Why a service-driven organization trumps the competition

3 min read
Apr 29, 2024 1:19:18 PM
It is one of the most important factors by which you can distinguish yourself from the competition: providing good service. Just do it. Yet B2B companies in particular still leave a lot to be desired.

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Every entrepreneur knows that customers want attention. The fact is that many companies put most of that attention at the front end of their sales process. This is especially true for B2B players. Once the deal is done and the product or service delivered, they don't really care about their customers anymore. Yes, they say they do of course. Only to then have to admit that structured systems that intelligently manage this process are lacking.

Quickly arrange a pizza

And that while service is more important than ever before. This is mainly due to the way we have become so used to it in our private lives. Although spoiled is perhaps a better word here. Want pizza in half an hour? No problem, just go to Thuisbezorgd.nl and it's taken care of. In case of complaints, I immediately find a phone number on the website and afterwards I can review the restaurant.

Similarly, many other consumer brands - which have been around a bit longer - have taken their customer contact to a higher level in recent years. Just the other day I called the provider of my home Internet and television for a question. Within 30 seconds I had someone on the line and another 2 minutes later my problem was solved. That's why we expect that level of service from companies focused on B2B.

Dissatisfied customer trumpets that around

Of course, dissatisfied customers happen in every business. You too will encounter them from time to time, no matter how well you and your employees do their best. But that doesn't mean you have to hide the complaint. A happy customer shares his experience once or twice, a dissatisfied customer does so an average of 10 times. That number alone should be reason enough to consider your customer service as the backbone of the organization. As a department that is not merely there to handle complaints, but one that contributes substantially to the growth of your company.

Creating structure

Getting that done requires structure. A well-organized system that makes it much easier for your employees to continue serving customers properly after their purchase. In many B2B companies today, this goes haphazardly. The customer calls the company with a complex question about a product he purchased a year ago. For your colleague who answers the phone, it proves difficult to quickly get the right information on his screen. Moreover, the account manager who might know more about it turns out to be on vacation. The conversation ends with the promise of an email. A day passes. And one more. And even one more. Just under 4 days later, the customer hangs up the phone again, struggling to hide his irritation.

Become a service-driven organization

The fact that many B2B companies have not yet set up this process properly is partly due to the quantity of sales. Thuisbezorgd.nl might do as many as 2,000 orders in an evening across North Brabant. A company that sells machinery or supplies software won't get more than a handful of new customers in that same region in 3 months. That apparently reduces the sense of urgency to provide good service.

Are you ready to become a truly service-driven organization? Then first map out the entire customer journey. Ask yourself especially what happens once a product is actually delivered. For example, what happens to a question or complaint? Is the reception desk really the right place to deal with it? And how often does such a question actually float between the various departments without a customer getting an answer?

Only when you have a clear picture of all this can you start building structure. A system that ensures that your customer always feels heard, even after he has paid the invoice. The result is obvious: happier customers and a significantly higher chance of repeat purchases.

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