If you were asked to describe your vendor relationships, what words would you choose? Longstanding? Functional? Strong? Easy? Smooth? Intricate? One-sided? Complicated? Confusing? Vendor relationships have an impact on business functions, and whether that impact is positive or negative has a lot to do with customer service.
VENDOR RELATIONSHIPS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Purchasing agents and vendors work together to complete a vital part of today’s production chain. The thing is, a vendor’s dedication to customer service – or lack thereof – means the difference between upholding your deadlines and holding up your deadlines.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS RESPECT
Vendors need to work with their purchasing agents throughout each step of the procurement process. This mean acknowledging the needs, responsibilities, and pressures purchasing agents face within their organization. Yes, procurement is a transaction. It’s also a relationship.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS COMMUNICATION
How long do you wait for your vendor to return a custom quote request? I’ve heard everything from 15 minutes to 15 business days. When you’re waiting on a single bit of vendor information, the entire project can end up standing still. Communication between vendors and purchasing agents should be consistent, timely, and clear. If your current vendor’s customer service is a long and complicated process, upholding your timelines becomes nearly impossible.
CUSTOMER SERVICE IS ESSENTIAL
Customer service is the foundation of business relationships. It’s built on respect, trust, and fairness. Vendor relationships, when it’s the right partnership, benefit all parties involved. When customer service is lacking, you’re experiencing the canary in the coal mine.
PURCHASING AGENTS AND CUSTOMER SERVICE
Keeping the procurement process running smoothly is about communicating changes, problems, and needs as soon as they arise. When you establish strong communication practices with your vendor, customer service-related hassles will reduce. Ready to learn more about managing vendor relationships? Download our free eBook The Purchasing Agent’s Complete Guide to Selecting a Preferred Supplier or Vendor.