Creating & Delivering a Great Customer Experience!

Dave Zuidema

Senior Vice President, Customer Experience PHH Arval

Dave, I see that your title is Senior Vice Pres­i­dent of Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence at PHH. How exact­ly do you define Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence? 

At PHH, we’ve always been known for great cus­tomer ser­vice, but the real ques­tion was how to take that to the next lev­el. We want­ed to make sure that every time a client or dri­ver inter­act­ed with PHH, it was a great expe­ri­ence – one that they would remem­ber as effec­tive and also enjoy­able. 

So we cre­at­ed our Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence ini­tia­tive which reach­es into every cor­ner of our busi­ness, and I lead a group of peo­ple who are ded­i­cat­ed to the mis­sion of cre­at­ing great Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ences. We look at and ana­lyze every trans­ac­tion from the customer’s point of view, whether that’s the fleet man­ag­er, C-lev­el man­agers or dri­vers, to see how it could be made bet­ter – and then we build the tools and the sys­tems to enhance their expe­ri­ences with PHH.

How that has worked out? Have your clients noticed a dif­fer­ence? 

Over the past cou­ple of years, we have made tremen­dous progress in our Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence ini­tia­tives. Our clients under­stand our vision and focus and have been instru­men­tal in help­ing us iden­ti­fy the enhance­ments that will make a big dif­fer­ence to them.

For instance, we have devel­oped indus­try-lead­ing mobile tools that enable fleet man­agers and dri­vers to take care of their fleet trans­ac­tions any­where, from any device. Also, we’ve been redesign­ing our sys­tems to make them sim­pler and more intu­itive for man­agers and dri­vers to use, cre­at­ing a much bet­ter expe­ri­ence while retain­ing the incred­i­ble depth of infor­ma­tion avail­able to them.

And in fact, we’ve got­ten rave reviews. Some of the dri­ver feed­back espe­cial­ly has been fan­tas­tic. It’s been very sat­is­fy­ing for those of us who have been putting this togeth­er, and we’re excit­ed to con­tin­ue to push toward new inno­va­tions.

How do you approach tech­nol­o­gy and con­tin­ue to imple­ment inno­v­a­tive solu­tions?

We view tech­nol­o­gy as an enabler that cre­ates end-to-end answers for our clients’ chal­lenges and helps them man­age their fleets cost-effec­tive­ly. It encom­pass­es more than just enhanc­ing our own process­es, though of course that’s very impor­tant – it also includes cre­at­ing a great expe­ri­ence when­ev­er a client or dri­ver uses our tech­nol­o­gy. We want our tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions to be all about our clients and their needs.

On a macro lev­el, every sys­tem is designed to con­nect peo­ple and con­nect equip­ment – machine to machine to the dri­ver and the fleet man­ag­er. Our tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions also need to be proac­tive. We want to use automa­tion to ensure every trans­ac­tion or process hap­pens flaw­less­ly every time – and in com­pli­ance with each client’s cus­tomized pol­i­cy.

This under­ly­ing phi­los­o­phy means we are aggres­sive about look­ing at new emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies. Our mind­set is: How can we use that new tech­nol­o­gy to solve fleet chal­lenges?

Right now I think we are on the cusp of real­ly excit­ing things with tech­nol­o­gy. We believe, for instance, that some of these mobile tools are going to change the way we do busi­ness. We’re devel­op­ing on-demand data and pre­dic­tive ana­lyt­ics tools that help man­agers dri­ve deci­sion-mak­ing at a lev­el nev­er before pos­si­ble. It’s an excit­ing time to be involved. 

What are some of the chal­lenges you are see­ing? 

There are a lot of chal­lenges fac­ing fleets, and I guess those cre­ate hot spots. For instance, many fleets are fac­ing new reg­u­la­tions that will impact their oper­a­tions. Dri­ver com­pli­ance con­tin­ues to be an impor­tant issue, espe­cial­ly in terms of their behav­ior behind the wheel. Alter­na­tive fuel is anoth­er area where we’re get­ting a lot of ques­tions from clients inter­est­ed in reduc­ing costs. There are just a ton of chal­lenges out there – pos­si­bly more than ever before. It is a tough time right now to man­age fleets.

What are clients telling you that their chief con­cerns are right now? 

Maybe more so now, is how do I man­age my fleet effec­tive­ly and effi­cient­ly? They look to us to help them dri­ve down the total cost of own­er­ship – from the vehi­cle pur­chase, through main­te­nance, fuel­ing, risk and safe­ty, to sell­ing the vehi­cle. That is one area that clients are con­tin­u­al­ly strug­gling with.

And dri­ver behav­ior is anoth­er con­cern that keeps com­ing up. We work with our clients to imple­ment solu­tions such as man­age­ment pro­grams, in-depth analy­ses and con­sul­ta­tion, dri­ver train­ing and new tech­nolo­gies that can help com­pa­nies reduce acci­dents and improve dri­ver safe­ty.

Obvi­ous­ly, fleet man­agers face many con­cerns every day. We not only want to pro­vide the solu­tions – but pro­vide them in a way that makes our clients feel good about work­ing with us. That’s what PHH’s Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence ini­tia­tive is all about.



David J. Zuide­ma
Senior Vice Pres­i­dent, Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence
PHH Arval

Mr. Zuide­ma is respon­si­ble for PHH’s Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence ini­tia­tives. He joined PHH in 1981, and his career has encom­passed numer­ous key lead­er­ship posi­tions – from prod­uct man­age­ment and busi­ness devel­op­ment to oper­a­tions and infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy. He is a grad­u­ate of Franklin & Mar­shall Col­lege, and earned an M.B.A. from Duke Uni­ver­si­ty.



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