How SME’s benefit by Creating Value for Customers: a case study

Even in today’s uncertain economy, some companies are winning big and they are winning big because of three strategies:

  • They manage for value
  • They keep developing human capital
  • They get radically Customer-centric.

Here I can take many real examples of well known companies who followed these strategies and succeeded, even in unfavourable situations.

But have we ever thought about the small companies in terms of Customer Value Creation, can they do the same thing by putting “CUSTOMER” at the centre of their business. I would say “YES” they can.

Let me take a real life example of a SME Packaging company in Faridabad. When the owner (whom I met) took over this family business, he went into losses. He wasn’t able to get new contracts and build a long lasting relationship with the Customers. He was no different from his competitors

Then he thought of ways to differentiate himself from his competitors, of things that his competitors were not doing nor were they even thinking in that way.

He started getting the information such as:

  • Most of the packing companies shut down at 5-6 PM in the evening so they can’t get orders after 6 PM
  • Customer wants prompt delivery even if he places the order at an odd time
  • All the competitors were taking orders and executing and delivering the goods during their working hours. They were not interested in increasing their working hours because it was expensive, and there was not much work to do in extended hours.
  • But Customers work 24X7 and need support and product even in the night, especially if the Customer forgot to place the order between 10 AM to 6 PM. After this no competitor was ready to take orders because the Customer would ask for delivery early next morning.

     Such deliveries were rare, but were important to the Customer

So the packaging company owner decided to run his company 24X7 hours even though he did not have enough work in the night shift.

Actually what he did was to divide his workers into two shifts, half in the day and half in the night, providing adequate supervision. Guess what happened when no other competitor in the packaging industry was able to answer Customer calls. Our friend was ready and when at last that Customer called they were surprised the call was answered even at midnight, saying:”Hello sir, how can I help you”. The Customer was amazed; he asked: “Your Company is still running? And got an answer “Yes sir, how may I help you” and Customer placed an order and asked for delivery in the morning. And this SME company delivered.

Several times people called him just to check whether his promise of 24X7 service was true. And yes, they found it was, with the managers responding in the same manner with a smile on their face.

What this packaging company owner did was “COVERING THE MISTAKES OF HIS CUSTOMER” and made them feel that “Ok, I made a mistake of placing late order but this guy with his excellent commitment to serve his Customers helped me out.” In a way he did the recovery process and created value for his Customers. He had changed the rules of the game!

Slowly Customer started relying on him and a relationship started building and everyone was willing to place orders only to this company.

Initially all the competitors were laughing at him when he decided to run his company 24X7 with no assured work, and they missed the train because they did not want to incur the extra expense, and did not want to change the rules of the game.

This company has the same material to make the packing boxes as his competitors, he has the same machinery as his competitors and he is probably no better in quality than his competitors but he is far away in Serving his Customers and taking care of their needs, and creating value for them.

Contact Customer Value Foundation to know how you can create value for your Customers and earn more profits and trust.

 

 Video: Pricing Seminar, Mumbai, February 22 2013 and for more info Click Here

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Contact Customer Value Foundation for help

Gautam Mahajan
President
Customer Value Foundation
K-185, Sarai Jullena
New Delhi 110025
Mob: +91 9810060368
Tel: +91 11 26831226
email: mahajan.g@customervaluefoundation.com
website: http://customervaluefoundation.com

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