development that was just about the product,” Lowes says.
“We came up with the idea of a Customer Solutions Team, which led to more collaborative approaches from us internally.”
The idea behind this change is to provide a single team that communicates with all parts of the Queensland Thermo King brand. The central team member can hear from operators and link any queries through to certain departments that previously they may not have spoken to.
After talking to the operator and discussing the customer’s needs with the Queensland Thermo King team, the central staff member can advocate on behalf of the operator back to the company to deliver a product proposal that is tailored to the operator’s needs and provides both short and long-term benefits for them.
From the manufacturing sector to the sales and after sales side, this Customer Solutions Team can connect all parts of the business together, working with industry stakeholders and subject matter experts to devise whole-life solutions while advocating on the customer or operator’s behalf.
Lowes says this customer service focus is modernising Queensland Thermo King’s complete offer for bus and coach customers.
“Internally I believe we have a lot of great assets within our company,” Lowes says.
“We have our operations team, from the front technicians to our customer service operators, then we have parts coordinators and more that make Queensland Thermo King so great.
“Our product and technical team now don’t just provide technical assistance, but also focus on tailor-made training packages for operators who manage their own fleet. We understand this is a requirement now.”
This process has been a gradual one for Queensland Thermo King, with the process officially being announced at the start of this year. Through retention and recruitment processes, Lowes has built a team that embodies this new age look that the HVAC company wants to take into 2024 and beyond.
Some recent additions have left Lowes excited about what the Queensland Thermo King can do with its renewed internal focus.
“I’ve been able to lead the changes that we’ve seen in our team recently,” Lowes says.
“One of these appointments includes Michael Delker, who comes to us with more than 20 years of bus and truck industry experience globally.
“The third member of our solutions team is Cheaney Wu, our international import sales member, who provides a great link back to Thermo King Asia Pacific.
“We then have a much larger team behind us that services and supports us throughout day-to-day operations to ensure our high-quality packages go through to the customer.”
Alongside this new structure, Lowes has also been questioning Queensland Thermo King’s mindset when it comes to customer support. One challenge he likes to do is to direct his team to listen to customers, note issues and concerns and bring it back to staff so that the brand can find ways to cater to certain requests.
Lowes says this exercise is all about seeing what Queensland Thermo King can do to support loyal customers and ensure that its product and surrounding service is enhanced.
“This is all about seeing what we can do to ensure our support offering has longevity and grows customer satisfaction,” he says.
“Our national network is then able to work with operators in any state or territory in Australia to listen to feedback and ultimately develop beneficial solutions for customers.”
While Queensland Thermo King’s main growth has been internal, that doesn’t mean that its expanded premises can’t offer plenty of opportunities for the HVAC business. Lowes says the new site has helped the brand spread across a range of markets while bringing in more inventory and solidifying its stock holding capabilities.
He says that this physical growth, alongside its fresh emphasis on prioritising finding solutions for customers all around Australia, will provide a greater experience for all Queensland Thermo King customers in the future.
“We want to let the industry know that we’re here to help anyone to get where they want to go to meet technological changes,” Lowes says.
“While doing this, we’re also extending our new platform and looking at adding exciting features around dedicated driver air-conditioning products and battery management – we see this as a growth area.”