Yes, customers are part of the Supply Chain. Supply Chain encompasses raw material sources, manufacturing, distribution, Procurement and Logistics, as all activities involving suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and customers and consumers.
Due to the escalating race towards attracting customers and consumers in the current commercial global markets, companies are making a great effort to out-race others in supplying better service and products to customers.
Can you tell the difference between consumers and customers?
The terms customer and consumer are confused continuously and used inter-changeable, but it's vital to know the difference when settling the Marketing strategy of the product or service and take the maximum benefits out of each one.
The Customer is the person who buys your service or product. It is the one who purchases the item and pays for it; he/she may use it or not; they intend to re-sale it to someone else.
The consumer is the person who uses/consumes your product or service.
How well do you know your Customer?
A marketer will target both groups using the information about who is a customer and who is a consumer to marketing products and services. For instance, parents and children. When marketing an innovative pair of tennis, the parents are the customers who will buy the product and who pay close attention to quality, price, durability and design, so the consumers are their children.
Most of the ads turn around the Customer = the parents; the children are the consumers, who by all means, are the perfect influencers in deciding the product. According to several types of research, almost 75% of the times children can influence the parent in purchasing the item of their choice. So now when you watch an ad, you would know who it is being targeted.
Customers influence product design and Procurement, as well as sourcing standards; How? Customer demands define the source of raw material, what to produce, and how, the kind of stuff used in the production process and determine what price is more convenient for them, according to their choices. A customer can be a consumer if he/she purchases the product/service and self-consumes it, playing a double role.
Start by creating a Customer-service Culture
By definition, the term "Customer-centric" is a way of managing a business that aims at establishing a compelling customer experience, both at the point of sale and after the sale, to bring profit and gaining competitive advantage. Supply Chain leaders need to include a Customer-centricity approach to put your customer/consumer at the centre of your services and products.
Start creating a Customer-Service Culture. How?
Customer-centricity begins with:
· You need to count on the right people in place; people who have both the skill and the attitude of service towards the Customer; employees with the personality to harmonise with the culture.
· Start defining customer-service culture. What does de perfect-customer service experience look like?
· Start with your employees to communicate the culture. Make it understandable for everyone, define the vision for the new learning.
· Start training your employees on your company’s culture right away, focusing on soft skills, your customer-service expectations and the essence of its values.
· It is highly recommended to send the positive-right message of leadership; the leader participating along the rest of the staff.
· Be a role model for others, especially leadership. Treat your personnel with the same respect as you would do with the Customer.
· Once you define your customer-service standards, give your employees the power to do whatever it takes to accomplish them, and even go further.
· Let your staff know when they’re doing a great job; recognition takes them up to the next stage.
· Always defend the company’s culture, and if someone is not speaking for the Customer-service standards, take it as re-training opportunity.
· Enjoy success when it is all working well, share it with your people; spread the good outcomes; it could be at a weekly business meeting or a remark in the company news.
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