Green Office founder Wayne Fyvie says that finding out what customers actually need is key to differentiation and customer delight. That’s what enabled the managed print services provider to save its clients R14,9 million in 2015.
All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
What does customer service mean to you?
Exceeding customer expectations. It’s a term often bandied about, but every business should be focused on why a customer should buy their product or use their service.
It starts with intent – we have committed to adding value to our customers’ business, and packaging our offering around that. Our purpose is to make business more efficient and sustainable.
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Taking the time to understand what your customers need is more critical to long-term business success than making a sale based on what they tell you they want.
How do you find out what each customer ‘needs’, rather than ‘wants’?
Often what a customer wants is diametrically opposed to what they need. Understanding the difference between a customer’s wants and needs is a major key to succeeding in business – and to delighting the customer. A need is something that solves a real problem.
A want is nice to have that may or may not add any value to the business. You owe it to customers to identify the difference and advise them accordingly. Selling them what they need is the first step to adding real value, and therefore delighting the customer. Then you add on what they want.
How has technology helped Green Office to identify customer needs?
In our game, it’s about where our customers want to go as a business and designing, developing and implementing a suitable print strategy.
The drawcard is that we can help them to save money. The customer will give you tons of information about what they want and why.
The data provided by our technology solution reveals the facts about who prints what and where and how process can be streamlined to benefit their business. The data we extract from the software and understanding the customers work flows helps us develop solutions that will make them more efficient and sustainable.
But you obviously also listen to what customers have to say?
Yes. We give them the opportunity to share information with us and we do something positive with that, like referring to how that information can be applied to fixing their problems. That shows we have taken time to learn what is important to them.
How did you overcome the challenges of getting customers to understand your offering?
That’s a key question. We go through a lengthy process with the customer to determine whether we can add value or not. We spend a great amount of time helping customers to understand the benefits of managed print services, and what our differentiators are.
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Some of that requires us to demonstrate to the customer – using the data we have gathered – whether or not they have control of their print environment. We do this to show them how process improvement can change their business.
How has ongoing customer education helped Green Office to grow?
The market is still immature when it comes to managed print services. We educate customers about making the move from paper to digital, while also helping them to understand that they will still have access to documents. It’s a mind change. As a result, we have less than 2% customer churn, and the company has grown by between 20% and 30% year on year. In 2015, our clients saved R14,9 million.