Tuesday, 13 March 2007

The right sort of customer?

I am becoming increasingly convinced that small business's should avoid signing with big suppliers and conversely small suppliers should not take on big business clients..

In a world where the squeaky wheel gets the kick - why should a big vendor care how much pain and poor service levels they give a small client?
A vendor only has finite amounts of resources and personell to commit to keeping customers happy.
It makes sense that these resources would be allocated according to:
- budget/value of the client
- visibility of the relationship
- long term value of the client

So if you are a little customer - why would big supplier want to keep you happy?
There is always going to be an element of "keep all your customers happy all of the time"... but is this realistically achieveable? I think not.

On the client side - signing with a supplier your own size (or close to) you are more like to be heard and actioned on when you need service.. particularly in a market place where word of mouth referrals are critical to growing the supplier's business.
When a client is on a level pegging with the vendor in terms of size and value... then your "customer voice" is more likely to be heard is it not?

On the vendors side - making sure you CAN keep them happy is paramount to retaining customers and growing your client list... so signing someone you know you have the sufficient processes and staff in place is equally important. Beware of biting off more than you can chew.


testblog said...

Generally anything a small business owner would get from a large supplier would not be unique enough to sell effectively online anyway.

Small retailers should focus on niche markets so as to gain their own market share.

Michelle Greer

Report Man said...

If you plan to do well in the world of business, then you should look after all your customers.

Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.

Plus if your a small retailer then your going to want to expand.

I came across this e-commerce marketing company with a e-commerce blog. might be alright, although looks like there just starting out.

Regards Nick


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