While eating my favourite burger, I have often marvelled at the fast customer service that the likes of McDonalds and Burger King have to offer. Just imagine for a minute though, what it would mean to your business if all your business service providers could do the same. IT problems would be sorted out the same day as you reported them, your local marketing agency could roll out campaigns within 24hrs and your telecommunications provider would actually answer your call.
We have become used to delay in the B2B world
List the kinds of business services that you would rather wait for than get instantly, assuming all other factors are equal? Like me, you probably cannot think of any. Once you have made your business decision, you just want the service to start as soon as possible. However, in the B2B world, typical resource availability could mean you having to wait for weeks or even months before you start to see the benefits of that decision.
It is important to recognise that the desire for instant gratification has not gone away, you have merely supressed it because you have been conditioned to expect delay. You may even believe that delay is beneficial as ‘all good things come to those who wait’. This delay can manifest itself in many different ways e.g.
- The person you have agreed timescales with is not the same person who will do the work and it turns out they are really busy or just about to take two weeks annual leave
- Key staff are off sick or self isolating
- It transpires that after the contract is awarded, more information is required before the work can start. However, at first no one tells you that
- The supplier wants to ‘get to know you’ first before starting the work
- Insufficient resources to start the contract because of furlough key staff
But, in reality delay is not good and it may cause your business to miss key sales or logistical opportunities.
Harness the power of instant gratification
It does not have to be this way. You are still the customer. Make speed of service a determinate factor. You can insist on the contract achieving definable levels of customer service. Consider the use of penalty causes and insist that they are added to the contract, if the service is business critical. Offer to pay a bonus if the service can start or be ready within a specified timescale. Failing that, ask for commitments to be in writing, email is fine. Check to see if the service provider is offering guarantees or promises, regarding start of service or product delivery dates.
In the fast food industry if one particular member of staff is unable to take your order then another member can step in. It should be the same for B2B service providers. How do your providers cope when key staff are unexpectedly absent?
What are you waiting for?
Seek out then the MacDonald’s of marketing and the Burger King’s of banking. Surround yourself with business services providers who are as hungry for new business as you are. Providers who can offer seamless contract continuity, even when key staff are unexpectedly absent. You can only be as agile as your key suppliers, so review their performance when it comes to speed and delivery continuity. As the UK economy starts to speed up during the second half of 2021, don’t allow your suppliers to hold you back.
Speed is good
Well at least that is what we think at My Marketing Dept. A local marketing agency, designed from conception, to offer a quick service and dual staff backup. With the ‘My Speed‘ promise, we will start your marketing work the next working day. You can track the progress of your project 24hrs a day and have the ability to speak directly to the person doing the work.
The next time you spot a marketing opportunity for your business, don’t let it slip through your fingers. Contact us today. Now anything’s possible.