Co-operation increases competivity

If the wishes by customers exceed the possibilities of a single company, many businesses just have to pass. This in 37% of all customers creates the impression that companies are not willing do deal with individual customer wishes. At the same time it would be so easy to surprise customers through co-operation with partners the product ranges of which round off one´s own product range.

These are the experiences made by participants of the competition “Germany´s most customer-oriented service provider in 2008” which was this year carried out for the third time by Steria Mummert Consulting, the University of St. Gallen, by the Handelsblatt magazine and ServiceRating.

Currently there are only a few companies which understand that co-operations are something very important. All sectors of the economy which were analysed in the course of the campaign paid too little attention to co-operation.

Companies often seem to forget that appealing products and services offered in co-operation with partners not only increase customer satisfaction and improve customer relations, but co-operation with other businesses also attracts new clients and may lead to a sustainable increase in turnover. Therefore, co-operations pay off to businesses as well. Studies showed that with regard to business clients turnover may be increased by up to 40%, if businesses develop products in co-operation with partners. Even though there are no data available for the business with private clients it is a truism that co-operations have a strong effect on relations with customers.

In particular service providers may benefit from co-operation by increasing their product range in order to provide a genuine value added in the form of services and convenience to their customers. Some service providers have understood this potential. In particular insurance companies offer comprehensive solutions through extra services made available through co-operation with various partners. Thus, car insurance companies co-operate with garages in order to provide clients with rapid and convenient repair services.

“This, however, is just the beginning. Numerous additional co-operations in order to fulfill clients´ increasing wishes are to be expected in in all fields of the economy in future. Take the example of new solutions in the health care industry, in the field of insurance against accident and with regared to household contents insurance”, says Dr. Christian Schareck, senior executive manager with Steria Mummert Consulting. Over the next years there will be plenty of potential for businesses to improve their competivity. GERMAN