Let’s get this straight. You give a vendor a purchase order and the vendor gives you an invoice. It isn’t the other way around. What about customer service techniques or etiquette, does that apply to both sides of a transaction? Is customer service for vendors?
Customer service might mean more than just providing fast, friendly, and kind interactions with your customers. Perhaps it should apply to all scenarios.
Sometimes your vendor might be a website, but chances are good there is still some human interaction somewhere. One of the goals of exceptional customer service is to make people feel good. We strive to make them feel valued, important, and respected.
Vendors are people too. It might matter which side of the transaction you are on, but shouldn’t both sides feel good about the business? Of course they should.
Customer Service for Vendors
Here are a few fundamentals that should easily apply from customer to vendor:
- Courtesy. Yes, you’re likely pushing hard for a great price, exceptional terms, and fast delivery. Negotiation means that both sides are willing to compromise. Negotiating hard makes good business sense but you can still be courteous in your demeanor.
- Follow Up. You expect your vendor to follow up with status. You expect follow up if they encounter any delays or problems. As the customer, shouldn’t you have a responsibility to keep the vendor informed if there are any changes on your end? The answer is easy, “Yes!”
- Thank You. Who should express thanks and appreciation? You are both in this together. It should be a partnership. Extending kindness, expressing appreciation, and showing that you care is a two-way street.
Do You Choose Sides?
Certainly, the vendor side of any transaction has some differences when compared with the customer side. Do we really need to choose sides? Technically, yes, we do. However, in the spirit of a healthy relationship it really doesn’t matter which side you are on.
Do good business. Be appropriately assertive.
Relationships are about people.
Give good service.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.