Forget about price, lead time and quality. The number one reason for selecting and keeping a sign vendor is responsiveness.
Because we are a custom sign builder that teams up with customers, we put response time at the top of the priority list. And it’s our job to help customers make decisions regarding their new sign in a timely fashion. Good response time shows that we value them right out of the gate. They have our attention and we’re here to help solve their issue.
The nature of the issue doesn’t matter – Sign design issue? Sign permitting issue? Product information question? Complaints? We’re here to help.
Why are we so passionate about this? I interviewed several employees, asking them what do they find valuable in our vendors? The response was unanimous – the best vendors are responsive.
It’s the Golden Rule…treat others in the way you would want to be treated.
Human tendency is to assume worst case scenario when communication goes silent. Anxiety can grow when you don’t get the info you need when you need it. In today’s society, silence is a negative thing.
We practice proactive communication – good, bad or indifferent. You promote integrity even with bad news. We don’t hide from problems. It shows we care.
Our sales team is taught to catch the sources of stress before they happen. They sniff out the questions customers may have. Be intimately familiar with their project objectives and help them reach those objectives.
Going deeper, the most valuable thing business people have is time. That’s why we do everything in our power to show customers that we value their time. In fact, our goal is that customers enjoy contacting us. We hope they view us as a resource.
In the end, how do you build integrity: own up when you make a mistake. Building a great product just isn’t enough. Integrity comes from taking on responsibility and holding yourself accountable.
SENSE OF RELIEF
When a customer calls us with a huge complaint, responding promptly (even if the solution isn’t developed yet) shows the customer we care and that we’re accountable. A quick response automatically provides a sense of relief to the emotions they might have. It may not solve the entire problem immediately, but it does remove the discomfort.
In order to impress me, a prospective vendor has to convince me that they care about my business. That they’re just not out for the next sale. They do that with proactive communication.
Price, time frame, quality are important. But I’m willing to invest my time in a vendor relationship if there is good communication. It builds integrity and shows engagement.
Sure, it takes work and a solid sense of urgency. No one said it would be easy. But in the long run, everybody wins with good response time and proactive communication!