Customer satisfaction: This is how your purchase makes customers happy!
Customer satisfaction is becoming more and more important in many companies. Purchasing is also affected by this. Internal customers, such as production, as well as external customers, the end consumers, expect from the purchasing department that the products they want are available at the right place at the right time and meet the quality requirements.
By selecting the right suppliers and a suitable purchasing strategy, purchasing can successfully meet the expectations of their customers. However, recalls in the automotive industry, supply bottlenecks or image damage caused by poor working conditions can have a negative impact on internal and external customer satisfaction. The biggest challenge for purchasing is to analyze own customer satisfaction and to identify the causes for possible dissatisfaction.
Definition of target customers
However, before you can say how high customer satisfaction is, it must first be clear which customers should be addressed and reached. For this purpose, socio-demographic as well as existing customer data are used to narrow down the desired customer group. It is a proven method to create a so-called buyer persona, a detailed sample customer definition.
Measure customer satisfaction
In order to recognize how satisfied your own customers really are, you can ask your customers directly or collect their opinions online. Customer interviews, questionnaires, customer feedback and customer reviews give an impression of the mood of the customers towards the purchase of the company. If customers are addressed online, a measurement of the after-sales rate can also provide information about customer satisfaction.
Improvement of customer satisfaction
If the survey has revealed a deficit in terms of customer satisfaction, the question naturally arises: How do I increase the satisfaction of my customers?
At this point, one thing is particularly important: contact. Purchasing must closely accompany the customer from the first contact right through to aftercare, no matter whether it is internal or external customer, and clearly communicate the benefits and added value of the product offered. This is the only way to achieve a sustained increase in customer satisfaction. If an additional benefit is also presented, the customer is strengthened in his decision and satisfaction increases. Trust can be gained through references and successful practical examples.
Working with internal customers requires good cooperation with colleagues from all divisions. In many companies, purchasing is still the department that swings the price bar, but has no idea of the professional work of the other departments. On the other hand, it is just as unclear for the other departments what services purchasing offers and where purchasing should be consulted as a specialist. Strengthening internal communication regarding the tasks and successes of purchasing, for example via an improved intranet presence or an employee magazine, can achieve the desired effect at this point.
The quality of the end product is decisive for the customer satisfaction of external customers. However, this depends on the quality of the products and services procured and on the reputation of the supplier, which is why it is already determined by the identification or initial approach of potential new suppliers. At this point, a clean supplier check and a corresponding continuous supplier evaluation are also necessary, such as audits with previously defined performance indicators.
The customer is king
Besides a broad range of specialist knowledge, a good purchase nowadays also requires sales skills and empathy. This is the only way to satisfy the requirements of internal stakeholders. Just as a salesperson or key account manager establishes a connection to his customers, so purchasing must also create this connection and understand the wishes of his customers and thus be a partner of research & development, marketing, production and quality assurance. The same applies to the contact with suppliers. It is a big problem that optimizations are often neglected and that the purchasing department does not interact far enough with the suppliers and listens not carefully enough.
Positive feedback (word-of-mouth recommendation) also contributes to an increase in customer satisfaction and also offers potential new customers considerable added value. In order to ensure customer satisfaction in the long term and to generate additional business, it is also worth putting a lot of work into a customer and thus exceeding his expectations. Purchasing offers great potential and always opens up new opportunities for improvement.
Customers often do not know exactly how the purchasing department’s range of services is structured. In addition, it is often unclear whether and when purchasing should be integrated. It is therefore beneficial to make the range of services more transparent and to simplify purchasing processes. The specialist department should find a consultant in purchasing with whom the best price-performance ratio for customers and suppliers can be achieved and who can act quickly and flexibly in the event of a problem.
The purchasing experts at Kloepfel Consulting help companies to optimize their purchasing and thus also increase the satisfaction of their customers.
Kloepfel Consulting does not convince its customers with unnecessarily extensive analyses and extensive strategy papers that are not implemented – nor does Kloepfel Consulting sell consulting concepts “off the peg”. Rather, we at Kloepfel work with you to develop pragmatic and result-oriented results tailored to your needs. Following the motto: We don’t just talk. We do it!