Staying Under The Radar? It’s A Dated Approach To Customer Service

Oct. 13, 2010
There is a long-held belief in our industry that the best vending service is when the customer doesn’t have to be involved in any way.
I recently received a call from a vending operator seeking some ideas about how to grow the business. The company operates four routes and has been making some investments in its equipment and employee training.Recognizing that growth opportunities are limited, the company is in the process of introducing DEX handhelds on its routes. By doing this, they hope to operate more efficiently and more profitably.In the course of the conversation, he told me they recently lost a long-term account because a new manager at the account took over the responsibility for vending. The new manager opted to bring on another vending company he had worked with previously. This led to a discussion on customer relations.While this company is forward thinking in investing in new tools, its approach to customer relations is old school. They did their best to stay under the radar with their customers. There is a long-held belief in our industry that the best vending service is when the customer doesnt have to be involved in any way.This caller may not have known it, but his company lost a long-time account because of this attitude.Why was the new decision maker so loyal to another vending company? Was it because that company stayed under the radar?Staying under the radar is a bad habit. It is a comfortable one for many operators, but one that will not serve them well in todays operating environment.Its true that many location managers are busy and have more important issues to deal with than vending. Its up to the vending company to make them realize the importance of the service and the things they are doing to make it better.With all the investments that many vending companies are making today, the need to educate the customer about whats involved in providing a high quality vending service is more important than ever.Customer service includes customer communication. The sales process needs to be ongoing.

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