Having an effective and comfortable method of communicating with your supplier is one of the most essential aspects of running an import business.
Without a solid communication system implemented, many operations such as stock ordering, product queries or warranty claims can become a nightmare when a prompt answer isn’t provided.
Methods of Supplier Communication
There are a few main methods to effectively and easily communicate with your supplier, eliminating any frustration.
The first method is via standard emailing. This would involve sending and receiving messages to and from the supplier.
While this may be a common form of contact, it definitely isn’t the best method as emails can tend to be slow in being received and you must understand that suppliers normally would receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails from other customers they may have from around the world. This means that your email message may not be read the same day or even after a few days, which definitely will not do your business any favors.
These days the amount of unaddressed/marketing emails we receive on a daily basis really can make life frustrating and so hence we have a junk box to where all these junk emails are forwarded to.
The other bad aspect of this is that the email that you send to your supplier may somehow also be interpreted by the system as junk mail and so be automatically moved to the junk box folder. You won’t be alerted to this of course, however, it is just another reason why email for regular communication with your supplier can be detrimental.
The next method of communication is via your computer and through instant messaging software such as MSN Messenger and Skype. Both software packages are free of charge and allow you not only to chat to your supplier by typing your messages into a chat box, but you can also have video calls, send files and even change your status to busy or away if you are occupied and need to inform your contacts.
It is probably the most interactive and direct form of communication available today and is the perfect tool for importers communicating with their suppliers.
Instant messaging has really made the communication gap between suppliers and buyers in different countries almost nonexistent. They feature a range of impressive tools that are very easy to use and actually make all your correspondence with your supplier fun and relaxed. In addition, software such as MSN Messenger and Skype can now be accessed from mobile devices so you can also check to your suppliers on the go and never miss a reply or have a question answered whenever it comes to mind.
To learn more about how to use instant messaging software you can find a vast array of videos and tutorials on their respective websites for both Skype (www.skype.com),WeChat (http://www.wechat.com) or Whatsapp (http://www.whatsapp.com).
You can further find more tutorials free of charge by browsing the net via a search engine like Google (www.google.com.au) or by searching for a video tutorial on the popular YouTube.com (www.youtube.com).
Once you understand the basics of these powerful tools, you can immediately begin to confidently communicate with any supplier from anywhere around the world, from any location, which of course is perfect when you are running an import business.