How important is Customer Service in Trade Marketing Strategy?
When most people talk about customer service, they think of customer experiences from retail and hospitality industries, or other similar scenarios in airlines, restaurants, showrooms, and so on. However, customer service is present in trade marketing and it is of utmost importance for developing and maintaining a company’s supply chain structure.
Even though you rarely hear stories and headlines about bad customer service in trade marketing, it is still a vital part of your trade marketing strategy. Here is a look at some quick reasons that justify the need for good customer service:
- The individual sale value is much higher with a supply chain entity than with an end consumer
- The value of each customer is always large, in the short and long term
- Poor customer service with supply chain partners can have a magnifying effect
The magnifying effect of customer service in trade marketing
To understand the magnifying effect of customer service with a supply chain, let’s take the case of a wholesaler in your current structure. Poor customer service can cause problems with the product delivery to the manufacturer. This poor service could be a failure to understand a supply order, provide adequate support, or go an extra mile when needed.
Regardless, the poor product deliver can cause further problems to the wholesaler, which then cascades down the supply chain. Ultimately, your end consumer ends up facing the brunt of the damage. Moreover, the damage in the supply chain is publically visible to the rest of your partners, which results in lost trust and damaged relationships all around.
It is important to remember that you are dealing with end consumers in a trade marketing strategy, but with supply chain partners that are integral part of your product’s supply structure. This structure is like a puzzle. When the puzzle misses a single piece, it becomes unsightly and unintelligible. Every other piece of the puzzle relies on each other. The same goes for every supply chain partner you work with.
So, with respect to the original question of how important customer service is in trade marketing, the answer is ‘very important’. Even though it may not be a front-end job in the strictest sense, you still need to work and treat supply chain partners with as much respect as your end consumers, if not more. It does not matter what industry you are part of, whether it is IT, fabrication, automotive, or anything else; good customer service is critical to the success of your trade marketing strategy and, ultimately, your business itself.
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