As an online purchasing platform that’s disrupting the existing marketplace Kinnek is in a unique - and new - position. That means many of the challenges our Customer Success Team seeks to overcome stem from a misconception of how we operate. Getting lots of custom quotes from suppliers, free of charge and with no long-winded communication or leg-work is a new thing for our customers.
As a result Customer Success at Kinnek rests on a two-way education process: our service helps us learn about customers, how they found us and what their expectations were of purchasing for their business. In return we have a huge opportunity to change both the process and customer expectations of how small business purchasing should work. The reward for both sides is happier businesses, increased site activity and broader success in the marketplace.
Customer confusion isn't a good thing but here's the upside of what we've learned from it. The traditional purchasing process for small businesses right now is terrible! No wonder the business community needs our support. Addressing this confusion provides Kinnek with the opportunity to educate both ourselves and customers about purchasing as a perceived burden - and how to tackle it.
Here’s how it works: our team discusses a request for quotes with a customer to understand not only the specifics of what they're looking but the wider business problem they’re trying to solve. Then we offer solutions. For instance, if a customer is growing their small-batch kombucha business from a manual small-batch operation into something larger, they might visit Kinnek for a pallet of bottles.
What we’ve learned from experience is rather than just focusing on the bottles, it's worth addressing how the bottles are being filled, capped, and labeled. Is the buyer relying on manual labor or has their production increased enough to warrant a bottling line? What are their medium-term goals? How do they plan to meet increased packaging, storage and delivery requirements as a function of the increased production?
By addressing broader business needs and goals, we help the customer not only fulfill their existing purchasing requirements but think more broadly about how those purchasing needs tally to wider business goals and timeframes. That saves time, money and a lot of hassle for a lot of businesses. We want to make sure every “request for quotes” is an optimized opportunity for our customers to get the best fit service for their business now and in the future.
What happens if you don’t know what you need? Though our service is designed to get businesses real-time quotes, the customer team’s experience working with the community every day means we’re well-positioned to guide prospective purchasers. In addition Kinnek’s price estimator also provides information on various types of equipment and supplies, which helps both businesses in the planning and those looking to purchase. Both these options mean that - from a customer service standpoint - we help educate customers even when they don’t end up requesting quotes. For Kinnek that translates into satisfied visitors, repeat customer visits and business growth.So, what’s the moral of this story? Even if a potential customer doesn't seem like a good lead, everyone’s worth the investment. That’s what makes our customer service team strive harder every day.
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