If you supply products to other businesses, you need to make running a business easier for your clients to do. If buying from you is too difficult, businesses can go to someone else to make things easier. So, as a supplier, keeping your clients involves being simple and pleasant to work with. You should avoid creating unnecessary problems for your clients so that they’re happy to keep working with you for as long as possible. Making an effort to do this, instead of just assuming it will happen on its own, is essential if you want to get and keep more clients. Here are some of the things you could be doing to make things easier for them.
Provide Plenty of Product Information and Advice
When clients consider you as a supplier, and even when they have used you before, they don’t want to have to do a lot of work to find out what you can offer them. It’s time-consuming if they have to spend a lot of time researching and comparing your products to find what they’re looking for. Some clients might even be unfamiliar with the jargon you use and could struggle to understand your products. You should be providing them with all the information they need on your products to make a decision about purchasing them. Offer them brochures and other materials with images, descriptions, and specifications. Try to make plenty of information available online, so they don’t always have to request more from you.
Get a Contract Signed
Building a long-term relationship with a client is something that can take some time. When they have been ordering from you for a while, they might be interested in a contract that cements you as a preferred supplier. Drawing up contracts can make things easier for both of you because you know what’s expected of you and your client. You should make sure that you have legal advice for creating contracts, so you know everything is in order. A contract helps to give the reassurance that you’re not going to let your client down. Just make sure you follow through on it.
Offer Favorable Payment Terms
All businesses can sometimes have problems with cash flow and managing their money. Of course, you’re not obligated to compromise your own cash flow so that other businesses can manage theirs better. However, it can be helpful if you’re willing to offer favorable payment terms to your clients. You don’t have to give them too much leeway. You can still require that they pay within a certain time, and offer incentives for paying earlier too. Many clients will still pay promptly but appreciate that they have more flexibility. You can also make payments easier too, by offering options to pay online or set up bank transfers.
Choose Convenient Packaging
When you send out your orders for delivery, you need to ensure they’re packaged appropriately. This is both for your convenience and for your clients. There are a few things you need to consider to make sure your products arrive at their destination safely and in good condition. Different products have different requirements for packaging, not just for practicality but sometimes to follow the law or shipping regulations too. Some products will need to be packaging in plastic containers or loaded onto wooden pallets. Other types of delivery might just be boxed into cardboard boxes with bubble wrap and packing peanuts. The first thing you should do is check any relevant rules about delivering your products. Then you need choose packaging that will protect your products until your clients receive them.
Offer Delivery Tracking
People want to know where their orders have got to. If you tell them that you have dispatched their items, whether using a third-party delivery company or your own vehicles, they don’t want to be in the dark about where they are. If they’re able to track their products until they arrive, it provides reassurance. They don’t have to just cross their fingers, knowing only that their order is somewhere between your warehouse and their business premises. It also helps you with accountability. You can avoid making mistakes and losing orders if you’re tracking them.
Provide a Personalized Service
Many clients find that their suppliers provide a rather cold and detached service. But they want to be treated like real people and feel like there’s more emotional attachment. You should be building relationships with your clients, which means getting to know them. Offering a more personal service shows that you care about them and that you treat each client individually. You should make an effort to get to know your clients and show that you listen to them. You might make gestures like getting in touch to congratulate them on an award or just calling to ask if they were pleased with their last order.
Deal with Problems Quickly
Even the most organized business can sometimes make mistakes or run into problems. When these affect your clients, you should deal with them as soon as possible. If one of them reports an issue or makes a complaint, it’s up to you to correct it in whatever way you can. Sometimes that means making sure a task is completed properly, other times it could mean smoothing things over after something has already gone wrong. The longer it takes you to deal with a problem, the more it could affect your client.
Get Rid of Bad Clients
You might wonder how getting rid of troublesome clients will help you provide a better service for your other clients. But it could actually make a big difference. Problem clients can often take up a lot of your time. This means that you end up dedicating a lot of your resources to them, leading to you neglecting other clients. If you have anyone who takes up a lot of your time, dropping them could be beneficial for your other clients. You’ll be better able to help them out instead.
If you want to make things easier for your clients, provide the best service you can. Delivering on your promises will ensure they can trust you.