PCB007 Magazine

PCB-Feb2018

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56 PCB007 MAGAZINE I FEBRUARY 2018 how often you buy it; this is incredibly valu- able information that they then sell to big data companies for a lot more than the measly dis- counts they are passing along to you, their customer. But the important thing is that they spend time, effort, and money to study their customers, learning their buying habits to get to know them better, and to service them bet- ter. That's not a bad thing. In our business, we have to find other ways to do this. We must find ways to learn every- thing we can about our customers including their buying habits. We should find out the fol- lowing: 1. What do they spend every year on our product? 2. What are their buying habits? When do they place their orders? 3. When do they decide who their suppliers are going to be? 4. What is their criteria for choosing a supplier? 5. What really matters to them in terms of what they get from a supplier? 6. What is the size of an average order? 7. Who else are they buying from? Who is our competition? 8. Do they have a high supplier turnover? 9. Do they have a high employee turnover? 10. Do they communicate well with their suppliers? 11. What kind of business are they in? 12. What does it take to be successful in that business? 13. What position do they hold in their marketplace? 14. Are they industry leaders? 15. Do they have a great product? 16. Do they have a product with a future? 17. Are they innovators? 18. What is their business strategy? 19. Where will they be in one year? In five years? 20. What services can we provide to help them be successful in their business? 21. What do they look for in supplier? 22. What do they consider an outstanding supplier? 23. How difficult or easy are they to do business with? 24. What problems have they had with suppliers in the past? 25. If our business is building custom products, what do their tools (the data they provide you to build their products) look like? 26. Is the company profitable? 27. Do they pay their bills on time? 28. Do they understand and appreciate total value or are they all about price? 29. Are they likeable? (This is much more important than you think.) 30. Do we believe we can have a future with them? Can they be a customer for life? And one more, because we always under- promise, and over-deliver (a great custom- er service tactic on its own): Is there chemis- try between your two companies? Do you fit in well together? Can you work as partners in the future, sharing the same ideas, values, and goals? If you have that, you have everything. If you ask all these questions diligently and you get all the right answers, chances are you will have a good idea as to not only who your customer is, but everything else about them, and that will help you provide great service and outstanding products. And that, after all, is the goal of being a great vendor. It's only common sense. PCB007 But the important thing is that they spend time, effort, and money to study their customers, learning their buying habits to get to know them better, and to service them better.

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