2 minute read • published in partnership with ADS Laser Cutting
Opinion: What is the future for customer visits?
As we now begin to come out of the other side of lockdown, with some parts of the world opening up fully and returning to some form of normality, the UK seems to be on a similar trajectory as businesses re-open and people return to work. Where does that leave businesses with regard to customer visits, how are things going to change for what seems to be the foreseeable future? ADS Laser Cutting conducted some research.
ADS Laser Cutting sensed a shift, believing due to the current pandemic, face-to-face customer visits would be out of the question. To support this decision, we conducted a research study to really understand how our customers – and people in general – wish to be contacted as they return to work.
We reached out to 339 individuals and were rather surprised by the results.
Offering three methods of contact (telephone, virtual and face-to-face) and suggesting the choice of one or all of these methods, asked the question “how would you like to be contacted once lockdown is over?”
Going into this we believed there would be a major shift towards virtual visits, which is partially true – although not as significant as we first believed.
96.4% of respondents said they would be happy to speak over the phone, 37.5% via virtual visits and 41.7% of those who responded said, social distancing and government guidelines permitted, are still happy to meet face-to-face.
Virtual visits or face-to-face?
As can be seen by the results, the current pandemic may have shifted the number somewhat, but it seems people still want what is imbedded in the human psyche – human contact.
Derek Payne, national sales manager at ADS Laser Cutting, said “Customer visits are an integral part of our business, enabling us to form long-lasting relationships. They provide an enormous amount of value for both parties, which is unrivalled when compared to discussions over the phone. We gain far better insight into the needs of our customers, and by taking a walk around their establishment, we often discover more opportunities for both the customer and ourselves where we can help, such as: quoting for existing parts on their factory floor that they are unaware we can produce, or wouldn’t necessarily think we could produce”.
This is not to say that virtual visits will not continue to be a growing trend, so it is worth gearing your business up for these so not to get left behind – but for now face-to-face visits still comes out on top.
As a result of this we have put processes in place to be able to carry out “virtual” customer visits by utilising Tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams and leveraging the content we have developed over the last year as part of our investment in marketing to aid these virtual visits.