For a long time, machine and machine control manufacturers lay their focus on key accounts and often neglected the efforts to gain small customers or end customers. The reason is, because if you have a large customer, of course you can gain more money than with a small customer. But that only counts on a first glance and it is not as simple as it may seem.
Today, most markets are saturated and it becomes more and more difficult to gain new large customers. That is why companies now strive more and more for small customers. Another positive aspect is that key accounts and small customers together contribute to build a broad customer base. Because if a company loses one of its key accounts, that can cause huge trouble, while if it has a broad base of different, mixed customers, this can help to compensate this loss and can prevent the company from getting into economic difficulties. Another advantage of having both big and small customers is that the image and market presence are better with the more satisfied customers you have. Also with small customers, a company sometimes gets extraordinary orders, which arrest attention, like for example Allcon’s order to MOBA for a machine control system for this special slipform paver.
So a strategy that unites key accounts and small customers can help a company to strengthen its position and to diversify their customer base.
The challenge for companies is that working with smaller customers is completely different than working with key accounts. Sales structures have to be developed, new marketing and communication strategies and sales channels are needed and sales people have to be briefed. It is often more time intensive because every customer has its own questions and problems that have to be solved individually, so there is also a corresponding equipment and personnel in the back office necessary. And of course, customers have many different requirements and need the machine or the control system consistent with their needs. A path-breaking solution to this challenge is MOBA’s platform, where for example crane and lifter manufacturers can get their individual machine control solution built out of a pool of proven components.
There are also many things that are equal, no matter if key account or small customer: The product quality is a very important point for all customers, as well as a flexible, robust and reliable machine or machine control system.
Since each business is done by people, personal contact is still of huge importance, even in times of Internet. It is a question of confidence, reliability and trust in a long-term relation between sales and customer. One face to the customer is important both for key accounts and small customers, so that they have one person to contact, also if they have problems. Then fast, uncomplicated help is important for a long-term cooperation and customer satisfaction.