What do small and midsize companies want from their suppliers? And which vendors are giving it to them and which aren't?answers to these burning questions were addressed by SMB consultant John Warrillow, founder of the Warrillow Subscriber Network, in an interesting BtoB Events Webcast I checked out this morning.
The event was aimed at companies hoping to sell to SMBs, but I thought it revealed some useful information for SMBs about what works for companies like yours. So, what do SMBs what in the vendors they works with. According to Warrillow, here are the top six:
6. Easynomics: ï¿¼Itï¿¼s easy to contact a real live person when I need to talk to someone.ï¿¼ ï¿¼Warrillow quoted Tom Stemberg, former Staples CEO (remember the ï¿¼Easyï¿¼ button, as saying: ï¿¼Making it easy for customers to shop is more important than breadth of product or having the lowest price.ï¿¼
5. Early Commitment: ï¿¼This company was there for me right from the start.ï¿¼
4. Fast Response: ï¿¼This company responds quickly to any questions or concerns I may have.ï¿¼
3. A Good Attitude: ï¿¼The employees at this company are always polite and friendly.ï¿¼
2. Straight Talk/Transparency: ï¿¼This company has integrity and is transparent in its dealings with customers (e.g. no hidden fees).ï¿¼
1. Simpleneer: ï¿¼They speak in plain English and avoidusing their industry jargon and technical terms.ï¿¼
So, if thatï¿¼s what SMBs want, where are they finding it? Warrillow uses Reichheldï¿¼s Net Promoter Score (NPS) to determine which vendors SMBs like and trust enough to recommend to their friends and colleagues.
According to Warrillow, the average NPS is about 10%, but his companyï¿¼s survey of SMBs turned up more positive ratings. SMBs assigned an average NPS of 25% to their suppliers. Among that group, courier companies earn the most trust, with an average NPS of 39%, topped by FedExï¿¼s 43% rating. Business credit card companies had a 29% average NPS, but American Express was the top overall vendor with a 47% NPS.
Accountants came in just above average with a 27% NPS, and business banks were at 26%. But Warrillow noted a very polarized results in this category, with large banks scoring poorly and community banks doing very well.
Computer hardware companies were right at the average of 25%, while telecom vendors had an average 17% NPS. Verizon stood out in this category, however, with a much-better 31% NPS.
Iï¿¼m wondering, though, whether these numbers match the actual experiences of bMighty readers, or if theyï¿¼re really about brand names and marketing.
Weï¿¼d love to hear your stories about what you really want from vendors, and which ones manage to deliver it.