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Thread: What is a fair time to wait for a quote on basic electronic or computer equipment?

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    What is a fair time to wait for a quote on basic electronic or computer equipment?

    I always try to get a quote out to a customer within 30 minutes (when possible). I'm just wondering if I'm putting unnecessary strain on myself and my resources?

    I tend to get stressed if I don't deal with queries right away, but I think its because I'm not quite sure of acceptable time to get the information out to the client.

    Any advice?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The real issue here might not be whether a 30 minute turnaround time is acceptable. However, if you can achieve it consistently, I'd keep at it. Turnaround time is a very effective competitive differentiator.

    Ultimately the goal is to exceed client expectations. When it comes to turnaround time, there are ways to manage exactly what those expectations might be.

    If we look at your particular scenario, having an auto responder that acknowledges receipt of the request and that you will have a quote out within 12 hours would set an expectation that should be considered entirely reasonable by many. From there, the quicker you are, the better the job you have done of exceeding expectation.

    On the flip side of online speed, some people might have experienced getting an automated, instant quote. But there are counter strategies to that too if you are not at that point yet
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    The autoresponder is a great idea, not quite sure why I haven't implemented that yet. Most of my queries are related to stock availability. Maybe I should add an option to my product listings. Something like a "check stock" button?

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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    Seein that you are helpin me to quit Yes, if online, your clients should have the option to check on availability of stock item, but I have found that if the stock item in question is not available, it causes irritation in the client, and he will go else where.

    We handle all quotes by phone, it adds to the personal touch that we insist on for all our clients, and 15 - 20 min is the response time. Geez, life is tough, and if you can make it easier for your clients, they remain loyal. But then we are a specialized service so that may not work for you if you just do sales.

    But if you generate a msg online that might read something along the lines of Item not available but that you are ordering it for them, with a order form to complete and a order number. Perhaps one can then follow up with a call?

    I do understand your stress though, but remember that the way you treat your client is the most important factor, and there is nothing wrong with calling your client to tell him that you are waiting for your supplier to come back with a price.

    Feedback is key! No matter what medium you use. if your client relations are in place, i think you will find that you relax, think 'Service' not 'Time' for the latter will follow naturally from the first. I say this to you only, as you sound dynamic otherwise you would not be stressed about time.

    Hope it helps, I am into software but I have handled hardware sales way back, and though I hated it, i have to admit I was rather good at it, but just because I really cared about the client and their needs, not cause I knew anything bout the product I was selling

    Had a very interesting conversation on Mon with the owner of Biduns(?) and he made a very poignant observation : Your software and hardware people are like your doctor or your dentist. You don't change easily. And that is true, once you have proven yourself.

    I will ask the hardware ouks here to go to your site and check out your prices, also if they can come up with some suggestions....

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    I'm amazed at the amount of support I get from this forum. Even though I'm a complete moron when it comes to business, people still seem to want to answer my stupid questions.

    Back to the topic...

    My biggest problem with the stock check, is that we don't actually keep stock. Because of prices constantly changing, the fact that we only take internet orders, and the huge capital outlay we would need....we decided to rather work per-order for now. All our suppliers are within 5KM of our premises, so we actually really don't need a warehouse or anything too formal. Back to the point, we have to contact the suppliers when we have a query. Basically we won't be able to automate this process yet.

    I look forward to adding many more features to the site to make it a bit more user friendly. I've had some feedback this week, which I'll try and implement over the weekend.

    I read a book a few years ago written by Robert Kiyosaki. One of his principles mentioned in the book is to build your business around helping people, not making money. It kinda makes sense if you think about it. That's about the best way to build a looooong list of happy repeat customers.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    We're just being nice because you're new. Once you get to 1000 posts...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    We're just being nice because you're new. Once you get to 1000 posts...
    I better stop posting now...well soon anyways!

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    You've got a little room left to play with
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Email problem Alta Murray's Avatar
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    Yup, we get really nasty once your an old hand No, I can not begin to tell you how helpful everyone is, and when I teach my mantra is : There is no stupid question, just a stupid person not asking a question. So ask away...

    It is hillarious how the suppliers all got on the bandwagon, you get your price but you have to order the same day or they can not guarantee you the same price. Wish I could do that!

    We work on the same basis with our supplier, and it creates problems, but hey were are business folk so what is a few problems? I do hope that you have a good supplier which offer you good prices, otherwise I can give you the contact no of our supplier ( I don't get a kick-back, I just find that his prices are the best and the service will be great if you mention my name)

    We did check out your site, and the only think that I could find fooney(funny) is that you have some pretty weird stuff under software, I think that should go under games?

    The rest looks great, but the prices need some working on to be really competitive. And remember we all were green once, we are just old, very old now. Which does not mean that we can not learn a lot from you, so please feel free to evaluate my input and make up your own mind. Like Bill Gates said there is no replacement for bandwidth ( read IQ) but I really liked the whole feel of yer site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alta Murray View Post
    The rest looks great, but the prices need some working on to be really competitive. And remember we all were green once, we are just old, very old now. Which does not mean that we can not learn a lot from you, so please feel free to evaluate my input and make up your own mind. Like Bill Gates said there is no replacement for bandwidth ( read IQ) but I really liked the whole feel of yer site.
    Thanks so much. I had to make a call a while ago between having a few products that I manually loaded to make sure everything was 100%, or uploading 11,000 products in 20 seconds. I used the first option for a while, but it nearly killed my search engine rankings and traffic to my site in general. The latter option has increased my traffic tremendously. The only problem I'm stuck with at the moment is getting all the products sorted properly, and adding images for all of them. From there on, I will be able to update prices (for 11,000+ products), remove old items, add new items in a matter of seconds.

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