How does customer listening work when you're dealing with supply chain relationships?
In many industries, garnering the voice of the customer is more difficult when there is not regular interaction with them. This is the case in supply chains, where your company may be working with channel partners or distributors who are the primary point of contact with customers. In these situations, there’s a variety of relationships and an added layer of complexity in understanding your customers.
First, understand your suppliers – If you have channel partners or distributors, you know what it means to sell to and through your suppliers. Gather input from your suppliers to understand how they feel about your business and how you can provide the best support.
Next, listen to the end users – Although they are indirect customers, you want to understand how customers feel about your company, the solutions you provide, and the relationship they have with your suppliers.
Provide insights to suppliers – Since partners and distributors are the key point of contact for customers, you should deliver to them the critical customer feedback needed manage customer relationships. Arming suppliers with customer insights and training them to make the most of them can accelerate growth for everyone.
Managing indirect customer relationships can be challenging and complex. However, developing an effective voice of the customer strategy can ensure a win-win-win scenario for the company, the partner/distributor, and the customer.