Although I’ve been mentioning the Amazon effect a lot lately, I thought it deserved it’s own priority. It’s become the phrase that means “exceptional service” (Sunday deliveries, no-hassle refunds), rapid delivery (same day shipping is becoming commonplace) and the latest technology (drones).
It syncs up 100% with what I’m seeing at my manufacturing and distribution clients. Customers are no longer satisfied with on-time deliveries, they want reduced lead times and partnership type service. The norm in several industries such as aerospace is for the supplier to manage deliveries for the customer, keeping the customer at high levels of service with minimal inventory. How can you achieve the Amazon effect?
- 24/7 – e-commerce is an assumption for all types of business. Customers should be able to review products, look up order status etc. anytime.
- Extra mile service – How special do you feel when you interact with your supplier? Have you ever gone into a high end restaurant and requested an item they did not have in stock? Did someone run to a competitor to get it for you?
- Rapid delivery – You cannot get much faster than same-day delivery! How about Sunday deliveries? Will your employees answer the phone for the customer that calls after the end of their day?
- Collaborative programs – What is better than taking over the job for your customer? Keep them supplied with the right product in the right place at the right time and make it seamless to them. What’s not to like?
- Suggestions of value – Customers think they know what they want but often do not know what they need. How can you give them more than they expect (or a better solution than they imagine) that aligns with their unspoken (or not-yet-thought-of) needs?
- Friendly – As obvious as this seems, it doesn’t always occur. Do all of your employees act as if every customer, supplier and colleague is a key customer?