Source link, Writer, 24 November 2022

Unlocking Business Value through Operational Excellence and Customer Care

In an ever more competitive marketplace, irrespective of industry vertical, being able to anticipate a customer"s needs and deliver, quickly and efficiently, products and services that meet those needs, are key competitive differentiators.

Businesses spend much time and resources researching new market trends, new marketing strategies and innovative ways to attract customers away from competitors. Rarely do we consider the wealth of insights available to us from our existing customer base. A simple survey conducted with our existing customers can give a clear indication of critical metrics such as our brand perception, our operational strengths and development opportunities, the relevance and correct price positioning of our range of product and services, and the efficacy of our aftersales care.

But much more needs to be done to really differentiate yourself in the market. This is why our core mantra of our business is based on CARE, PRIDE and TRUST. Without truly caring about the people behind your product / service you have failed to even begin to understand what you can offer.

"We created a link between our customers and our product partners, engaged directly with our customers on their key pain points, and created a process where our entire approach to relationship management is proactive not reactive."
- Tina Angelos, AVS

A little over two years ago a decision was made by Tina Angelos, Managing Director of Allied Valve Specialists (AVS), to merge two of her group"s businesses, SVS and Entrade, under a single brand. SVS and Entrade serviced similar customers with similar product sets, so it made sense to take advantage of the inherent efficiencies created by merging the two companies. As part of the process to define the positioning and core values of the new entity, AVS, Angelos commissioned a survey to be sent to 100 existing clients. The results of the survey clearly indicated that speed, availability and accuracy of product and service delivery, and a deep sense of care to customer relationships were critical to future business growth. These insights were used to develop three of the new company"s key strategic initiatives.

The first, addressing speed and accuracy, was to implement an improvement project focused on operational software. A new customer relationship management system was commissioned that will enable real-time order status updates and will allow customers to view stock-on-hand, pricing, and time-to-delivery. The second, addressing digital presence, lead to the development of an enhanced web-presence that will integrate into the CRM system. The idea of bridging the gap between our direct suppliers and the customer is the goal – a cradle to grave solution that doesn"t stop just at selling a valve product but tracks the lifecycle of the valve together with customers and partners.

Most critically, perhaps, was new thinking around what real Customer Service looked like for AVS. "During lockdown, we made an intentional business decision to focus on what Customer Service really meant to our customers'" says Angelos, "We created a link between our customers and our product partners, engaged directly with our customers on their key pain points, and created a process where our entire approach to relationship management is proactive not reactive."" As a result of the shift in focus delivering operational excellence and enhanced relationship management with their existing client base, the group achieved a 9% growth despite an incredibly challenging business environment.

"I believe it is so important to 'walk the talk' of our core values to ensure that we unlock as much value as possible for, and from, our existing, and new, customers," states Angelos, "this is how we lay a solid foundation for future sustainable growth, and position ourselves as forward-thinkers in a, traditionally, conservative industry."