If you depend on word-of-mouth for your warehouse’s success, you know good communication with current and future customers is essential. Here are a few tips to tip the scale between expanding your network and losing it.
Staying in touch will prevent problems from blowing up later. Communication may sound like a pretty part of a relationship, but you’d be surprised how many partnerships fall apart because they stop talking. Be sure you:
- Don’t take communication for granted: Customers can’t read minds and neither can you. If there’s a change in plans—particularly with production or shipping—customers need to know. Even if nothing’s changed, a quick email can ensure everyone is on the same page and continues to do their job efficiently.
- Don’t assume the other party will make the effort: Sometimes it feels like customers are breathing down your neck to get this or that done. However, this pattern doesn’t mean if all’s quiet that you’re in the clear. Always reach out to customers or you may find they’ve jumped ship.
- Don’t get lazy: It may be tempting to convince yourself of all the things your customers don’t need to know, but customers who feel out of the loop will likely leave or complain about you to other companies.
Just remember: touch base no matter how grandfathered-in you feel.
Bring Customers On-Site
As more and more business is carried out online, it’s easy for companies to separate themselves from their supplier’s reality. This break can cause customers to demand unrealistic timeframes or production value.
Encourage companies to come to your warehouse and meet employees at every level. Humanizing your company and seeing how the process works in real time will manage their expectations and build a stronger bond between your company and theirs.
Host Crucial Meetings at In-Plant Offices
Good communication takes more than emails or phone calls. Regular face-to-face meetings build trust and loyalty. However, even on-site meetings can be hindered on a noisy or hazardous warehouse floor. Talk shop in an in-plant office with soundproof walls so customers can hear, question, and fully digest explanations and negotiations in a clean and quiet environment
Also remember that the floor can be intimidating if you’re not used to it. In-plant offices allow corporate customers to relax in a setting they’re familiar with. If there’s a conflict between your warehouse and their company, comfort can break down or prevent those hostilities before they become a lasting issue.