Getting ahead in the wholesale business is no walk in the park. You have to manage a lot of moving parts. Keeping track of your own inventory, filling orders, making sure items are shipping smoothly… as you know, the logistics of it all can feel overwhelming.
However, the linchpin of your business is customer loyalty. Here is how you build that:
- Track customer data
- Showcase customer success stories
- Innovate your process to increase your customer’s profits
- Proactive Communication
Success depends on having a stable and reliable customer base. Building loyalty takes just as much hard work as perfecting your business operations.
Track Customer Data
Loyalty is creating a sense of friendship above and beyond a business relationship—if you had a friend who stared at you blankly every time you said “Hey, remember that time when…” or “Who was it that said…” how strong would that relationship be?
While data feels a bit cold compared to memories, using it to track your customer’s order history and organize that data into lists of their most purchased items serves the same purpose. It means instead of staring blankly back at your customer at a sales meeting, you can walk in totally prepared with a list of their most ordered products so you’re ready to talk about the products that matter to them most.
Showcase Customer Success Stories
Anyone can spin self-important tales of grandeur (how many of our grandfathers have tricked us with extravagant stories of their past heroics?) but showcasing testimonials from your successful customers separates you from the loud-mouthed pretenders. While potential customers need to know they can trust you, success stories also build loyalty with existing customers as well. Success stories give your customers a sense of community when they see how hard you work to help each and every store. Continually updating your testimonials year after year reminds your customers that you are reliable and always looking to improve.
Innovate Your Process To Increase Their Profit Margin
Let’s be frank—this is business, and your customer’s main concern is their bottom line. They’ll be impressed if you make their life easier, but they’ll be floored if you can actually make them more money. If you deliver on this, we guarantee they will be customers for life. However, this isn’t easy. You’re going to need to innovate, to do something new to change the playing field. In the modern age, a sure way to increase profit margins is to get rid of paper by digitizing your ordering process. Suppliers are spending a ton on paper that may not even get looked at! If you can implement a system that cuts down on your customer’s paper usage, they will instantly see a huge increase in profit. (Our app does just that, allowing the supplier to deliver that ‘paper’ electronically within the app.)
We’ve all heard parents preach “The key to relationships is communication!” and like most of the things we rolled our eyes at as kids, it’s completely true. The goal is to answer a customer’s question before they ask it. Again, the key to loyalty is to build a personal relationship and show—not just tell them by saying “Thank you for being a loyal customer” at the end of emails—that you value them. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to send them ‘good morning’ texts every day, but it does mean having systems in place to keep them informed about things like your New Items, Close Outs, Specials, Discontinued Items and getting feedback on customer satisfaction. The last thing you want is for them to feel disconnected and out of the loop.
Wholesale businesses live and die on customer loyalty. How strong are your relationships with your customer base? Have you ever lost a customer because of a preventable problem? You have the means and the work ethic to continue building strong, healthy customer relationships, now you just need to take initiative and find the tools you need to get the job done.
MOBISOFT is dedicated to giving you all of the information and the tool you need to thrive in the wholesale industry–it’s our passion.