Customer service doesn’t stop at customers

Irwandy Tan of Andatech, the winner of Customer Service Experience of the Year at the Optus My Business Awards 2016, shares his team’s approach to maintaining superior service.

Every business strives to have the best customer service, and Andatech is no exception. However, director and ‘navigator’ Irwandy believes he has the winning customer service formula.

A breath of fresh air

Between 2003 and 2004, Irwandy had a light bulb moment.

Shortly after leaving an IT job, Irwandy was talking to a Korean friend who showed him a lighting product.

Irwandy Tan, Andatech“I was fascinated with the quality, with the light of which I couldn’t find anywhere in Australia, [and that brought] up the idea of ... [selling] this,” he says.

In the early days, Irwandy had to sell the product by cold calling. 

The hard work paid off and Andatech was born. However, along the way, what he was selling changed, and he turned his focus to breathalysers.

“Initially, we started with a handheld breathalyser … running it at Burwood from my parents’ shed,” Irwandy says.

“It was through a bit of hard work and a few accounts on board at the time [that] we started on online websites and eBay shops.”

Today, Andatech fields inquiries internationally and has established teams in Malaysia and the Philippines.

The knots of red tape

But the company has faced challenges. For one, red tape is preventing from Andatech from supplying breathalysers to the Australian government.

“We found that the government business has been quite a challenge for us to get ourselves in,” he says.

He says governments are more likely to gravitate towards larger multinational or overseas companies, leaving SMEs on the sidelines.

“To get our product into the government, even though its sale number might not be fantastic, it [would bring] up the recognition of the brand.”

Winning customer service formula

It should be no surprise that the winner of the Optus My Business Award 2016 for Customer Service of the Year has a premium level of customer service, but how did the company impress the judges?

In Andatech, service doesn’t end with the customer. Instead, it should be extended to any relationship the business has.

“In our customer service team, even if somebody calls in and asks where the pizza shop is, we won’t be hesitant to … go to Google Maps and search for it,” Irwandy says.

He says this service extends beyond customer-facing employees, and it is part of an integrated and consistent message company-wide.

“We have our core values mainly to nurture our customers, to continue to bring innovations into the business, and also to provide the excellent quality of service and product.

“From there, that’s applied to our marketing team, our sales team, our product team and we apply the same core values across [the business].”

What industry recognition means for the business

Irwandy Tan, AndatechReceiving industry recognition at the Optus My Business Awards 2016 has meant a great deal to Andatech.

“It’s quite an achievement for the team,” Irwandy says.

“When we heard this, everybody in the company … celebrated, because they knew their effort wasn’t wasted.

“In terms of awards, sales normally get the recognition for the numbers they put in and so on. It’s hard to measure the customer service and the operation team. So, this time, it’s really a celebration for the operations and customer service [staff], and ... it was an exciting moment.”

Irwandy says it’s important for his staff to remain positive even if they are constantly fielding problems and complaints from customers.

He says mentoring is a key factor in ensuring customer service teams operate at their peak.

“The most important part [is] who they are as a person and who is coaching them, who is training them, who is guiding them through all [these] difficult processes,” he says.

“We are not staying still … drive them and the team will follow you.”

Fast facts:

Business name: Andatech

Industry: Manufacturer, alcohol and drug testing

Established: 2003-2004

Employees: 18

Location: Melbourne

Customer base: Australia and overseas

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