When I bought my first company in 1997, I had a 30+ year old going concern, manufacturing in the aerospace arena. Sales were made in spite of themselves. Sales were made if the phone rang and someone actually answered it. In reality the customer had to convince them to take the order and deliver product somewhat close to their needs.
Sounds absurd and contrary to what we all think about today when talking about good and exceptional customer service.
Today I am involved with another business, working in the aerospace arena. We manufacture needed precision and sheet metal parts, and can provide engineered fabrication and assembly. The company has been around for over 25+ years. I don’t see much difference than when I bought my first company.
Today management talks about exceptional customer service, but I find little evidence of actually doing customer service. During my career I have had opportunity to view and review many companies from supply and supplier side of manufacturing and in many cases I have observed only rhetoric and published mission statements of concern for customers and many times have not seen “Customer Service” in practice.
Rules of engagement say we should have only the customer and customer’s satisfaction in mind.
Reading about and visiting companies I seldom find someone saying “Wow – I can’t wait to give this company my next order!” Don’t get me wrong — there are companies out there that are concerned about customers and making the buying experience good and/or great!
So, think about your customers and how they view your company. Here is the process I am undertaking to get more customers and create an atmosphere in the company to keep the customers coming back.
Ask the following and then act on what you find:
- Do customers believe it is easy to do business with us?
- Do we provide fast accurate quotes or response to pricing requests?
- Do we have reasonable delivery times?
- Do we work on reasons why if our pricing is out of line?
- Do we respond quickly to RMA’s/customer returns?
- Do we really care about customers and their experience doing business with us?
Certainly not an exhaustive list of questions. However, if you are in business and sell to others these questions need be reviewed and acted upon.
I want customers to come back!
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