All successful companies have one thing in common: Good customer service.
Regardless of the industry, companies know that investing in this portion of their business has a multitude of benefits for their customers — and for them. The same idea can be applied to your dealers and distributors by offering marketing-focused customer service and support.
Here are some points to consider when discussing this as a solution for your network.
Provide a dedicated team, not just a platform or system
Technology is essential in any channel marketing program. However, it shouldn’t replace a team of marketing professionals. Good channel marketing strategy calls for both technology and a marketing support team to provide the best level of service to dealers and distributors.
When it comes to the technology, make sure you consider what your dealers and distributors need and think of the user experience. If the network finds the technology clunky or counterintuitive, it won’t be used. We recommend starting with a system that can easily manage an existing co-op program then supplementing the program with additional functionality and features from there.
The dedicated team of marketing professionals should focus on supporting the dealers and distributors in their local marketing efforts. Offer an easy way to reach the team through phone and email and allow the team to proactively reach out to the network.
With time, the marketing team will build relationships with each individual dealer. This is important since it allows the team to learn each dealer’s specific needs, the level of support they need and better understand challenges in their local market. This leads to the ability to provide effective, customized solutions for dealers.
As the relationship grows, the dealer marketing team will come to be seen as an extension of the corporate marketing team and a valuable resource for dealers and distributors.
Capture feedback in a consolidated location
Once the marketing team is in-place and the lines of communication are open, you’ll want to ensure you have a way to capture feedback. The marketing team will hear feedback on all aspects of business, and you’ll need a way to capture and share it with key stakeholders. This single location will allow you to analyze the feedback from dealers and distributors and make insightful changes that will be supported by the network.
The long-term benefits
Providing a marketing support solution — like a customer service center — to your dealers and distributors will signify your appreciation and dedication to their growth and success. It shows that your level of investment to your dealers and distributors is the same level of investment you give to customers. You’ll also consistently have your finger on the pulse of the network to gain a better understanding of it.