Solomon Bruce Consulting Blog

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This is Why We Are Changing Soft Drink Companies

    I visited with a quick serve restaurant owner this week and she told me that she was changing soft drink vendors.  She currently had Vendor A and elected to try Vendor B. Ummmmmmmm-- now that is interesting-- she had not used Vendor A very long.
    She agreed that she had only used Vendor A about 4 months--however, the challenges were more than she could handle! Why, I asked?  Here is what she said---
     The first couple of weeks were great-- good service, great sales person, everything was going well-- she envisoned a long term, multi year relationship.  On week 3, the salesperson came, she gave him the order and when it was delivered, it was mixed up-- really mixed up.  OK, no big deal--we are all humans, perhaps a glitch at the plant--they got it fixed and she got the products she ordered.  Another week goes by, same snag, however, not quite as bad.  This goes on for an additional 4 weeks-- never as bad as the first week, however, never exactly right either.  She calls the manager.  He comes out, personally, and apologizes for the many mistakes and errors, stating that things would be better from here forward.
      Well, for a couple of weeks that was the case---however, the salesperson must have gotten some "adult supervision" along the way--when he came out, he was ugly and unprofessional.  The owner said that she had enough of those kinds of attitudes with her own staff, she did not need that from a vendor!  I had to agree with her.  Now, understand that this owner is a very nice, personable and polite lady.  However, she expects that her staff works hard and her vendors work hard--fair enough.
       Finally, she told me that it worked best when she called the order in to the main distribution center, removing the sales person entirely.  At least the order was processed right and she got what she ordered!  She accepted this "service" from Vendor A, recognizing that this may be the best she could expect.  However, here comes the salesperson from Vendor B, explaining how their customer service was better.  She said "Why not" change and check it out?  So, she has changed Vendors!!
       Think about this if you were Vendor A!  Do you know why your competition got the sale?  Do you see how you could have "fixed" this problem and kept a profitable customer?  If you have questions, call us--we'll give you some ideas.  The final story is not yet written--Vendor B starts on Tuesday--stay tuned, we'll report on how it goes!


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