One can learn a lot from suppliers.
The things they do well will give you a positive customer experience. So do the same to your customers.
But you might hate some suppliers for how they treat you. Avoid making the same mistakes.
Here’s what I can’t stand, and too often encounter with one of my suppliers:
I put effort in my request for proposal, trying to detail as much as possible what I want.
I send it by mail. And that’s it. I don’t get any sign of life for a few days.
So I call.
– Me: “Did you get my email?”.
– Supplier: “Yes, of course. We’ll have a look at it and will answer you by Monday.”
– Me: “OK, thanks.”
On Monday: no answer.
On Tuesday: no answer.
On Wednesday, I call back: “Oh, sorry, we’re so loaded, you know, we’ll send our proposal today.”
Look, I don’t f@#%ing care that you’re loaded. I just want to know where I’m at!
So, upon receiving my request, a simple mail saying: “Thanks for your request. You may expect an answer by next Friday”, would satisfy.
And then you send me your answer not by Friday, but the Wednesday before. And I would be extremely happy.
The difference for me? In both cases I get my answer on Wednesday, but scenario 1 I’m pissed of, scenario 2 I’m happy.
The difference for my supplier? No difference in workload, but Scenario 1 he has an unhappy customer who will never recommend him.
Scenario 2 a happy customer who will recommend him.
Lesson learned: be responsive, underpromise and overdeliver.