Companies like Amazon and Deliveroo have changed consumer expectations on how quickly products should be delivered. Not too far back, a week or five working days was considered to be acceptable – but that was before everything became on-demand, immediate, and tech-infused.
While SMEs aren’t necessarily expected to match the capabilities of the likes of Amazon – especially if you deal in large, high-value equipment – there’s still an expectation to be prompt with delivery. Ultimately, it’s all part of providing quality customer service, which is now considered a key brand differentiator.
The best advice then, would be to deliver your product/service as quickly as operationally possible. The faster you can process the order, and send it out, the happier your customers will be buying from you. They might even receive an item before they expect it, too.
Our research, in which we contacted 250 employees with decision-making responsibility over equipment purchasing, suggests that businesses aren’t doing all they can to ensure they get their product/service out of the door and to their customers.
The thing (or things) causing the hold-up? Outdated equipment.
More than a third (37%) of the survey respondents admitted that they would be able to deliver their products/service faster if they were to purchase additional or upgraded equipment. Some sectors were more certain that they could make customer service improvements than others:
- 57% of employees in education, health and social care say new or upgraded equipment would result in increased quality of their service, and 47% believe they’d be able to deliver their service faster.
- More than half (55%) of companies in financial and business services felt they would be able to deliver their products and services faster.
Faster delivery is not the only area of customer service that businesses believe they could improve with an investment in new equipment. Just over a third (34%) of decision makers said that enhanced communication with customers/clients would be a benefit of upgrading their technology. In agriculture, construction and mining, nearly half of businesses (48%) said they could enhance their communication with customers/clients if they were to bring their equipment up to date.
Is new equipment worth the investment?
As mentioned, any investment in improving customer service is worthwhile – expanding your appeal to new customers and helping secure existing customers. If customers feel like they’ve been treated well, chances are, they’ll come back for more – they might even spend more money next time around. According to a 2017 survey by American Express, consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service.
Retaining customers can have a big impact on your bottom line – increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits anywhere from 25% to 95%, according to Bain & Company research. If those figures are accurate, you’ll have paid for the new equipment that enabled you to provide better customer service in no time at all – especially if you lease the equipment, where your rentals can be tailored specifically to your business model.
If you’ve never considered leasing equipment before, now’s the time. Finance solutions through renting equipment through Shire Leasing allows you to upgrade your equipment when you need to, rather than when your budget dictates.
If you’re ready to discuss your business finance options, get in touch or give us a call on 01827 302 066.