This April Dassault Falcon named Jacques Chauvet senior vice president, worldwide customer service. His appointment brings the eastern and western hemisphere support organisations under one umbrella. He talks to Liz Moscrop about his plans to put customer concerns inside the company.

Q You have been with Dassault for 27 years, starting in the fighter jet prototype workshop; and were previously senior vice president, customer service eastern hemisphere. How do you feel about your new position?

This is a wonderful new role for me. I am 100% a Dassault guy. I spent ten years with the prototype department, then seven years at Dassault Falcon Services at Le Bourget service centre. I have worked in the spare parts distribution centre, so I have a good understanding of what customers want. There are more and more aircraft in our worldwide fleet. So far we have 170 in operation, and this will increase by 120 per year, so it is critical we offer worldwide support.

Q How will you manage to cover the whole world?

I have a great team supporting me. Gerry Goguen, our new senior vice president, customer relations has a unique strategic vision that will help guide our customer support activities.
Frank Youngkin, vice president, western hemisphere is based in Teterboro. He knows a lot of customers and thinks hard about the future. Pierre Thielin, vice president, eastern hemisphere is based in St Cloud. He has a lot of technical knowledge and also understands what is likely to happen in future.
They are complementary to each other, which is crucial in a worldwide organisation. We have to take into account different cultures. This is the best European and US mix. They do a good job and amplify our team.

Q How do you ensure you deliver the best service to your customers?

Every week each customer service manager reports to us and indicates if there is a problem. If there is, we review it immediately and make sure the information comes back and we can respond. It is important that we communicate regularly and improve our customer support. Each Monday our managers share customer feedback with the back office, with the quality department, and purchasing back office.
We put customer concerns right inside our company. In the past, Dassault had a reputation for being technology-oriented. We now insist we take care of our customers’ expectations. What may be a minor issue for an engineer is important to our customers, and we insist that it is seen that way. This feedback is the only way to motivate people and increase responsiveness. We started the programme a year ago since we had our new technical centres in place.
We also set up an operator advisor board (OAB). Twenty of our customers report to other customers via an approved working group. This helps us to understand what our customers want. We recently did a seminar in Monaco where half our operators turned up. This helps us to understand the primary concerns they have.

Q What is the progress of your support network?

We have technical centres in St Cloud, Teterboro and Idaho in order to offer worldwide coverage. In St Cloud our frontline team is in the same building as our specialists. Customers have two possibilities of getting help. They can either contact their field service representative or a technical centre. If a customer goes through to a technical centre, we make the front line aware. We collect all the data from the pilot and maintenance team and aim to return the aircraft into service via non-technical intervention if possible.

The centres are linked to spares distribution centres. We have developed or are about to develop new regional spares centres in Le Bourget, Johannesburg, Teterboro, Sydney, Moscow, Istanbul, Shanghai, Mumbai, São Paolo, San Jose and Dubai. We use local couriers to bring parts into Moscow and India, as this is the easiest way to reach our customers.

Our aim is to return aircraft into service as quickly as possible. We will extend our service network over the coming months, linked to the growth of our maintenance capacity. Since the Falcon 7X will be going everywhere we should see line service centres in India, China and South Africa.

We will also install new service centres in South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Istanbul and Moscow. We are in discussion with an approved service centre in Mumbai and are looking at different possibilities in Shanghai. For the Olympic Games in Beijing we are preparing specific services with an FSR in place and support with parts. We will meet with our partners at EBACE to take these ideas further.

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Source: Flight Daily News