Business is all about winning the heart of society, government, customers, employees, suppliers, creditors, investors, and so on. An organization which cares about winning hearts through a superior engagement level has a higher success rate as compared to other organizations. Lead is only possible if the organization knows how to win the hearts of stakeholders through healthier engagement. Generating positive business outcomes warrants such engagement levels.
Merely sale of quality products, fulfilling orders on time, providing good service, and resolving complaints is not enough for achieving grand success. If the organization is targeting substantial growth in topline and bottom line, creating healthy business goodwill, augmenting business footprints, and defeating competition, then winning the heart of the customers- the organization’s prime business partner is a perfect way and customer visit to the organization opens doors to such way.
It is said that failure to prepare is preparing to fail and being well prepared is to prepare for success. It is also said that big things often have small beginnings. A well-prepared customer engagement plan makes sense. Come let us go through the list of preparations that are required for ensuring such a superior engagement level.
1. It is wise to have a detailed review of a customer’s account in the following way:
a) List out product-wise business turnover, generated by a customer during a given period or since the commencement of the business I am talking about total volume and value.
b) List the total number of orders fulfilled during a given period.
c) Study quality parameters set by the customer vis a vis matching dispatch by the organization.
d) List out complaints duly analyzed into quality, rates, deliveries or documents or any other lapses.
e) Find out how quickly you have resolved customer complaints vis a vis customer benchmark turnaround The customer’s mail in this regard can help.
f) List out price preferences given to the customer.
g) List out credit notes and debit notes issued to the customer.
h) List out pending invoices to be issued to the customer.
i) Find out instances of delay in payment by the customer
j) Find out the present outstanding of the customer with the number of days outstanding.
2. It is prudent to prepare a brief note about the customer association, business highlights, and achievements through such an association.
3. It is wise to give a detailed presentation about the developments that have taken place in the organization during a given period say new capacity building, new technology, new delivery methods, new packaging methods, joining of new executives and so on. This presentation should mainly discuss the developments that can greatly help customers to think about augmenting their business.
4. It is good to inform the customer about Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives taken by the organization during a given period.
5. It is wise to arrange a plant visit of the customer mainly highlighting production, quality, dispatch, delivery facilities, and CSR Employees’ talk can be arranged upon customer requests.
6. It is important to keep the latest updated sales brochure, price updates, and account statements to be kept ready for review and discussion.
7. For new customers, information about their business, their key persons, their tentative business volumes, quality, and delivery requirements can help.
During the course of such a meeting with the customer, it is wise to learn about the customer’s business, developments that have taken place, any new product launches, quality developments, certification requirements, new area or territory development, or a rise in demand. It is prudent to learn about the customer’s care.
Plant visit can be fruitful wherein ample information have been given to the customer about products, production time, quality checks, dispatch, and deliveries checks, and executives involved. Special programs implemented or certifications for quality checks obtained can be explained to customers.
It is good to hear customers’ reviews of the organization’s products, quality, deliveries, service levels, and their engagement levels. It is prudent to note suggestions or recommendations of the customer for business and engagement improvements. The customer feedback form can also be arranged so that the official record can be used for improvements at various organizational levels.
The points tabulated based on the customers’ feedback can be disseminated across the organization for implementation and improvements. Regular follow-up and its timely completion make sense. Upon successful completion of all feedback points, customers can be well communicated.
I am sure that not all organization works this way. By adopting a well-planned approach, the customer will talk about you, compare you positively with other customers, respect and care for you, and associate with a superior engagement bond.