This month our focus is on people, our people in the workplace that support us. I wanted to take a look from another perspective – what about our suppliers. Of which of course for many of you, I/we/Jenkins are your suppliers. Maybe in a way we are all suppliers even if we think we don’t sell anything.
What we do sell is often a service, or by being part of a larger team we enable our employer to sell a solution, a service, some goods. This is where the wider team becomes involved in the business so when I start thinking about suppliers, I then think about customer service.
Everyone in a business or organisation has a part to play in the success of the business and its relationships. No matter how small you think your part may be in the team and even if you never see or speak to a "customer” what you do or don’t do has an impact.
I have had a few interesting chats with a customer who regularly tells me that price wasn’t his main driver in decision making. There were four aspects he considered when choosing a supplier: Supply/Quality/Relationship with seller/Price.
In these new global pandemic times when all three of the four aspects are being challenged at times, depending on the goods we are wanting to purchase, it will more and more come down to the relationship with the seller.
Price and supply may in some cases become out of our control especially when talking about imported products. Quality isn’t usually something that we can or want to compromise on so it all comes back around to that relationship and knowing that your supplier against all odds knows you and your business well enough and has your needs at the heart of their decision making. Trust between the customer and supplier is something that takes time to develop, but we all seem such a suspicious lot us kiwis don’t we?
Look at the hard wrap that we give car salesman and insurance sellers. I’m unsure whether it is an age thing or an unconscious decision, but don’t we tend to gravitate more towards genuine people that aren’t just what their job is but who they are as people and what is meaningful to them?
I have the privilege to work with a colleague who is an ex high end motor vehicle sales manager. The stories he tells me and the lengths his devoted customers put him through just so that he could make their purchase perfect is truly incredible. He (Brendan) still gets calls from his previous customers who are obviously now friends as he has nothing to sell them that would be very comfortable at high speed 😊.
I also have come to know my insurance rep very well over the years. There is another side to her story too, when she advises you on some of the what if’s and maybe’s, she’s seen them all before. Really sad stories of people making insurance decisions for one reason or another and being left in some undesirable situations as the result. She’s only doing her job, she also travels a lot for work, juggles being a mum and misses out on time with her family.
We aren’t just suppliers; we aren’t just customers. Thank you for the trust you put in me. Most times we get it right, sometimes we get it wrong, but we certainly care about the outcome.
Have a great month.