Give 'em What They Want
Your customers talk candidly about products, services and expectations
By Barbara Bucci
Your customers are a lot like you. They need to make a living. They have deadlines to meet. No matter what service or product they buy, they need and expect to be heard by their service providers.
End-users discussed their concerns and the products and services they receive through distributors. Their observations can be applied to three categories: knowledge, service and business behavior.
Know Your Stuff
We all know how quickly technology is changing and how quickly clients are changing to adapt to it. The Business Forms Management Association (BFMA) offers an an-nual symposium with classes and seminars designed to teach end-users how to use new equipment and processes.
This year, end-users reported that not all of their companies are fully networked. In addition, they stated that not everyone in their organizations have PCs or access to the network. Most importantly, many reported that they still use a significant amount of paper.
Those statements point to two important facts. First, traditional business forms still comprise a large part of the distributor's business. Secondly, not all end-users have installed sophisticated systems or equipment in their offices.
When a South Carolina public utility decided to transfer all of its internal forms from a WordPerfect program to a sophisticated electronic forms package, the company never expected what it encountered.
After making initial inquiries to a software company, the team of forms designers was referred to three VARs. None of the VARs could answer the forms designers' questions.
"We'd ask questions and she'd never call back. We had questions about writing macros and getting some of the form fields to perform certain calculations. We had to keep asking the same questions and she had no answers. My list of questions just got larger," said one of the designers.