Business is about constant forward movement. A company that feels it no longer needs to strive or to improve is destined to slide backwards, since the forces of the marketplace are always pushing up against you.
To use a sailing analogy, business is about wind and waves. You have to use your own skill to find the right breezes.
This is why, moving forward our focus is going to be on the concept of connection, both human and technological.
Technology to the next level
On the technological side, we will be teaming up with a specialized merchant e-commerce company to assist us in ramping up our website to build in far stronger e-commerce and customer relationship management (CRM) elements.
This will empower us to not only handle transactions more smoothly, but to build a superior platform upon which to engage customers with a complete experience. This is the future of commerce, and one that we are embracing wholeheartedly.
What does it mean to engage customers with a complete experience?
It means creating a more user-friendly mobile site that drives traffic, engages shoppers, converts them into leads and/or immediate customers, and basically creates an enjoyable, even delightful experience that will turn them into repeat business.
We recognize that the social media age has transformed the online experience from merely catalog shopping to something more captivating, and our transformation will match and hopefully exceed what today’s customers need: a personalized, helpful, easy and interesting shopping experience.
Greater Focus on Human Connection:
The online site will be matched with greater focus on human connection.
This means that Qualifirst account reps and managers will be looking to further their relationships with individual buyers, moving from having a simple Rolodex of names, addresses and fax numbers, to developing more personal understanding of each buyer’s needs and interests, along with more direct contact information, such as email addresses and cellphone numbers.
The goal with this heighted degree of contact is not to become invasive but quite the opposite: to help Qualifirst reps become solution sources for these buyers. By getting to know them on a more specific level, even having, what author Susan Scott calls fierce conversations. These are conversations that are not intended to discuss Qualifirst products first off. They are instead designed to challenge the customer; talk to them as a trusted friend or peer might do; become something of an advisor, rather than a salesperson.
We are taking on these two initiatives for one common reason. As a provider of top-quality food products it is essential that we maintain top-quality relationships with top-quality individuals. Neither we, nor they should be focused solely on the bottom line: on discounted, cheap materials.
By creating an engaging experience, both through our new online presence as well as through the skills of our reps, these busy people will learn that they can trust Qualifirst to deliver sound advice as well as premium products.
As speed becomes more and more a primary focus for all businesses in this age, the depth and quality of these relationships will give our clients a level of comfort and consistency that will help drive their own businesses forward.