Communication

In order to develop a great relationship with anyone it starts with communicating with each other.  In business its the same, especially with your customers, suppliers, employers and employees.  It also has a lot with being Honest.  That is how I have built my business for the last 16 years and it has served me well.  I have over the years built up a trust with my customers but as I have learned you just cant please everyone.  Most people want to avoid any type of confrontation with their service providers and instead will use these statements “We need the space”, “We are going in a different direction” or “We are renovating!”  I have heard this on several occasions over the years and each time I knew it was not the case.  It pains me when I hear this from my customers because they end up loosing in the end.  Sometimes because of the lack of communication they lose an opportunity to provide their own customers or staff the services they require.

As a vending service it is extremely difficult for me to be able to provide the best service I can if I don’t know that there is a problem in the first place.  Usually we can determine what the issue is as soon as we open the vendors door.  Many vending companies have the capitol to be able to afford expensive telemetry gear for each of their machines. Unfortunately my company has, used older equipment and I have to rely upon either my route driver finding the problem while he is servicing the equipment or a note left by a customer on my vendors.  (I love sticky notes!)  I have from the beginning, left a “wish list” on the vendor so my customers can let my route person know that there is an issue.  This simple thing has made many of my customers happy, because they know that its going to be rectified.  Even in this day and age of “sure vend” systems things will still get stuck or malfunction.  On each of my machines I have placed my business information on who to contact if there is an issue.

Once contacted, the vending company should be there within a day.  But I have had a few instances over the years where in a perfect storm of activity it could take up to two and maybe three days, which is normal.  But if it takes more than that then I would reconsider the company that is providing you the service.  If you have to call more than twice in one week to remind your vending company that there is an issue then you may need to reconsider. Even if they do not return your calls, its not a good sign.  But I must add that before you go through the pain of changing your service provider, give them a chance and call them or better yet ask them to pop by for a face to face.  IF you have given them chance after chance after chance then reconsider. If you are having weekly issues with the vending services then you will need to think it over.  I will more than likely be adding more on the topic of what makes a vendor tick but that will be for later.  If you are not happy let them know!!  And on the other sided if you are happy let them know!!  Its awesome when you do!

I had a new customer at a sawmill and I was there a month or so after purchasing this location.  In the process of stocking the machine I was approached by a big burly fellow who did not look very happy.  I thought oh oh someones not happy and I am about to get it with both barrels.  The guy walked right up to me and in a gruff voice demanded “is this your machine”  I replied yes and to my surprise he said “Keep up the good work” and walked away!  Wow I was almost speechless.  I had been preparing myself for a confrontation and poof it was gone in an instance!  It made my day!

As a customer you deserve great service!  My company’s motto is Honesty, Integrity, Service and Service!  Its how I have been able to stay alive in today’s market.  As one customer once told me “your machines may be old but the service is great!”

 

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