• 25 / 09 / 2017
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Service is Job One

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Patrick Naude 25 September, 2017 at 7:37 am

Patrick Naude has been in the printer cartridge recycling industry since 1996 when he opened 2 branches on behalf of South Africa’s largest recycler, at the time—Royce Imaging. 5 years later, Naude started to remanufacture his own brand of laser and inkjet cartridges, selling to the end user as well as the wholesale trade. Soon realizing that there was a need to get closer to the source, Naude entered the raw material industry partnering with 4Ways Imaging in South Africa. In 2011, there was an opportunity to diversify into other markets and he created CMYK Industries. In the last 4 years, he has been focusing on the growth and trends in African markets and finding cost saving solutions for many OEM companies looking to save on their MPS/ CPP solutions.

Often we get caught up in the grind of our daily businesses and then we wake up and wonder why some of our customers no longer purchase from us.

Although it is great to retain 100% of our customers, it is not realistic.

Customers will leave you for a variety of reasons. Maybe it is in search of a better price. It could be new purchasing personnel want to try something new. Or, heaven forbid, it’s because of poor quality products.

Perhaps your competitors have items you do not offer so this becomes another reason to lose a client. Or they may simply provide a better customer experience.

This is why I always say relationships and excellent service are incredibly important. It’s not always about making money. Think about the customer and what he or she expects and how he or she has to sell your products in turn to his customer.

Ask yourself if you would buy products from your company? I recall one time when I was still a young blood in the industry. I drove 200 km to an airstrip in order to meet a customer.

I was offering him the free loan of a printer for one of his farms that had been damaged by a storm. I met him at 5 a.m. and he flew two hours into Africa to deliver that printer to the farm just to keep his office printing. To me, this was just a normal way I offered service. To him, it saved his business.

He has been a loyal customer and friend ever since. All because of a simple act of service. I did not think of it at the time, but I was providing him with a better customer experience.

Excellence in business is not just expected, it’s demanded.  After having that experience, I say the best business model involves, in this order, service, quality then price.