Should suppliers be part of your customer experience (CX) strategy?

by | Sep 20, 2022 | Customer Experience

How improving supplier CX benefits your business

Let’s begin with the tough question: Are suppliers customers?

Nope.

But should we treat them as such? Perhaps. After all, they play a significant role in helping a business to achieve operational success.

Okay… On that basis, surely large corporates would be intent on building strong relationships and experiences for SME suppliers?

Uh, nope. Take this example: Many large companies insist on 60- to 90-day payment terms with their SME suppliers. But many suppliers need cash flow to keep their operations going, and don’t have the large resources to carry the waiting period.

Outside of the box

Do your suppliers work for you? Yes, because in many cases they supply goods that must adhere to your requirements and standards. But are they customers? Technically, yes. They have requirements that you need to meet, so that they can keep their businesses afloat. It’s a give-and-take situation.

All the variables

Any large corporate prefers to use vetted and reliable suppliers. The same goes for suppliers. But many SMEs use experiences with large corporate clients to determine whether or not they want to continue working with them.

So if you want to retain a supplier that delivers reliable and high-quality services, you may need to consider how they experience your company and its processes.

Not profits alone

If yours is a large business, know that you’re doing SMEs a solid by giving them business. But there comes a time when suppliers’ motivations don’t depend on profits alone. Suppliers want to be valued and motivated to perform optimally. If mistreated or paid late, they may not go above and beyond to deliver a service.

This can result in their prioritising customers and clients that are more sensitive to their working experience, leaving you to go through the process of finding a new supplier that adheres to your business’s standards and is reliable.

How to increase supplier CX

  • Pay suppliers on time: Ensure that you and your suppliers agree on, set and stick to fair payment terms.
  • Generous treatment: Inform suppliers of your demands and timelines, just as you would with employees, but communicate with them as customers.
  • Build relationships: Just like customers expect personalised engagements, suppliers also want to feel that they are valuable to your business.
  • Be transparent: Clear communication is key. Tell suppliers what you like and dislike, and ask them if they have likes and dislikes to share with you.
  • Let us help: At InteractRDT we know all about CX and can work with you to build strong, mutually beneficial supplier relationships. Chat to us.

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