Are Office Technology Dealers Losing Customers Without Realizing It?

Short answer: yes.

Customers have been given the ultimate reason to re-evaluate… absolutely EVERYTHING. While dealers are trying to figure out how to reclaim revenues with creative packages and services, many customers are leaving them for better purchasing experiences. 

Have you asked yourself if your current customers have enough good reasons to stay?

  • Are you on par with alternatives in the market?
  • How are you tracking customer churn?
  • Are you chalking up every bad outcome to the pandemic and not taking responsibility for losses due to lack of business evolution?

Among many MPSToolbox e-commerce partners, we saw that local businesses wanted to continue buying local. If they could order online and obtain reasonably competitive pricing, they were happy to support their local reseller. They should not have to work hard to support local though.

This notion has been reflected in many of our conversations around the industry. We are consistently hearing that pipelines are drying up now. This is on top of recent claims of decreased sales and significant cash flow hits. To make it worse, North America is seeing surges in restrictions due to health and safety.

The biggest metric that concerns me comes from many of my sales “wins” in bringing new dealers into the realm of B2B e-commerce. Kudos to the ones who are acting on foresight and clear purchasing trends. You are thinking about customer experience, which is what matters right now. The metric is the reason for a lot of resellers making the e-commerce plunge, and it sounds like this, “one of our largest customers has made this mandatory”.

Man brainstorming by writing on window at work

Let us consider the significance of this. Of course, a large chunk of revenue is more motivating to make a shift than many of your small customers. You are probably applying the 80/20 rule based on the overall revenue metric. However, we have all seen and understand how meaningful a 10% or 20% loss in revenue is no matter where it comes from.

The question becomes, “what is the purchasing difference between my smaller clients and the larger ones?”

Fortunately, (and unfortunately) there are no major differences. Larger clients may have additional needs that could drive up your solution cost. That is okay though. It’s justified based on the amount of revenue. We know that almost all people are comfortable and prefer buying online; small customers included. So, we get to the point… you’re losing customers because of a bad purchasing experience and a forced re-evaluation of needs. It’s hard to buy from you. It takes time and effort. Why wouldn’t they look to Staples, Office Depot, Amazon, the other dealers with e-commerce?

Will they really sacrifice a bit of technology knowledge for a better price and experience? Yep! They will. They are. You are just not measuring the churn. You are not calling all the customers and asking how you can make their experience better.

Those that expect customers to step up to help them and provide no value to do so will suffer. Dealers that focus on customer purchasing experience will be paid off.

This matter is urgent. Reclaiming a customer who has left will be almost as difficult as landing a new one. Contact us now. E-commerce isn’t as unknown as you may think. MPSToolbox can help provide direction and process.