Consider professor Banks your own personal Mr. Wizard.
By John Stewart
Regular visitors to bankspower.com may have noticed we’re trying to develop two-way communications with our customers. It’s our goal to listen better. Not just talk to a customer, but to conduct a conversation. Not just blast out marketing, but to find out what customers really, truly want and need. As a step in that direction, we’ve opened a Facebook page, which is still new, but rapidly growing. We think it might be a good tool for us to get customer feedback.
We’re hoping Banks Power customers will share thoughts that fall into two broad categories:
Problems might include anything that interferes with your enjoyment of your vehicle. We definitely want to hear about issues that pertain to our own products and customer service. That includes design, warranty, installation-all of that. Those are the communications that help us make our products better.
But we also invite your thoughts on the broader issues and long-term challenges. How important is fuel cost to you at the moment, and what are you looking to do about it? How has the progression of emissions regulations affected your ability to enjoy your truck or motor home? How do you make decisions about how, and when, to buy a new vehicle, and where to you get your information?
The point is, if we know about your problems, we can start to look for solutions. If we have your input, we reduce the risk that we, as a company, would wander off and develop a great solution for a problem nobody really has. Your input will keep our vision on track.
Opportunities are equally interesting to us. “Opportunities” might include your ideas for new products. Or your own observations about new trends you have noticed. Maybe you think diesel drag racing is growing, or you notice that campground Wi-Fi is suddenly everywhere you go. Maybe you have a product of ours that just needs one little tweak to be a whole lot better. Anything you might care to share about how Banks Power customers can have more fun, drive safer, operate cheaper-those are all opportunities we would want to pay attention to. We invite your thoughts.
In the past, these kinds of communications would have taken place through snail mail. You would write us a letter, we would write one back. By the time you got your answer, your problem would be already solved, and your opportunity would have become old hat.
We already post whatever is new on the Banks Power Facebook page. New products, interesting testing, unique projects-whatever. We’re hoping our page will always be a good read. But beyond that, we’re looking for your posts. When a customer likes something, we take note of that. When a customer asks a question or shares an idea, those posts are brought to the attention of Banks team members. You’d be surprised-these go straight to the top. There are some that can be resolved fairly quickly and some that involve more long-term approaches, but make no mistake, they are definitely noticed and discussed at the boardroom level. By all means, keep them coming.
We’re also now on Twitter. Gale uses the account Bankspowerman, and he tweets as often as he has something to say. Again, these might be as mundane as new product announcements or previews of upcoming sales, but he set up his Twitter account more for motorsports notes, his impressions from shows he may be attending, test results and other revelations that seem meaningful. The more he hears from you, the more comments he may want to make.
So here’s your invitation: Ask Gale a question. Consider professor Banks your own personal Mr. Wizard for the moment. He’s great at tech questions, like why torque converters fail, or what kinds of programming are known to increase fuel economy. He can tell you why head gaskets fail, pretty much engine by engine. If you’re a racer and something keeps breaking, chances are he knows what you should try next. He’s also pretty deep into testing, so if you want to REALLY know how to measure something-maybe fuel economy or an improvement in towing power-he has a procedure for it. He’s also in touch with people at companies like Ford, GM, Bosch, Eaton and more, so he knows about their products and what they are doing. Some of it he can talk about, some of it he can’t, but he’s always bringing something back to the shop to tear apart and look at, just to satisfy his own curiosity. You could ask about his philosophy for energy independence, the future in racing, or his own personal preferences when it comes to cars and trucks. It could be anything. E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and use the words ASK GALE in the subject line.
To make this happen, we’ll gather up all the e-mails, catch up with Gale and get you some answers. If we get tons of questions, he won’t be able to answer them all…but knowing Gale, he’ll want to try. We’ll package up the Q&A every so often and mail it out, or post it for everyone to see.
If you like the idea, go ahead. Ask Gale.