skip to navigation

Customer engagement

We stand strong with our customers; our unique and effective global collaboration is what enables us to achieve our Purpose, to Share the Strength with the world.

We seek to nurture open, trusting relationships with all stakeholders and to maintain these relationships by offering our customers a consistently high-quality product, excellent service and global supply security. By aligning our sustainability strategy with those of our customers, we are growing together with them to be a company they know they can trust.

How we engage with our customers

We aim to develop long-term relationships with our customers so that their business, and ours, can succeed. Our cross-functional engagement model is spearheaded by our Key Account Management (KAM) program. KAM is designed to increase points of contact across the customer’s organization to establish valuable and lasting partnerships. We track the success of this by measuring customer loyalty and how attractive our products are to our customers. These engagements also enable us to continue developing new products to meet customer needs.

Measuring our customer loyalty

Introduced in FY2017, our customer satisfaction KPI is based on the well-established Net Promoter Score® (NPS® 1), which asks our customers around the world to rank Birla Carbon’s performance against that of our peers.

NPS is calculated based on how customers respond to a single question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend Birla Carbon to a business partner or a friend?”

Customer loyalty: Progress towards our target

Remain above the NPS threshold of 35.2

Through the NPS process, our sales representatives contact a minimum of five customers per month, and those that respond are divided into three groups: Promoters, Passives and Detractors.

  • Promoters (score of 9 or 10) – loyal and continued purchasers.
  • Passives (score of 7 or 8) – customers who are satisfied yet vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score of 0 to 6) – customers whose unhappiness can damage our reputation and impede growth.

A company’s NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage score of Detractors from the percentage score of Promoters. In FY2020, our global NPS was 59 on a scale of -100 to +100 (FY2019: 55), and there was good uniformity across regions. This score is considered excellent for a business-to-business company such as ours. Our objective is to maintain our score above 35. Although this is still considered to be a “good” score, dropping to this value would alert to us the need to improve our performance; our historical results suggest that this threshold would correspond to a 10-point drop from our quarterly low.

Turning feedback into action

We use customer feedback to drive continuous improvements. For customers providing us with high NPS scores, we work to maintain, and ultimately improve, our score. To those who rate us lower, we respond through the appropriate department (Sales, Marketing, or Functional Presidents).

In FY2020, our ratings from Detractors included specific comments relating to the following issues:

  • Price
  • Supply
  • Communication

It is important for our customers to know that we respond quickly to their feedback through a range of strict processes and procedures. If a product-related issue is brought to our attention, scientists from our technology centers assess the problem before producing a detailed report. We review all customer dissatisfaction, whether it relates to products, sales or the supply chain, thoroughly before responding to the customer.

Together for Sustainability

Together for Sustainability (TfS) is an initiative that brings together chemical and pharmaceutical companies to monitor the sustainability performance of all their business partners and to integrate sustainability into their procurement processes.

Developing our customer complaint resolution methodology

To ensure we address customer concerns in the most efficient manner, we have developed a new resolution methodology based on eight disciplines (8D):

  1. Establish a team
  2. Describe the problem
  3. Immediate measures
  4. Determine root causes
  5. Choose corrective actions
  6. Implement and validate corrective actions
  7. Take preventative measures
  8. Congratulate your team

The 8D process is a collaborative effort that brings together employees from our customer services teams, plants, lab services, and global quality and technical services. Through following these eight steps for each customer complaint we receive, we endeavor to respond in a targeted and timely manner every time.

Sharing sustainability strategies

Transparency is key to building joint strategic sustainability approaches with our customers and other stakeholders. Our customers increasingly look to us to supply data on our own sustainability performance to aid transparency in their supply chains.

We invite our customers to visit our plants and offices to carry out their own audits and process reviews. They place a high level of value in having a secure supply – a requirement that we meet through our business continuity strategy and enterprise risk management approach.

Our customers constantly work to assess and improve the sustainability of their own products. We engage with their sustainability teams to share our carbon black Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, and in FY2020 developed a Carbon Footprint Statement for our customers to easily reference and incorporate into their own analyses. When designing new products, we meet with partners to better understand their expectations and their own sustainability goals related to their growing use of renewable and recycled materials. We can then use this feedback to inform the sustainability attributes we prioritize in our carbon black as we help our customers meet their goals.

Birla Carbon Carbon Footprint Statement PDF, 0.18 MB

Empowering customers to make the right choices for themselves

Kevin Brown

In February 2020, Birla Carbon took the Tire Technology Expo 2020 in Hannover, Germany as an opportunity to announce the launch of the new Birla Carbon mobile app. Through the app, customers can search for the right carbon black solutions across tires, rubber, plastics, inks, coatings and other niche industries.

How we are supporting the SDGs

SDG 17

Partnerships for the goals

We help achieve the goals by working closely with our stakeholders, particularly our customers. In FY2020, we continued to work with our customers to identify products in our range that will support their circularity pledges.

  1. The NPS model, developed by and registered to Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company and Satmetrix, measures customer loyalty by asking for direct feedback.
  2. Net Promoter Scores range from -100 to +100
Open search bar