How Food Distributors Can Improve Customer Experience

24 Aug 2021 Helpful Tips


Providing great products is only half the battle. As the food distribution industry continues to change, distributors cannot afford to let customer service wane, or you could face customers going elsewhere. 

Here are a few ways your food distribution business can improve customer service and maximise customer retention.

Make ordering easy

To put it simply, if your business still takes orders by phone, SMS, or email, you aren’t providing good customer service! At the end of the day if your ordering process is complicated your customers will look for an alternative.

People are busier then ever and so is your distribution business, many customers don’t have the time to manually ring, type or text their order everyday. A great way to simplify your ordering process is by implementing an online ordering website.

The benefit of an online ordering website is it simplifies your customers ordering process. Customers can place orders 24/7 and no longer need to wait for business hours to do so. Using the latest features available, customers can view the product, click and order instantly – removing the stresses and complications of manual ordering processes.

For your distribution business, the benefit of Online Ordering is it streamlines your ordering process through integration with your management system. When a customer places an order your system will automatically adjust stock levels, generate a receipt, send an invoice and get you ready for fulfilment. 

To read more about EasyVend online ordering click here.

Send SMS and Email Order reminders

Let’s face it, it’s human nature to forget to do things from time to time. A great way to provide exceptional customer service is by reminding your customers if they have failed to place an order at their regular time.

One of the benefits of a food and beverage management software like EasyVend is you can completely automate customer reminders via SMS or Email to those who have failed to place an order at their regular time. We understand that a large portion of customers in the food distribution industry are recurring, but on occasion they may miss or place orders late which could create further headaches for your business.

Using EasyVend, customer reminders can be set to your unique preferences and will trigger reminders at a particular time based on the options you have selected. For example, you can send a reminder to all customers 30 minutes before cut off time. Research shows that the average text message is opened within 15 minutes – making it the easiest and most effective way to get in touch with your customers.

The benefits of sending reminders to your customers is you don’t need to worry about late or missed orders. 

Simplify your payment process

The biggest issue facing food and beverage businesses is late payments. Recent studies released found that Australian food and beverage businesses wait up to 28 days for payment of invoices. For the large part the reason many customers fail to pay on time is due to the payment process.

To get customers to pay on time you need to make the payment process as simple as it could possibly be. This means getting your customer their invoice as fast as possible or giving them an option to pay on the spot. A great way to simplify your payment process is by implementing a payment gateway system.

One of the benefits of a payment gateway system is it simplifies your customers payment process. Once a customer places an order, an invoice will be automatically generated and sent to the customer with a pay now button attached. After a customer clicks the button and enters their card details the system will automatically debit the funds at the correct time.

A Payment Gateway is a great way to simplify your customers payment process and helps your business increase cashflow.

To learn more about the payment gateway click here.

Provide electronic POD copies

A common cause of concern for many vendors and distributors is customers losing or damaging POD copies. As you would already know, if a customer loses a docket this can create frustrations on both sides. A great way to provide the best customer service is to provide electronic POD copies to your customers.

By using a route management software such as MiniVend you can easily send customers POD copies instantly. MiniVend uses sign on glass technology; once a customer signs off on an order the POD will be automatically sent to the customers email. Providing electronic POD copies is a great way to keep customers satisfied.

In conclusion

As competition continues to grow, customer service should never be overlooked. Providing great customer service is the best way for growing and retaining customers in the food and beverage industry. Using the examples above you can maximise your businesses customer service and increase profits.

About EasyVend

For food vendors and distributors, EasyVend supports and automates every part of your business, freeing you up to grow your sales unlike other ERP systems that are designed more for wholesale suppliers than for distribution businesses like yours.

EasyVend includes all your everyday needs like inventory management, online ordering, invoicing, receipting, delivery management, payment gateway, customer reminders, Xero integration and so much more.

Want to learn more about EasyVend? Call us today on 1300 473 744 or click the button below to get a no-obligation free demo of EasyVend.

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