Integrity…..and Authenticity…… Have New Meaning for Today’s Young Buyers

Published Articles
Published in

American Printer

on Thursday, July 20, 2017

By Sid Chadwick, Chadwick Consulting, Inc.

“The highest reward for a man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by   it.”……….John Ruskin

 INTRODUCTION:
Our client’s president was “beside himself” --- over multiple troubling issues, when he called:

  • Well over 50% of his company’s customers’ orders --- were late on delivery --- some by over a week.
  • He had overbooked his plant, going into December, fearing he would not have enough work for his committed payments --- then, after almost booking his plant “to the rafters”, key customers started calling-in and booking the orders he’d quoted them --- weeks earlier.
  • One of his key employees --- appeared to be sabotaging him --- and the company: working at half-speed, half-way skipping important press maintenance, and complaining to other employees about the condition of the company’s equipment.
  • Multiple clues indicated that he was leaving “money on the table” re. pricing.
  • He was physically --- and emotionally --- exhausted. (But he had never stopped going to and working his customers, being out-in-front-of-them, with truthful explanations, and “updates”-- on what they should expect, and when.)

If I had not known him --- and his family --- for well over 20+ years, I might have had doubts --- about the potential for “righting-the-ship”.

We went to work stabilizing conditions --- on multiple levels. I also wanted to see what a Customer Survey would turn-up. (Were conditions --- from customers’ viewpoints --- as bad as the President of the company believed…?)


Customer Feedback Importance

A representative sampling of his Customer Survey’s volunteered comments:

--- “Great company…”

---“This company understands and practices the saying, ‘The customer is always right’ They go above and beyond to meet our expectations..!”

---“…there was a short period of time when jobs seemed to take longer than normal, but that’s expected as the company grows…”

--- “Still excellent service, but could tell they are busier…have slower turnaround…”

---“Amazing customer service; always friendly and amiable, even when the “pressure is  on” due to deadlines…”

---“(President’s name) is honest, and you will get a straight answer from him regardless if it’s good or bad news…”

--- “They are local and active in the community…”

---“Professionalism, integrity, product excellence, reliability…”

---“Great to work with…”

Would you want to know that their Survey also generated:

  • Over “140” requests --- for “additional products and services” --- from current customers.
  • “Five” - requests for “Storage & Fulfillment” discussions.
  • “Eight” - requests to discuss a “Long-Term Supplier Agreement”, and
  • “Twenty-six” commitments (including buyer’s name and phone no. to call for follow-up) --- to provide a “Customer Referral”.

SUMMARY:
Suppliers who do not “dodge you”, tell you “the truth” --- even when it embarrasses them, and who never stop working to provide you more than you expected --- customers learn – to keep….. long term.

So is there anything you want to change about how your front-line… works with your customers…and how your organization communicates…..?

 “Culture isn’t just important….it’s everything”…………Anonymous