When your market is in a state of change, how do you respond effectively?
Successful rebuilders know well the importance of customer satisfaction
By Dave Wooldridge
Ever notice how negativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy? People focus on how tough things are, and sure enough, things usually get a lot tougher.
On the other hand, ever notice how those shop owners who are looking toward the future of their businesses always are better able to jump over the present day hurdles that seem to trip up their competitors, while simultaneously finding new markets, new customers and new opportunities?
Yes, powertrain technology over the past decade has lead to better-made engines that enter the rebuilding cycle later than they did in the 1970s and 1980s. But, if you haven’t made changes in the machine work you do, the markets you serve, the equipment you own, the profitability of the work that you perform, the way you interact with your customers and employees, then you’ve most likely been whipping a dead Pinto. The market has changed. Competition has changed. Product technology has changed. Customer expectations have changed!
The relationship you have with your customer may be the most important ingredient in the mix. I received an e-mail recently from an engine rebuilder. He wanted to know the manufacturer of particular products in an engine kit he had ordered. The supplier of the engine kit was primarily a repackager, so his engine kit contained some brand name parts that he had not used before.
I don’t recommend one manufacturer’s product over another’s, but I was able to tell this engine rebuilder that the brands of product he had in his engine kit were from reputable manufacturers who had been in the business a long time. And except for some specific, occasional OEM and aftermarket application problems, which usually get resolved quickly in today’s competitive market, high quality is the entry point for every manufacturer that sells parts to the OEM and/or in the aftermarket.
Fact is, as product quality has continuously risen for both manufacturers/suppliers and rebuilders, the greatest competitive advantage you have to offer is customer satisfaction. Know your customers’ businesses. Personalize and place high value on every customer interaction. Take advantage of every resource available to improve communication with your customer. If you deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction, you’ll reap the rewards of higher sales and profitability, greater market share and improved productivity and efficiency from your employees.
E-mail Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.