Fast Company

Why Wouldn’t your Service Providers Work Together?

Let’s say you have a problem with a system or a product that contains several components from different companies. To fix the problem, you need to contact different providers. What if those providers employed community service professionals who did the contacting and triaging on your behalf?

That would indeed be quite innovative and delightful from a customer satisfaction standpoint. We live in an increasingly connected society - social media or not, it takes a global effort to pull products together nowadays. The world may not be flat yet, but it is indeed much smaller.

I have been experiencing this kind of concept but as a one-off conversations with one provider - actually to be exact with a community manager of one provider who is volunteering to help broker information and a fix with another provider. Sometimes, your customers may be at a loss on how to explain even what the problem is, as in my case.

Wouldn’t it be much more efficient on your part and satisfying on the customers’ side to have this kind of set up?

You may be surprised to find this out, but many traditional businesses have been doing it for years - especially those where relationships are embedded in the business model. Commercial insurance is one of those.

It will become clearer in the coming months that true relationships and focus on product will trump a lot of other considerations - price, promotion, and placement among them. In fact, the product itself is becoming the strongest form of promotion with relationships filling in as the placement in many cases - peer to peer recommendations trump media messages.

If your concern is that customers will not pay a higher fee for your product, let me assure you - we would. On one condition - that the service be there and that the product be what advertised. I buy Apple because of the customer service and support that comes with the products. And the products are good.

Valeria Maltoni | Conversation Agent
www.conversationagent.com
http://Twitter.com/ConversationAge

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2 Comments

  • Ilya Bodner

    Yes - this is definately a problem for most small business owners. Having the time to fix these issues is another problem.

    Most small business owners are struggling with cash flow. Obtaining additional financing is the bigger problem, something that everyone should concentrate on first. If you have an interest in securing more capital down the line I would suggest looking up "strong business credit" (via google or yahoo, just like that in quotes). Having "strong business credit" will allow you to build a future for your business.

    Good luck.

    Ilya Bodner
    Small Business Owner
    Initial Underwriting Group