CAN YOU RELATE?
I had my supplier of fuel change through an acquisition last winter. The transition to the new supplier was managed very poorly, so I can only assume that they do not care about the consumer portion of their business. Here is how SIMPLE and LOW COST it is to become so.
Wanting to provide some marketing insights to this new company, because I care, I reached out to the owner who said that they were not in not need any marketing help. Do people say this because they have had nothing but poor marketers in the past, or do we need to use a new description for what I do so well?
I believe that marketing as such has become so misconstrued that it should be renamed
This is really all marketing is. Put the consumer first! Definitely not rocket science, but I am stunned by every little misstep that retailers, small and medium-sized enterprises make.
So having had:
- problems making payment electronically (who uses cheques) because there are 2 fuel companies with the same name
- having had nothing other than an original letter saying we had a new supplier (from a town significantly further away)
- no assurances about service etc.
- despite their sophisticated weather/fuel management system, we came close to running out in the Spring, so I gave them this one (why should we?).
- but then 2 weeks ago during our 2nd snowfall in November, we were down to just 8%.
- Knowing the driver personally I reached out to him directly. He came that day (hats off to him, but he runs his own small business in the summer, so HE is consumer-centric),
- but he gave a very weak rationale for the company not having delivered when we reached 20%
So rather than ANY electronic communication from this company, he provided this run of the mill, cutesy but irrelevant calendar with the company name sticking out at the bottom.
What a misdirected waste of focus and money in this digital age!
As a business/owner/marketer/general manager you would have been better to have:
- Used electronic communication (or phone) to introduce yourself
- Explain the change. “The best surprise is no surprise”
- Embrace the 80-20 rule. It is significantly harder to get new customers than to keep current ones
- Ask how service was prior to your taking over the business and what you can do to make the customer happier
- Explain how you are going to serve as good or better than your previous supplier AND WHY!
- What is your USP!
- And follow up with more communication
- Then deliver
While there are many more things you can do to grow a business of any kind, these simple basics MUST be undertaken.
Learn from this case history as it is so simple to increase business.
Become Consumer Centric!
Focus here first.
Profits will flow!