There’s nothing worse than losing a prized vending account. The only thing that compares to it is finding out that the account has allowed your competition in, which undercuts your profits. So how do you prevent your competitors from sneaking in?
Listed below are my top 10 ways to keep your customers happy and loyal to you:
1. Be friendly.
More than anything else, you, or your employee that services that account, must be likeable; you must greet the secretaries, workers, etc., talk to them and ask them how everything is working.
2. Offer freebies.
Give product away as a token of your appreciation. Whether it’s to one of the workers or a kid that’s hanging around the vending machine, showing your appreciation by giving away free candy and soda goes a long way.
3. Be clean.
Keeping your machines free of dust and dirt will not necessarily invite new customers but if you machines are dirty, you will certainly lose the customers you already have.
4. Keep fresh product stocked.
If your product is out-dated, you may lose your customers and never gain their trust again.
5. Don’t allow your product to be sold out.
You need to service your account as often as required so it doesn’t run out of product. Some of your popular items may need to be stocked in multiple slots so they don’t run out. This is better than offering a larger selection of different items that are never being purchased.
6. Ask for product suggestions.
When you first obtain an account as well as periodically when you service your account, you should ask your customers what they would like to see in the vending machine. Be as accommodating as possible.
7. Keep your prices competitive.
As with everything in the world, people are looking for value. You don’t have to be the cheapest in the marketplace, but you do need to be average at least.
8. Keep your machines functioning properly.
Nothing will lose an account faster than having a broken machine. It’s normal for the machine to break down occasionally but if it happens too often, your customer will kick you to the curb.
9. Provide the right equipment.
Be sure that you are providing your account with all their vending needs. Some businesses will need not only beverages, but snacks, lunch items, healthy foods, and bulk candy too. Also be sure to offer credit card readers, dollar bill changers, and nutritional value information if the demand is there.
10. Look and act professional.
Your vending operation will be judged by the way you and your employees look and act when servicing the account, so be sure to act the part. The Vending Operator doesn’t need to wear a suit and tie but he/she should look professional and clean and act professional as well.
I have found that when I follow these 10 steps, my customers are happy and I can hold onto my accounts for a long time. What else have you found to ensure a long lasting relationship with your vending account?