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As retailers we are always told to focus on the customer and how they are always right, customer service and cashflow being king!
Well, last Friday (Good Friday wasn’t it fantastic!) I had a most glorious surprise. A supplier gave me a bottle of single malt whisky, now some of you may be thinking “Yuk”, however I very much enjoy a spot of whisky and not just for medicinal purposes.
Once I had got over the shock and delight, it made me realise that throughout the two minute conversations over the last 15 months when delivering he had been listening – it is the only way he would know I enjoyed a single malt! What’s more, I had helped him to gain a new customer and he was saying thank you.
It was then the grey cloud appeared how many times, just like customers, have I taken suppliers for granted. Good suppliers that deliver on time with 100% stock availability are what our industry needs but do we ever thank them? One of my suppliers has on average an 85% availability on a good day, however they no longer substitute (much to my relief) and with a different delivery driver every week as the only interface I have with the company it’s no wonder we don’t have a great relationship.
We had a very brisk trading, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the shop was starting to look a little bare, even though I had ordered 50% more the previous week. When I closed at noon on Sunday, I trundled off to Bookers on Easter Sunday to replenish my shelves for the Monday Bank Holiday rush. Remembering what had happened to me on the Friday I treated all seven staff in store to a box of orangeTwiglets, because without them working on Sunday I couldn’t offer my customers what they wanted on Monday. Now just to see the smile on their faces knowing they were appreciated was definitely worth it but knowing I had said thank you to those who help me trade also made me feel good too.
So next Tuesday my egg supplier will be receiving some almond slices as they did an emergency delivery Saturday morning, because profit from increased trade can only happen when suppliers supply.
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