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Customer Service & Data Usage

  In order to successfully take your products to market, excellent service after the sale is a requirement to staying ahead and getting repeat orders.

   Since information is power, you must utilize the latest technologies to gather retail data to monitor sales and promotional effectiveness.

Customer Service

Above and Beyond
  
Once trade relationships are established and sales are coming in, you must provide distinctive customer service, during and after the sale. You must continually provide service to both the trade and to consumers that exceeds their expectations. Remember, the next guy wants your business. The easiest way for him to get it is through your poor, sloppy, or uncaring customer service.

What is Customer Service?
  
Simply put, customer service is treating all your contacts with respect and dignity. Being proactive and thinking ahead. Being prompt and courteous with responses. Treating everyone (customer or not) as if they are vital to your success and happiness. They are! With your customers, you must master these:

bulletEfficient Order Processing (Make it easy to do business)
bulletKept Delivery Promises (When, where, how, as)
bulletService After The Sale (Whatever it takes)
bulletExceeding Expectations of Quality (Constantly improve service and products)
bulletRelationship Building (This is the key)

   Find and study model programs that will enable you to delight your customers and build your business.

The Power of Information

Penetration, Then Saturation (or, If You're Not Going Forward, You Must Be Falling Behind)
   One you've got distribution moving your sales are great, profits are up, and complaints are down-- BEWARE! This is a rapidly changing environment. To stand still, in any area, is to fall behind your competition. You must constantly improve: your products (and develop new ones), your price, your package, your service, your sales.

   How do you improve sales that are already showing skyrocketing growth? Information!

I, Spy
  
Technology now enables marketers to gather and analyze sales volume at retail, selling price, even whether a customer used a coupon (and for how much) to purchase your product. You can determine the best day and hour for your product sales at any given location, pinpointed to a particular store. For the right money, you can tell who bought your product, what kind of car they drive, how many kids, and, well, fortunately for marketers, the list goes on.

Door to Door
  
Even basic and affordable syndicated data with simple reports and competitive analysis, coupled with available demographic information can help maximize your sales, store by store. And store by store is how you grow business.

So...
  
Do you know if the invoice deduction you received for the temporary price reduction in the Peoria market was reflected all the way to the consumer? Do you have the full space, number of facings, variety, and secondary display as negotiated and promised in Tucson? Are you promoting at the right time? In the right place? What are your competitors up to?

   Not knowing these thing can cost thousands or hundreds of thousands - millions of dollars! It could cost you your business!

I don't get a cut, but tell 'em "The Fooddude™ sent me."
  
Several companies provide the latest technologies for gathering and analyzing the data you need to succeed. This type of information is also excellent when used to create compelling sales arguments to current and new customers. It's may not appear cheap, but how do you quantify success without it? Here are two good sources of this information. Both are located in the Chicago area:

bulletInformation Resources, Inc (IRI)
bulletAC Nielsen

The End!

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