Handling supply issues

Healthcare & Medical

Handling supply issues

Medical, pharmaceutical and life sciences organisations are having to handle difficult conversations with customers who are impacted by supply issues, though they may lack the skills and confidence to deliver these effectively.

This is resulting in:

  • Avoidance of proactive contact with customers; which increases customer complaints
  • Use of email instead of voice / video calls with customers, which impacts on customer satisfaction
  • Rising numbers of customers requesting escalation conversations and therefore increased time demands on senior leaders
  • Increased stress, decreased employee satisfaction and increased absenteeism
  • Loss of margin, as customers are offered refunds / future discounts as compensation

There is also a longer-term impact; i.e., a reduction in future orders, a decrease in customer renewals, reduced prices for future deals, etc.

Three key aspects apply to the handling of this situation:

  • Reduce the likelihood of supply issues by having regular forecasting conversations with customers, and by understanding their projects and requirements. For example, if a customer project has been delayed by three months, you can delay the supply of your product by three months, thus creating surplus inventory that can be used by other customers without delays.
  • Train sales and service teams to contact customers proactively and apply best practice techniques to prepare for and handle conversations. There should also be support to enable a positive mindset in your teams; for example, empower them to handle customers but also provide escalation support when necessary
  • Enable sales and service teams to adapt their approach to the customer, depending on whether the customer wants value justice (the customer wants you to admit when you are wrong, and provide a solution with the right value), interaction justice (the customer focuses on how well you listen, understand and resolve their issue) or process justice (the customer wants to uncover the root cause of an issue and prevent it happening again in the future).

To find out more about how we help our clients to handle supply issues, please visit  https://imparta.com/industries/healthcare-medical/