With clients ranging from global corporations to mid-sized stationery customers and a thriving print production business, Advanced UK a Xerox Platinum Concessionaire, recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. No small feat these days and with over 1,400 MPS customers and 3,600 system installations it’s clear they have a winning and working strategy – with the average customer relationship lasting over 10 years.
I recently spoke with Marketing & Solutions Consultant, Tomasz Stefanski, to learn a few secrets to their success.
1. Focus on the customer
Advanced UK ties everything they do to a ‘customer first’ point of view because building a reputation on top-notch customer service is the key to longevity and it’s what helped them grow organically; “We’re always trying to find the answer for the customers’ needs and wants, and we listen, taking each of our customers on a journey”, said Tomasz.
- Routinely assessing document usage and other data for customers
- Improving usage strategies based on trends and advancements
- Using productivity increases and cost decreases as key metrics
- Putting value on service levels and attention to detail
Investing in customer needs is key too. For example, bringing Managed Print Service (MPS) support in-house is a big part of why they win and keep larger MPS accounts that span Europe. “We gain an advantage over the competition because we’re agile and can deliver what customers want, where they want it across all of Europe.” Said Tomasz.
2. Keep up with trends
Today’s customers want to stay current and informed and gravitate towards suppliers who understand how industry changes affect their bottom line. They also want easy-to-navigate information delivered timely. How do businesses address these customer needs successfully?
Advanced UK started by rebranding and refocusing. First, they critically analysed their website, products and services and chose 20 solutions as the staple of their growth strategy. Focusing this way informed a website redesign, which included streamlining routes to information and merging product and service categories to reduce clicks and improve user experience.
3. Marketing matters
Word of mouth helps, but it is not enough anymore. Understanding the importance of integrated marketing coupled with rebranding, keeps Advanced UK ahead of the competition.
With a little research on trends, Tomasz implemented a social media amplification strategy across Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. “Sharing engaging content is key”, he added and it’s increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to their new website whist improving their search rankings.
All of which works hand-in-hand with their reputation for excellent customer services and improves demand generation opportunities when new customers find them online.
4. A good partner
Advanced UK has always been mono-branded with Xerox. It’s a partnership they don’t take lightly and attribute much of their longevity to having the right partner. As Tomasz put it, “with Xerox, we have been able to develop multiple routes to success, we’re not just printers.”
He explained, “We reach our customers through production print, office supplies, managed print services, apps with ConnectKey platforms and we continually develop our portfolio so we can deliver the latest technology.” For Advanced UK, the technology Xerox offers through development and accusation is a driving force in their ability to stay ahead of the curve.
5. Be the first
As Tomasz pointed out, “we like to be first at everything.” This makes staying on top of print technology trends and understanding the customer needs paramount for their longevity and growth strategies. “Being first to market is best whenever possible”, he said, and their reputation rides on it. “We’ve been first often, starting with the first mono-branded Xerox partner in London, to completing the first high volume production installation in Europe.”
6. Invest in employees
Developing skills every day and investing in people drives longevity in the market. Advanced UK ensure that every team member has expertise and focus on customer service. “We train our people,” Tomasz said. Each employee attends 15 – 20 training sessions and workshops per year. Training is ingrained in the company culture, it elevates employees and associates the Advanced UK brand with expertise in print technology and services all of which serve the end goal of customer satisfaction.
“Advanced are one of our elite group of Xerox Platinum Partners who provide Xerox Technology and Solutions. Advanced are always looking at ways to innovate their business in every changing market place. They work hard to ensure Loyalty and a great customer experience. The team are always responsive and proactive to customer needs. They have become Market innovators in the Production marketplace and are enjoying many awards and accolades. It has been my pleasure to work with them as their Channel Business Manager.” Samantha Hopkins, Xerox.