Over the past few months, Dwyer has embarked on a program in transforming from a reactive organization to a proactive one. What do I mean by that? To be proactive in an organization is to reach out to help or assist, instead of being reactive and waiting for someone to reach out to you.
In reaching out to our customers, we wondered both how they, as well as our own team members, would react. In order to find out, Dwyer hired a third party organization to survey our customers. The intent was to allow customers to provide direct feedback so that our team can discover how they are seen by outside eyes. Our organization has done surveys in the past, but never in such a way where the conversation is recorded and our customer-facing teams listen in (with the permission of each customer). The feedback that we received was incredible.
Compared to all vendors that they do business with, our top customers view Dwyer as being in the top 5-10%. A few specific comments included:
- With some of my other distributors, it’s sometimes the next day before I get an answer. With Dwyer it’s usually within the hour, and the majority of the time is within 30 minutes.
- The lead time for Dwyer is 3-4 weeks while other vendors have a 6-10 week lead time. It’s double to triple the time with other vendors. This time makes a big difference for us.
- When there are problems, the way that Dwyer reacts and the time frame in which they provide solutions separates them from the competition.
Although Dwyer performs very well as a company, many members of our team were stunned by the tremendous positive feedback.
Now, you might be asking: why would they be surprised? The answer is simply that when your customers are happy, they generally do not call you. It is easy to get caught up in a day to day routine and lose sight of your own potential. After listening to this feedback, our team now knows that they do a great job helping our customers, and that it is appreciated.
This revelation was an important step in building confidence. It is confidence that allows one to become a proactive sales organization. Like in many organizations, Dwyer found that our worst enemy is fear. Fear costs businesses millions of dollars every day.
Reaching out and being proactive can make a big difference in a company’s service. A written thank you note shows that you care about your customer’s business. A prompt follow up to a quote shows that you are attentive and will take care of them if you get their business. Asking for and receiving a referral from a customer shows that they have enough confidence in you to put their name out there to support your own. A “Did You Know” question can help customers discover additional offerings that can complete their application and save costs on products or installation.
Each customer facing individual at Dwyer is practicing these proactive behaviors. Although convincing everyone to participate in the program is a change, the entire organization moves forward with regular recognition and celebration of success. We have found that this helps boost the morale of the company; promotes teamwork and communication; and increases sales.
A proactive strategy requires commitment and we have seen this as a change for the better. Morale has improved, with our teams seeing that they are doing a better job serving our customers. Knowing that our customers are happy allows us to retain a positive attitude in the company and to build a stronger bond with our customers. Relationships are key; in many cases, if you take good care of people, they will also take good care of you.