Customer Experience — Outperform the Competition
How sensitive or aware are your customers to the price of your parts? Most of us have the experience of looking at the costs of a product and its impact on our buying decisions. This is especially true on our first purchase with a vendor. But my experience and customer experience data show that we forget the costs long before we forget the experience. Another way to put this is that we remember the experience much more than we remember the cost.
The lesson to be learned here is that to build or grow a business we must be focused on our customers experience with us more than the price of our product. In the end a product is part of a service and if the service is poor the experience will be poor and the chance of getting the next sale decreases.
Customer Base Penetration — Sell More Existing Product Into Existing Customers
When you focus in on what your customer uses in their business to provide repair services to their customers you realize that we only have a small percentage of their business. The take away is that in most cases we don’t need new customers as much as we need to provide more of what your top customers use. This is referred to as customer base penetration. How wide and how deep do you go into your customers supply needs?
This is why brokering is so key to growing your business. It answers the question of whether we need more customers or whether we need more product. The answer is always we need more product.
Market Acceleration — Expand Into New Markets
In some cases, you can expand into new markets. The industry proven way to do this is to be a part of a trailer system. This can quickly expand your reach into markets that were impractical for you to reach on your own. It also has the reciprocal effect of allowing you to increase your customer penetration. It is increasingly difficult to grow your business without the ability to get and to sell product into other markets.
Product Expansion — Sell New Product to Existing Customers
If you are really doing your homework you are drilling down into your customers business to discover what products they use. The challenge then is to see if you can introduce to them another vendor choice for products that they have been purchasing from other vendors. It is a mini version of the LKQ model of offering everything that repair and collusion shops use. Your trucks are going there every day (hopefully) so why not include something else that they need and that they would prefer to buy from you because their experience with you is superior to other vendors.
Partnerships 3rd Party Alliances and Different Channels
The challenge here is to find other companies that you can partner with. This may be through transportation or warehousing or simply being a conduit for their product or for them to be a conduit for your product.
Optimize Sales — Streamline
This goes back to the customer experience. The idea of streamlining is not only to be more cost effective in your organization but to provide a service that is faster and better. Increasing the efficiency of your operation so that more can be done with less is a great start. You may need to add to this better customer experience by increasing your hours of operation; delivery earlier and later; better quality control. All of this is a focus on what you do that adds value to your customers experience.
This is a challenge for all of us who are trying to grow our business by improving our customers experience. This is a never ending endeavor and if we are to continue to be a presence in our industry we must always be focused on growth and what ways growth can be accomplished.
Robert Counts Chad Counts Rich Tyler Emily Kirk Johnny Logel
Robert Counts, firstname.lastname@example.org; 512-693-6915
Chad Counts, email@example.com; 512-963-4626