For interchangeable products, the service decides whether customers buy and buy again.
Companies with innovative, high-quality products are still losing their customers in the aftersales sector. The focus is too much on the development and too little on the service processes along the supply chain. The opportunities to increase customer loyalty and earn money through optimal service offerings are often missed. Aligning the trade, service, and sales organization entirely with the customer is a decisive success factor and an important differentiating factor from the competition.
All Actions Involve the Customer’s Mission Statement
Whether customers buy is decided at the points at which they contact a company or stay loyal too—every contact counts. Customer relationships and contacts are the most valuable basis for identifying the right services. Whether a customer calls the field service, the service center, or customer service, whether he orders in the e-catalog, fills out a contact form, or authors an e-mail: His concern must trigger the right actions in the right places.
Everything in the company uses the customer mission statement. It is the driver for the contact points, establishes the processes, and sets the standards in dealing with customers. The stage directions for the employees result from it. The customer mission statement is the basis of the service culture. A customer contact point analysis can help to develop a customer mission statement.
Customer center, delivery, customer service, accounting, website, webshop, and even the packaging should match the mission statement and shape the overall impression as an essential point of contact. Anyone who learns from customer relationships and customer experiences with the company can identify new potential. Service will play a significant role here in the future.
Business Customers Think Differently than Private Customers
Business customers behave differently than private customers. They rarely use the purchased products themselves. In return, they expect that the purchased service at the optimal price and effort enables their company to achieve satisfactory results and satisfy their customers in the long term.
At the points of contact with the supplier, decision-makers, influencers, information collectors, and users have diverse needs and exchange their experiences internally (supplier evaluation). These different expectations of the various addressees must flow into the analysis of the contact points in the B2B sector.
How good is our service really and how satisfied are our customers? A contact point analysis always covers the entire service chain. The customer experiences the company’s performance. The research aims to optimize customer satisfaction and loyalty through targeted, interlinked measures and individual contact points.
Errors in Contact with Customers
When dealing with customers, companies often make the following mistakes:
- Inquiries are answered late or not at all.
- Recalls are not made on time or not on the same day.
- Customers have to wait a long time for promised information and offers.
- The information sent raises more questions than it answers.
- Customers receive inaccurate delivery information.
- We are not proactively informed about delays.
- Anyone who calls ends up on hold.
- The availability does not match the customer’s business hours.
- External, customer service, accounting, and office staff are difficult to reach.
- Regarding inquiries, customers are “passed around” between the departments.
- The structure of the invoice is unclear. The format does not match the customer’s electronic processing.
- Complaints are not processed in time; customers do not receive intermediate status.
Usually, only parts of the service chain are examined. However, downstream contact points such as planning (does the service level and appearance of the commissioned shipping company match the portfolio? Is the delivery information clear?) Or invoicing (are all invoice items traceable?) Influence the customer experience and are also rated as such by business customers.
Examples of Attractive Services
- Warehouse management with assembly service for industrial customers
- Financing offers for business development combined with delivery commitments
- Training and education of customers
- Sales partnerships (“everything from a sole source”)
- Comprehensive problem-solving (system integration)
- Leasing, property planning, advice
- Marketing services and sales promotions for trading partners
- Sales support for end customers (appointments, support in aftersales)
- Used machine sales and maintenance
- Maintenance services and organization services
Establish Management for Customer Inquiries
Precise and reliable communication is crucial for customer satisfaction. Customers who receive correct delivery information, understand all invoices and offer items, can rely on promised dates, are informed about changes in enjoyable time, or receive an immediate answer to queries, have little reason for complaint.
Inquiry management is also essential: What happens to inquiries by e-mail, via web contact forms, or questions received by the field service or coming up in the office? For this, companies also need defined processes that precisely determine who is responsible for which type of request and when the customer should receive feedback or a solution (definition of service level).
Consistent and sustainable customer perception is created if all measures interlock and convince the service chain, thus making the basis for lasting and profitable growth.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.