Part five of a six-part series
In part four of our six-part series, Are You Providing the Necessary Programs and Tools for You and Your Channel Partners to Succeed, we went through the three main features you must provide in order for your partners to grow. This ultimately helps you determine whether you are a leader or follower in channel marketing. Today we continue with part five of this series, exploring our fifth factor, “Are you providing your channel partners with exceptional service?”
Here are some key questions to ask.
- Do you have a dedicated and devoted team to support your channel partners as you do with your customers?
- Do you react quickly to any issues that may arise during program participation?
- Do you treat your partners as an extension of your sales efforts and your brand?
The answer to these questions will provide clearer insight into whether you are providing your channel partners with the exceptional service they deserve.
Do You Have a Dedicated and Devoted Team to Support Your Channel Partners?
A dedicated and devoted team is an extension of your brand and having them to support channel partners will result in trust, strong relationships, and a higher share of account. Did you know, 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer service experience? In order to understand if you are providing your channel partners with excellent service and a committed team, here are some key questions to ask.
- Do your channel partners have access to a team, toll-free numbers, extended business hours to provide support, and a live chat?
- Is your team knowledgeable about the programs? You want to avoid any mixed messages. Keeping consistent communication is key.
Do You React Quickly to Any Issues That May Arise During Program Participation?
It is critical to always respond rapidly to any issues that may arise during program participation. Handling these matters promptly leads to a happier relationship between you and your channel partners:
- Avoiding long-term dealer dissatisfaction. Continue to improve your processes and programs, always ensure your partners have a positive experience, and obtain high-quality service and support. Recognizing intent and allowing grace on compliance (if applicable) will help build trust and improve sales enablement.
- Having confidence in the brand and the brand teams that support them.
- Handling issues quickly and efficiently, no matter when they may arise. In fact, about 54-70 percent of complainers will remain loyal to a company that they know they will handle their problems efficiently.
Do You Treat Your Partners as an Extension of Your Sales Efforts and Your Brand?
Treating your partners as an extension of your team is crucial to their success, your own, and ultimately, the brands:
- Involving them in key decision making around the programs and providing clear multi-channel communications well in advance.
- Providing channel partners with the necessary training and tools. Overly complex programs are difficult to administer and time-consuming. Make sure you’re providing them with the necessary training to help them avoid these obstacles and succeed.
- Following up and getting channel partner feedback frequently and taking appropriate actions based on that feedback.
Poor service can make or break a company. It is no different with channel partner relationships. When you provide your partners with exceptional service, a true sense of partnership begins to form. What kind of exceptional service are you providing your partners in order to help them succeed? Let us know in the comment below. Stay tuned for part six of our six-part series where we will discuss “Are You Providing Your Channel Partners with the Necessary Digital Tools to Succeed?” We would love to hear from you. If you want to talk further about this topic or have any other questions about your channel programs, give us a call at (319)-294-7501 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Corporate Marketing Specialist