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Material Handling Insights

Dec 19, 2019 8:30:00 AM // 4 min read

Dealers' Corner: How to Support Customers Through Changing Times

By Graham Jones
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Dealers' Corner: How to Support Customers Through Changing Times

The material handling industry is changing. With 2020 just around the corner, how will you adapt to customers’ changing needs? Read on for our top four tips and advice.    

As 2019 draws to a close, now is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and consider how we, as a business, can continue to provide an unrivalled customer experience in 2020.

As a valued member of TCM’s dealer network, you will already be aware that the material handling industry is entering a period of significant change, with electrification, EU directives, and emissions regulations all at the forefront of many operations managers’ minds. 

As a result, your commitment to embracing customers’ changing needs has never been more important than it is today. Here are four key ways that you can support them:

1. Adopt an information-first approach

During a period of significant change in the industry, keeping customers informed is a key priority for us at TCM. Providing operations managers with information and resources early on is crucial in helping them prepare for the future.

More specifically, familiarising customers with the upcoming challenges, such as emissions regulations and the 2040 ban on petrol and diesel engines, will help to ensure they’ll have time to prepare fleets well before these regulations come into force.

Even if a customer isn’t ready to start switching over to electric trucks just yet, sharing the important facts they need to know now will help them gradually understand the bigger picture, and create a plan for the future. 

Related Read: Dealers’ Corner: How to Support a Diverse Range of Customer Needs

2. Assess and optimise customers’ current operations

Although many customers are not ready to overhaul their entire forklift fleets right now, there are ways you can help them prepare for electrification.

Identifying areas for improvement and providing practical solutions is a great way to get customers used to taking small steps towards establishing a more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly operation. 

There are three key ways you can approach this with your customer base, including:

1. Utilising TCM’s customer questionnaire to develop a clear picture of their business

2. Assessing the customer’s total cost of ownership to identify the best-fit solution

3. Creating alternative solutions and outlining the associated costs

  1. Utilising TCM’s customer questionnaire to develop a clear picture of their business
  1. Utilising TCM’s customer questionnaire to develop a clear picture of their business
  2. Assessing the customer’s total cost of ownership to identify the best-fit solution
  3. Creating alternative solutions and outlining the associated costs

By following these steps, our customers can feel confident that they have the right forklift solution in place — both now and in the future.

3. Support customers who are ready to make the switch 

For forward-thinking customers who are keen to start introducing electric forklifts in their operation today, your support is integral to a smooth adoption.

Start by educating customers about the different types of electric forklifts available, how forklift battery technology works, adjustments they may have to make to their current operations, and their options.

A crucial aspect of this is introducing customers to TCM’s electric forklift product range and identifying the best solution for their business based on their operation, application, shift patterns, and more.

Related Read: Dealers’ Corner: Achieving Your Business Objectives with TCM

4. Prepare a proposal document for customers to keep

Finally, once you’ve had a consultation with your customer to identify their unique needs, provide them with a proposal document that they can keep for reference and review later on.

Preparing for the material handling industry’s increasing demands consists of many factors, and taking in all of this information can feel overwhelming. 

Having a concrete document that customers can refer back to allows them to process the information in their own time, at their own pace — giving them the peace of mind that not one aspect of their operation has been overlooked.

Not a dealer yet but looking for your next opportunity? We’re always looking to expand our dealer network. Get in touch to find out more about partnering with a forward-thinking forklift manufacturer like TCM.

Already a dealer? To learn more about how you can help your customers find the right solutions for them, get in touch with Graham Jones, Dealer Development Director at TCM.

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