Customer Engagement

3 Ways to Stand Out in the Vending Industry with Remarkable Customer Service

August 18, 2017 | By Terry Hovis

3 Ways to Stand Out in the Vending Industry with Remarkable Customer Service

More and more vending machine operators offer a very similar product mix. Add to it, they might even offer similar freebies to the same customers. How does a customer then choose and stick with a vending machine operator? Oftentimes, it boils down to a very important factor, customer service.

Yes, something that was overlooked a decade ago, suddenly is in the spotlight for revenue reasons. It’s now about showing your customers how their business matters to you and how you are willing to accommodate their requests with very short to little notice. Here are 3 ways you can sharpen your customer service and be the one that comes to their mind at the mention of the word, vending.

  1. Over-perform on timelines: Delivering at the required timeline is expected – if you want to standout – you need to over-perform. If there is an OCS order placed at 3pm but you don’t deliver OCS orders placed after 1pm on the same day, try to do it for your top customers, who, maybe have a certain revenue threshold. That said, make this service exception only if you have the required human resources to do so.
  2. Provide omni-channel customer support: Customers now have various channels to log a service call, the web, social media, email or a good old phone call. No matter what channel they use to reach out to you, ensure you have an integrated view of their purchase/order history so you can cater to their requests. A customer could have placed an order over email, but is tweeting to you about a device issue. No problem. You should be well equipped to not just view the request for service, but also resolve it within 48 hours. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to communicate to your customer that their request will be taken care of, even if it means sending a friendly tweet back to ensure they know you are listening.
  3. Take notes on customer preferences: When we go to a store, don’t we love it when the customer service rep reminds us of our favorite styles and brands? Why should vending operations be any different? Take notes on your customer’s most-often placed orders, brands preferred, pack size requirements and gently remind them if they’ve missed any of their usual items. These notes can also be about other add-on services you provide them with, such as, condiments. It can also be about refunds and replacements you’ve promised. Let’s say you promised to replace a broken microwave within the next 2 days. Remind your drivers and service technicians about these pending tasks and ensure they are completed within the agreed upon timelines.

The use of a vending software that automates the thousands of decisions required to optimize your vending machines is essential in providing great customer service. Know what sells and where, in order to replenish before your merchandise runs out. Leverage dynamic scheduling to ensure you are servicing the machines at the right time with the right product.  Often times it’s a matter of one day that can make all the difference to the customer and most importantly your client. Create a lasting impression in the minds of your customers with great service that’s made possible by USAT’s Seed Pro.

To learn more about Seed Pro and how it can transform your vending operations, click here.


Terry Hovis

Director of Implementation

With more than 30 years serving the vending industry, Terry has had experience working at a vending operation from the ground up and implementing technology to improve business processes. Today, he gets to use that experience to help customers overcome the fear and challenges of technology, so they can ultimately live an easier life with software.

Terry Hovis LinkedIn