Canadian Electrical Wholesaler

Nov 27, 2019

Jeff MowattBy Jeff Mowatt

What words do you think customers would use to describe what it's like when doing business with your company — responsive, easy, approachable? Or are they more apt to say rigid, robotic, bureaucratic? Customers of course prefer to buy from suppliers who are easy to work with. What might surprise you is even though as a manager you might think your company creates positive customer experiences, in fact there may be several ways your organization may be unintentionally turning customers off.

Often customers won’t tell you about them because they may not be consciously aware of them. What they will do is quietly choose a different supplier next time. See if these four subtle customer turnoffs are oozing through the cracks of your company's foundations.

Turnoff 1: punishing policies

We all know the importance of building a brand that instils feelings of trust. Unfortunately, when companies operate with restrictive customer policies, all that goodwill begins to crumble. Half the problem is the word “policy”. It implies rigid rules and regulations. To avoid this turnoff, customer-friendly organizations replace the word policies with guidelines. For example: “Delivery guideline: for onsite service, we typically schedule within x days. Let us know your timing and we'll see if we can accommodate.” Notice how the wording sounds like real people who are trying to be helpful. I'm not suggesting that companies abandon policies. Instead, dial down the legal jargon, soften the wording, and make it sound like your company is run by real people.

Turnoff 2: complex contracts

To do business with your company, are there multiple contracts/rules/hoops that customers have to jump through? Do your contracts sound like they are written like you expect to be sued? As a general guideline I’d suggest that any contract for dollar amounts under $10,000 should be readable within five minutes. Worth 100k? - Ten minutes. Problem is many organizations have lengthy multipage contracts regardless of the amount at stake, forcing customers to spend way too much admin time. In other words, companies make their own customers resent doing business with them at the outset of the relationship. Bear in mind that lengthy contracts raise alarm bells that the company must have failed and been sued in the past or are anticipating future lawsuits. Hardly inspires customer confidence.

Turnoff 3: disclaimer disconnect

No doubt you've received emails — or maybe even sent them — where at the bottom of the email in fine print there’s a blurb stating, “This message is confidential and intended solely for the person named here... files may not be shared... blah, blah, blah.” These clauses imply that as the recipient you are legally bound to maintain some sort of confidentiality. It’s nonsense. Just because someone sends you an email that includes fine print at the bottom stating they don't want you to share the contained information, doesn't mean you’re obliged to comply. It holds no legal authority or protection of confidentiality. What it does do is make the recipient (a customer) get the feeling they are dealing with a bureaucracy run by litigators instead of managers. If there is something you don’t want customers to share, then ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement up front. Other than that, you can’t prevent a customer from sharing an email if they want to. So, don't bother with all the legalese for a simple email.

Turnoff 4: faceless frontline

One of the most common customer annoyances — and easiest to eliminate — is when employees don’t identify themselves in person or on the phone. As I point out in my Trusted Advisor seminars, more than basic courtesy, when you introduce yourself to customers and/or wear easily readable nametags, it tells them that you are someone who is comfortable being held accountable. Conversely, employees whose names are not displayed or readily offered seem to be hiding behind a veil of bureaucracy. It’s an easy fix that builds trust.

Bottom line question: what’s your organization really like to work with? Check your customer communications practices and see how your company could sound less guarded, and more like you're open for doing business.

This article is based on the bestselling book, Influence with Ease by Hall of Fame motivational speaker Jeff Mowatt. To obtain your own copy of his book or to inquire about engaging Jeff for your team, visit www.jeffmowatt.com. Watch for more articles from Jeff in future issues.

Nexans Webinar - Key 2021 Electrical Code Changes Impacting Wire and Cable

Nexans Free WebinarJoin NEXANS for a free webinar with Isaac Müller, Applications Engineer for Nexans as he reviews and discusses the changes to the 2021 Canadian Electrical Code related to wire and cable. This free webinar will take place Wed, Jan 27, 2021 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.

This webinar includes:
- Updated rules to protect cables (12-514,12-516)
- New conditions of use for wire & cable (Table 19)
- An opportunity to ask your questions

 


Click here to register today.


AEABy Blake Marchand

“It was amazing,” Alberta Electrical Alliance CEO Tara Ternes said of their first Virtual Electrical Learning Expo. “It was a built from scratch platform, based on our 26-years of experience doing the Expo,” so it certainly didn’t go without its challenges.

“Going forward it will be much easier,” she said, adding that they learned a lot in the process of putting together and putting on the event virtually with Ivy Design, a marketing firm based out of Calgary, Alberta.

 

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Carol McGloganBy Carol McGlogan

The pandemic has given us reason to pause and evaluate everything we do. We have all been affected in our personal and professional lives, and it is during these times we realize family and community come first.

We know that EFC’s role is to bring the electrical industry closer together – and this pandemic has proven that there is no better time to come together.

 

 

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Wholesale Product Sales - OctoberThe sale of wholesale products rose 1.0% in October to $66.7 billion, marking the sixth consecutive increase for the sector. Gains in three subsectors — machinery, equipment and supplies • motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and accessories • building material and supplies subsectors — all contributed to the growth, which was partially offset by declines in the food, beverage and tobacco, and personal and household goods subsectors.

Sales volumes grew 1.0% in October.

 

 

 

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Michelle BraniganBy Michelle Branigan

If the events of this year have shown us anything, it’s that the Canadian electricity sector is resilient. As a sector providing an essential service 24/7/365, those who work in the sector have long had that “storm mentality” and are ready for extreme weather or other crisis scenarios.

Most organizations have robust emergency plans in place, and some even have specific plans prepared for a pandemic (based on previous scares with SARS and H1N1). 

 

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Changing Scene

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Sean Bernard and Heather Jackson continue their progression through IDEAL Canada's leadership ...
Teledyne Technologies Incorporated and FLIR Systems, Inc.jointly announced that they have entered ...
What will it mean for Canada when Joe Biden officially becomes president of the United States of ...
Sonepar Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Gray as Texcan Ontario’s new Branch ...
Westburne Canada has announced the appointment of Rick Di Danieli to the role of Director, ...
Halco Lighting Technologies, a lighting manufacturer with a portfolio of lighting solutions ...
Bartle & Gibson Co. Ltd., has announced a new regional partnership enabling increased access to ...
On December 10th, EFC held its first virtual Industry Awards event which was a year-end celebration ...
Rittal Systems Ltd., Canada would like to announce that Tim Rourke will be resigning as President, ...
 

 

Stephanie SmithElectricity Human Resources Canada (EHRC) has announced Stephanie Smith as the winner of its annual Leader of the Year Award. A human-centred leader in a highly technical field, Stephanie has an impressive track record of building strong relationships both inside and outside of the nuclear community, as well as creating safe and inclusive working environments.

Recently appointed as the first female President and CEO of CANDU Owners Group, Stephanie developed her career at Ontario Power Generation (OPG) where she made history throughout her career. Notably, as Plant Manager at Pickering Nuclear she was responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of 6 nuclear reactors. 

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TexcanSonepar Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger Gray as Texcan Ontario’s new Branch Manager. Gray joined the company as of November 16th and has been managing the Brampton, ON branch.

Gray brings over 25 years of experience in the wire and cable distribution industry. His experience in strategic account management, familiarity of application and site limitations has earned him creditability amongst electrical contractors and OEMs alike.

 

 

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WestburneWestburne Canada has announced the appointment of Rick Di Danieli to the role of Director, Industrial Solutions effective January 4, 2021. In this role, Rick will report to me and will be responsible for strategic direction and execution within the process and services space across Canada.


"A long standing Westburne partner and friend, Rick brings a wealth of industry and leadership experience, acquired in a 34-year career with Rockwell Automation. During that time he progressed through many leadership roles across North America, most recently as Regional Director Oil & Gas for North America," said Dave Syer, Vice President, Westburne Canada.

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Peers & Profiles

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Ariane Cardinal is Director of Planning, Purchasing, and Distribution with Stelpro.   ...
Following Groupe Stelpro’s recent acquisition of floor heating system manufacturer Flextherm, Yves ...
Electrimat is an independent Quebec-owned company that has specialized for 40 years in the ...
In July, Eaton announced that Vice President, Channel – Electrical Sector, Matt Cleary would be ...
Mission Technical Solutions is a recently established sales agency founded by industry veteran ...
Omid Nadi, Trade Marketing Manager with Ledvance, is a Ryerson University grad coming out of their ...

Yves ChabotFollowing Groupe Stelpro’s recent acquisition of floor heating system manufacturer Flextherm, Yves Chabot, President and CEO of Groupe Stelpro, agreed to answer our questions.

Given the recent acquisition, can you tell us about the key issues for your industry?

Many significant challenges exist. Over the short term, the industry must navigate the pandemic and deal with unprecedented labour scarcity. Over the medium to long term, we must position ourselves within the energy transition in a context where homes are increasingly smart and feature countless connected objects.

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