Is It Proper to Let Clients Ask Manufacturers to Solve Problems? Leave a comment

Case

I am a business personnel in a foreign trade company. Recently, after a batch of goods were exported to Japan, there were some quality problems. The client asked us to send someone to solve it at once. I fed back the problem to the manufacturer, and he was also willing to send technicians to Japan to deal with the problem. If it was confirmed that the manufacturer was responsible, he was willing to repair or replace the product. I thought it was feasible to have the factory technicians go to Japan directly to deal with it. But I was not a technician, and I could not solve the specific problem. So I suggested that the client should talk about this issue with manufacturers directly.

But the management of the company believes that even if the factory sends people to Japan to deal with quality problems, they should be in the name of our company. And I, as the person in charge of the contract, must go to Japan with technicians. And they criticized me for not having a business sense. I did not understand. What do you think about this?

Analysis

I also feel that your idea is not good.

In terms of trade relations, even if problems are caused by the manufacturer, the contract between you and the client is signed independently. And your contract with the manufacturer is also independent. Therefore, there is no direct contractual relationship between the manufacturer and the client. In other words, the act of letting clients and manufacturers directly settle problems may not be a problem in itself. But if they come into direct contact without your company, many issues cannot be discussed.

For example, the price you quote to the client is not the price you get from the factory. So it cannot be discussed openly when it comes to the claim. If they talk about the claim frankly, your profit will be clear. Then they may be willing to deal directly, no longer through your company. Therefore, foreign trade companies generally do not give clients chances to direct contact manufacturers. Even if it is necessary, you rarely talk directly about money, only technical issues, quality issues, etc.

Suggestion

Generally, encountering problems like this, even if you are business personnel,  you should also join in the handling of things. For example, you take the factory technicians to communicate with clients’ technical staff. The factory technicians go to deal with the problem as representatives or relevant people of your company. Claims or problems should be dealt with in the presence of all three parties. Or you can only talk to the manufacturer and the customer separately. After all, you signed separate contracts with them.

It is not appropriate for your company not to send people to join in the handling of this issue. On the one hand, it seems that you do not attach importance to this matter. On the other hand, you also allow clients to contact the factory directly. In other words, you gave them the opportunity to marginalize yourself. Then they may be willing to deal directly, no longer through your company.

As a trading company, providing customers with services to makes them reassure and trust you, they are willing to continue to work with you. If something goes wrong, but you ignore it, it is difficult to let customers trust you.

From this point of view, I think you need a deeper understanding of the role of foreign trade companies. You should liberate yourself from a single trade or profit, and consider long-term cooperation at a higher level and how to establish a relationship between the manufacturer and the customer.

 

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