In today's fast-paced business landscape, where competition is fierce and choices are abundant, customer service has emerged as a critical differentiator. This holds true not just for consumers looking for products and services, but for businesses seeking partnerships with quality suppliers.
Vending operators play an indispensable role in the smooth running of many organisations, providing the vending machines, food and drink that keep Britain’s workforce going. In this article, we’ll delve into why high-quality, consistent customer service from vending operators is paramount, and help you find the best vending operator for your needs.
Prompt Response and the Right First Impression
In the digital age, prompt responses have become the hallmark of excellent customer service. When a vending machine experiences a fault, businesses rely on vending operators to address the issue swiftly and to a high standard. The importance of this cannot be overstated. A vending machine malfunction can disrupt a company’s daily operations, leading to decreased employee satisfaction and productivity. It’s also something that the company’s Facilities Manager or Office Manager could do without – after all, if a vending machine or office coffee machine gets 100 visits a day, that’s 100 unhappy staff members venting their frustration.
According to a survey conducted by the Customer Contact Council, 71% of B2B customers expect quick responses to inquiries. With consumer loyalty and behaviour being easily won or lost in a competitive market for coffee, snacks and cold drinks, the longer a machine is unavailable, the more likely employees are to go elsewhere. In businesses where the availability of food and drink is considered a perk or benefit, this can quickly cause problems.
Having a vending operator that can not only give you their first time fix rate and response times, but can demonstrate how this is monitored, measured and maintained, will give you peace of mind that they take machine uptime seriously.
A Human Touch in Every Department
While prompt responses are vital, they are only one piece of the puzzle. When a vending machine breaks down, the field engineer sent to fix it becomes the face of the vending operator. The demeanor and professionalism of these technicians can significantly impact the perception of the entire company.
More importantly, the vending operators retail team, those coming to replenish and restock the office vending machines, are highly visible within a business, so having the right attitude and taking pride in their work is critical. Having a vending operator whose team turn up at inconsistent times, do a poor job and don’t look to be enjoying themselves, does not foster a positive environment at the client site.
You also want to know that when you ring or email the service team, or your Account Manager, that you’ll be speaking with a real human being and not being left in a customer ticketing system for days at a time, with no response. With the vending operators who do it best, you’ll get to know the customer service advisers by name, as well as having a named Account Manager who acts as your point of contact for all enquiries.
A study by Harvard Business Review found that emotions play a substantial role in B2B purchasing decisions. When vending technicians arrive with a smile, a positive attitude, and a commitment to resolving the issue promptly, they create a favourable impression. This not only eases the tension caused by the malfunction but also leaves a lasting positive impression.
So, how do you ensure that the team you’re working with are highly professional, well presented and care about doing a great job? Ask lots of questions! Which member of the team will be the daily merchandiser? How long have they been with the business? Is there any feedback from other customers? Do you have management spot checks for these team members?
Though it’s impossible to be certain, by asking these questions you can get a good feel for how seriously a vending operator take the client-facing elements of the operating and management of machines. If you want to know how the best in the business do it, you’re also welcome to speak to us about your next vending project!
Consistent Visits, Consistent Communication
Consistency is the bedrock of any successful business relationship. For vending operators, this means not only promptly addressing issues but also maintaining a regular presence for restocking and maintenance. Turning up on a regular basis and taking time to do the job properly, assures businesses that their vending needs are being taken seriously, whilst also reducing the chances of operational disruptions.
In a survey by McKinsey & Company, 57% of B2B buyers said that consistent experiences across touchpoints were critical in their decision-making process. This statistic underscores the importance of not just consistent machine operation but also consistent communication and support from vending operators.
This consistency of communication and support extends beyond the field teams and includes the Account Management and senior management teams. You want to be sure that whatever your issue or query, there will be someone you can reach out to and share this with regularly, knowing that it will be dealt with.
Finding the Best Vending Operator
In the B2B world, customer service is no longer a mere support function; it’s a critical component of the sold experience. High-quality, consistent customer service from vending operators is not just a perk; it’s a necessity. Prompt responses, positive interactions with field engineers and operators, and unwavering consistency in attendance and communication all contribute to a seamless vending experience that fosters trust and loyalty.
As businesses scrutinise every aspect of their operations, the best vending operators recognise the pivotal role they play in their clients’ success. By prioritising exceptional customer service, these high performing vending operators have the ability to transform a simple vending contract into a trusted partnership between businesses.
If this sounds like something you’re missing with your current provider and you’re looking to team up with the best in the business, reach out to our team. We’ve got 25 years of experience across a range of sectors, building lasting relationships that offer genuine value and ongoing satisfaction.