Improving customer communication is always a good idea; however, making these communications a key focus area is pivotal in today’s new normal business environment. I am consistently hearing about top priorities of business growth and improving business performance. What could be more important to both of these? Thus, a few strategies to ensure effective communications include:
1. Pick up the phone – some of the largest successes I’ve seen result from simple yet critical conversations. It can be as simple as calling a customer to discuss current business and to stay in touch.
2. Win-win – remember to look for win-win opportunities in your conversations/meetings with your customers. Two heads are typically better than one – take advantage of already existing relationships to find win-win opportunities to increase business/profitability.
3. Watch trends – although elaborate forecasting programs can result in increased business and/or improved efficiencies throughout the supply chain, watching and proactively managing to a simple trend line can, many times, be just as effective.
4. Joint programs – there are many opportunities to develop programs with your customers to share freight/transportation costs, improve service to your joint end customers (if applicable), collaborate on packaging opportunities, improve efficiencies, tightly manage inventory, etc.
5. Think about value – instead of focusing on selling, think about how to provide value to your customers. How can you add value to your customer’s business? Focus on providing value and you’ll likely end up with win-win results.
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