It seems clear that every type of business relies on customers. They build a market reputation from many factors and thereby earn an appropriate measure of “customer goodwill.”
From a merger and acquisitions view, Investopedia defines “goodwill” as an intangible asset.
Meaning the value represented by the quality of the company’s brand name, customer base and relations and employee relations as reflected by the perceived total value of the company in excess of book value and any patents or proprietary technology (paraphrased).
The M&A definition reflects the outcome or result of a company’s efforts. This is typically measured at the time of a sale of the company. Of the same nature but perhaps different, the “goodwill” on my mind is built at the day to day operational level.
In my view, goodwill is better defined by the actual quality of the customer experience.
This is evident by whether the company carries an earned reputation for professionalism, exceptional service levels, and administrative efficiency. It includes the seamless exchange of transactional records and financial data.
It is not how the company views its customers, but rather, it is how the customers view the company.
In its most practical sense, it boils down to this question. Will the customer return tomorrow if he or she has an expectation for the same service quality received today?
Or measured another way, does the customer experience today drive return business tomorrow? That’s it. Pretty simple, right?
What factors influence how our customers view the quality of their experience with us? Consider these:
- Our ability to demonstrate the competence to understand the customer’s business and service requirements.
- The ability to offer/provide services in a clear pricing model.
- The ability to accurately exchange operations data in real time.
- Our ability to support efficient administrative engagement.
- The consistency of our performance on a day in and day out basis.
These among others determine whether a freight customer will come back tomorrow.
Many professionals in the transportation and logistics space can recount years and years of accomplishments. They’ve crossed the span of the entire market, less than truckload, intermodal, truckload, ocean, air, specialized, heavy haul, and even warehousing.
Some prefer to remain highly focused on a single or just a few modes or service lines. Others enjoy the breadth of having all arrows in their quiver.
Regardless whether you sell one, some, or “all of the above” service lines, you know your customer’s businesses. You know what it takes to meet your customer’s service requirements, from both experience and the whiteboard.
You have seen it all. From the challenges of your efforts toward service excellence and probably hurting your head trying to understand how your company’s technology platform can support it all.
When your company asks you to sign some form of a non-disclosure, non-solicitation, and/or a non-compete agreement, you could be trading away your own piece of the goodwill pie.
Imagine that next great job opportunity with a company. They’ve impressed you enough to consider a change, a pay increase, and the path to career growth and success in exchange for your goodwill. What do you do?
What is your goodwill worth? A Paycheck and Bonus? Job security? Benefits? Friends?
At AGX Freight Group, our sales professionals own their customer goodwill or “book of business.”
Our business model recognizes the time, sweat, and effort these professionals invest to build customer goodwill. Their relationships follow them for their professionalism, the knowledge of their customer’s businesses, their integrity, and a genuine sense of relationship “goodwill.”
For us, our mission is simple.
We provide a versatile platform and high reputation for finance, risk management/safety and compliance, technology, and transaction processing. Sales and operations specialists can launch and run their business to achieve their greatest success.
All without fear of losing their customer goodwill, because we know it’s the most valuable business asset they own.
Mike Williams, President