Customer retention is fundamental to business success. Many businesses are excellent at winning new business both domestically and internationally, applying all the resources available to them and cheering each hard-won account – meanwhile, the established customer base is gradually eroded by competitors doing exactly the same to an under-resourced, inadequately trained and mismanaged sales support function.
Businesses change supplier more often due to poor service than price or new product innovation. In a local, domestic market this can be readily addressed. When your client, distributor or partner is hundreds or thousands of miles away, possibly in a different time zone, certainly working in a different culture, possibly also a different language, the challenge of customer retention is that much greater.
The coronavirus crisis has revealed the fragility of the modern supply chain”. In response, companies may seek to increase stocks or rely more on domestic suppliers.
A recent IEA paper on pandemics predicted that “we will almost certainly see a resurgence of protectionism, much re-shoring of production and shortening of supply chains, greater hostility to migration and an emphasis on domestic production of certain kinds of product – particularly food … [T]his is an intensification of a trend that was already underway”. The omens for global trade may not be good.
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