We met with Kasia for a chat about what’s currently happening in the Oil & Gas industry in Norway.
- So what is currently happening in the O&G industry in Norway? “The whole industry is undergoing change. I am primarily working with the suppliers to the national and international oil operators and these supplier companies, like their customers, are going through deep structural changes. Low oil price that we’ve had since 2014 has really had visible impact on every company in the O&G industry, espeicailly here in Stavanger, O&G capital of Norway. The new reality means for many permanently lower cost base, fewer projects, higher competition, and new expectations to products or services delivered. Many companies chose layoffs as a key tactic, but there are also many that realize they need to change the way they work, their internal processes, and above all their approach to customers.”
- What do you mean by changing the approach to customers? Is this change easy? “Changing the approach to customers means placing customers at the heart of your company and focusing on creating value for them. It sounds quite easy and many companies think that they actually do it. However, typically companies like to focus on their services, on technical and functional features of their products. Oilfield service companies have been improving the technical parameters for years, but today clients say: “I do not need this solution in this form. It is too expensive. I need something that is good enough for me.” The customers are asking for products that are creating value in a new context, for products/services that either help them cut costs or reduce risk. Changing into “good enough” philosophy is not easy, as it means doing things differently than what you used to do for the past 20 years, in many cases. And for some companies it means challenging the whole business philosophy. That is why this is not an easy process, but it is necessary.”
- What do you typically do to help clients on their way to become more customer focused? “I try to show my clients that listening more to their custoemrs and testing ideas directly with them is the key solution here. How do we do it? It’s either me and my collegues who conduct one-on one in depth conversations with oil operators or we prepare and encourag clients to do it. It creates so much excitement on the client’s side when they learn a new way of talking to clients, or maybe I sould say “new way of listening” to the clients, not biased by own products/services. Conversations with custoemrs help you see possibilities for impeovements and I have experienced several times “a ha moments” when the client realized that the customer has changed and no longer wanted what the company offered. Hearing that from their own customer empowers and motivates the whole organization. As part of the process, we typically look at the implications of these conversations for service prioritization, sales process, key activities and the way they communicate. These are very exciting projects to work on!”