Prioritizing Responsiveness

Prioritize Responsiveness Hardwood Lumber IndustryIn the fast-paced world of business today, the speed at which you act can make all the difference. With the abundance of online resources, people are more informed than ever before. In fact, it is estimated that up to 70% of the purchasing journey is often completed before they even make initial contact with your company. We see it all the time. Customers download our yard specific hardwood lumber stock lists before they call their representative.  Lumber buyers search our available hardwood inventory online before they call our office. Land owners research the sawmill closest to them before they send us a timber bid notice. So, we know being responsive, knowledgeable and prepared to act at a moment’s notice is important to business success.

There is no doubt that technology has conditioned us to expect immediate or near-real-time responses to our inquiries. We feel businesses that fail to meet this expectation or stick to outdated forms of communication risk losing customers. This is especially true in industries like hardwood lumber where  inventory and pricing details change daily.

To deal with the need for speed we have our teams focus on a few best practices. Perhaps one of them will benefit you.

Embrace multiple communication channels. While phone calls and emails are still important, it's essential to adapt to evolving customer communication preferences. Today's customers are comfortable reaching out through texting, messaging apps and even social media platforms. Responding quickly and effectively in the same mode of communication they initiated can make a significant difference.

Dan Virgillito, a business blogger, emphasizes that customers want timely resolutions. Providing resources like FAQs, forums, how-to articles, and videos can empower customers to find information on their own, enhancing their overall experience.

Educate your team to be a resource; Even the most rudimentary exchange with a prospect or customer should be of inherent value to that person or business. Urge your team to be a resource of industry information. Help them be prepared to share knowledge over and above the initial inquiry so your customer can make an even more informed decision. “Giving away” any type of additional insights with each interaction demonstrates your ongoing value and may be the single greatest incentive for them to reach out to you again in the future.

Mobilize your team. In today’s world almost everything can be done with that smartphone in your packet! Emphasize with your sales and service team the need to equip themselves with the right APPS to properly conduct business even when they are on the go. We have had tremendous success in this area for all job types including our foresters, sawmill managers, lumber traders and sales assistants. Being accessible to clients and having access to the information they need no matter where you are is key to being responsive in today’s fast-paced world!

Prioritize Rapid Delivery: Customers today expect quick answers and swift deliveries. Mobile technology can streamline order processing, allowing your sales team to take orders from anywhere and speed up the delivery process. Consistent and glitch-free order fulfillment will enhance your reputation in the eyes of your customers.

If you have other ideas to share we welcome your input! Let us know your thoughts!

Tony C.
The Baillie Group
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