WELCOME TO THE NE W NORMAL CUSTOMER
Do you know what has elevated customers’ standards for
their service experiences?
First, customers have way more choices than ever before.
A quick trip to the grocery store for a loaf of bread gets you
confronted with 16 brands and 23 varieties packaged 12 ways.
Three decades ago, sliced bread came one way — white —
produced by Wonder Bread or Sunbeam Bread.
The more product choices customers have that are
similar, the more they use their experience surrounding that
product or outcome as their primary tool for differentiation
and decision-making. Is your equipment or systems dramatically different from those of your competitors?
Second, today’s customers are much smarter buyers.
The internet has been their source of real-time buying
education and has become a channel for instant customer assessment. Everyone has become everyone’s
Consumer Reports. This means petroleum equipment
businesses must monitor all the details (now transparent
to customers) to get early warnings on emerging glitches,
impending changes, and on-the-horizon trends. It also
means customers are more empowered to make buying
decisions with knowledge from a host of sources rather
than relying on the reputation of a brand or the cleverness
of its advertising.
The service side is a much bigger challenge.
Manufacturers determine the quality of the products they
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