The Importance of Responsive Customer Service Practices for Wholesale Disposable Paper Product Distributors
Customer service is the keystone of many organizations, and that’s no different for disposable wiping products distributors. Getting to know your customers and their needs is so crucial for a variety of reasons. Beyond that, building a great relationship with your wholesale paper product manufacturer is also crucial to provide great service all along the supply chain. That happens by embracing feedback, listening to your customers, and working with your manufacturer to meet their needs.
The Basics of Customer Service for Wholesale Cleaning Supplies Distributors
Customer service has some key tenets which work across most industries. As a bulk paper products distributor, regardless of the size of your customer base, you’re given opportunities to improve your customer service every time you have a customer interaction. That includes interactions by:
- Face to face
- Video call
- When deliveries arrive
Even if you don’t personally deal with deliveries yourself, your logistics team becomes the face of your company when they arrive at your customer’s door. That’s why it’s crucial to ensure all members or partners of your business are on board with your customer service goals.
Clear Communication is Vital
Communication is a two-way process at the very least and may involve more than two parties when dealing with group partnerships or conversations between bulk manufacturers, wholesale distributors, and end-users. That means all parties must be willing to both speak and listen. Of course, you can’t and shouldn’t regulate how your customer communicates. That’s up to them. But you can make sure you’re doing your best to keep communication clear and effective by:
- Really listening and hearing what your customer is saying
- Keeping a record of all written communication and taking clear notes during verbal communication
- Setting realistic expectations – never “over promise”
- Ensure comms are consistent among all parties involved
If there are responsibilities that your customers need to take on, such as dealing with invoices or being available to sign for deliveries, make sure your requests are clear, polite, and contain nothing that can be misinterpreted. That avoids problems later down the line and keeps your business reputation clean.
Customer Service Means Dealing with Criticism
It’s easy to become defensive when told you’re not doing something right. But as a provider of cleaning supplies or bulk disposable wiping products, you need to take a step back and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. The simple fact is that most people won’t complain for no reason, so by accepting what they’re saying, you might be able to track down a problem and fix it.
The other key reason to proactively and positively deal with complaints and criticism is to transform dissatisfied customers into champions for your distribution business. Customers rarely judge a business based on one error. However, what they often do judge businesses on is how well they deal with that problem, and how they work to prevent it from happening again. The key steps in dealing with a complaint are as follows:
1. Listen with empathy – let them offload their problem and don’t take any negative language or tone personally.
2. Apologize — even if you feel it’s not your fault, you’re the face of your business right now.
3. Work to fix the problem and ensure the customer knows exactly what you intend to do.
4. Set a realistic timescale – don’t promise your customer they’ll have their cleaning supplies or paper towels this afternoon just to get them off the phone if you know it will be at least two days. That will lead to a much more serious complaint and could tarnish your reputation as a distributor.
5. Follow up. That means calling your customer back or emailing if appropriate, calling other parties involved if necessary, and ensuring any other staff members at your end know exactly what they need to do and that they need to report in to you when they’ve completed their tasks.
6. When the problem is fixed, check that your customer is happy with the outcome.
7. Detail what you’re putting in place to prevent the problem from happening again.
8. Consider having a customer satisfaction survey and don’t shy away from letting complaining customers fill it in, as they’re your best touchpoint to assess the effectiveness of your customer service. You can also encourage your customers to talk about their experiences on social media and tag you, turning them into champions for your business.
Understanding your customer base is even easier when you partner with a bulk paper manufacturer that wants to understand your business. Berk International prides itself on excellent customer service and wants to help you understand how you can serve your customers best. That means we’re happy to take the time to talk to you about your sales team structure and markets of interest, to understand how you’re approaching your customers. We’ll also discuss your key demographics, buyer personas, and other factors that could help you enhance your customer service and ultimately, your profits.
Berk International combines a large-scale, global capacity with personalized customization for our partner distributors. That means you get the benefits of dealing with an international manufacturer with a personal level of service that’s tailored to you and your distribution business. Set up a call today and discover how partnering with Berk can support you.