Most of us will continue our 2015-2016 customer retention game plan into 2017, but is that sufficient and effective in the fast changing highly competitive OCS workplace? Let me share with you an idea that can put you ahead of your competition and increase your company value with customers. No, it's not more advertising or social media. Instead, it's about education – providing it to both your customers and employees.
For example, let’s examine the cold brew coffee phenonium taking place today. Do your sales people and customers know the difference between cold brew and iced coffee? How it is brewed and the taste difference? What about the health benefits of tea? Is there a knowledge of when and what beverages are being consumed in the workplace at each time of day. If you agree that “knowledge is power” then education must become an area of focus and a key piece of strategy for your company in 2017.
Launch An Education Initiative
Start by developing an education plan that blends into your overall customer strategy. I recommend that once per quarter you pick a topic and do your research. Perform online searches, cite sources and aim for well-known or respected websites. Two of the best sources to begin with are www.vendingmarketwatch.com and www.namanow.org. Pick topics that support your business strategy and provide potential new sales. Involve millennial employee(s) to help with the research and writing. They will have ideas to consider and new communication skills to support this project.
Prepare the information you have found for your sales people and communicate it to your customers. Print copies and leave the information in the breakroom. Invite the key office personnel of your customers to call you with questions or better yet, you call them to see if they have questions. Post on your website – make it available to all. You will find new business opportunities as it is important to keep your name and company in conversation and in front of your customers.
I encourage you to test this “education” idea. Minimal cost, time and labor with big pay offs for you company!
About the author
Dean Gilland is an industry consultant under DRG Advisors and a Coffee Legend winner. Previously, he worked with NAMA for more than 15 years, most recently as NAMA Vice President of Sales and CTW. He can be reached via email or 847-712-0687