Does size matter?
Here at Plastribution we tend not to waste too much time looking over our shoulders at what the competition is doing, although some of their marketing activity can sometimes give cause for thought.
Before moving into the meat of this blog, I must start by saying that I have a very healthy respect for our competitors, many of whom I have become quite familiar with during my 5-year tenure as the Chairman of the BPF’s Polymer Distributors & Compounders Group, in addition to the 26 years that I have spent working in this sector with Plastribution.
It was with interest that I recently read the following statement – “As independent distributors, we ensure our customer service levels are exemplary. We steer away from the larger, often impersonal, corporate methods.” – clearly this smaller competitor has chosen his words carefully, although by implication, insinuates that larger distributors, which in turn are parts of larger groups, do not care about customer service.
In the case of Plastribution I would strongly argue to the contrary.
Without using our dedicated, highly empowered customer service teams to prove the point, or spotlighting some carefully selected customer testimonials, I would instead draw attention to the success our business has enjoyed over the last decade and in particular the findings of our latest customer satisfaction survey, where 97% of our customers were either totally satisfied or satisfied with the level of customer service they receive.
The statement’s veiled criticism of “corporate methods” as something to “steer away from” is interesting; by this are we to assume that the author is against the moral, ethical and legal practices that responsible organisations undertake on behalf of their shareholders in the running of their business – practices such as REACH compliance, ensuring that workers are correctly treated (including the avoidance of child labour) and protection from fraud to mention but a few.
The wording of this statement clearly aims to influence customers’ choice of supplier based on discrediting the competition, without proper regard to fact. There is also the important consideration of if by means of this marketing tactic this business achieves its ambition of growth what will happen to this small business as it becomes a larger corporation, and indeed will it be able to achieve the outstanding levels of customer service still in evidence at its larger competitors?