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3 Steps to Optimize Your Customer’s Journey 3 Steps to Optimize Your Customer’s Journey

Written by Emily on September 6, 2022

Emily / September 6, 2022

It’s important for vending companies to understand a breakroom customer’s journey. Why? Because it is the key to attracting new business, matching a buyer with the right breakroom services, and closing a deal that will satisfy your customer for years to come.

If you’re looking to grow your breakroom services client list, try our 3 step process for success in the customer journey.

Step 1: Be Where Your Customers Are

Ask yourself this question: if an office or facility manager runs a Google search for ‘vending services near me,’ will they find your business? And if it does appear, where is it on the page?

Ideally, your vending business is a top result on the first page. That way all potential customers see it. But how does it get there? A great vending marketing plan is a good start.

However, there is more to effective vending marketing than just being seen on Google. Publishing blogs and articles will help reinforce your vending industry expertise and establish your company as a service leader. In addition, strong social media posts will help you establish a personal connection with potential buyers. It will also ensure you are top-of-mind to those looking for vending services.

Step 2: Anticipate (and Answer) Your Customer’s Questions

Over 90% of business-to-business (B2B) buyers conduct research online and the most popular resource is a supplier’s website. Does your vending website give potential customers the information they need? Many office and facility managers complain of a significant gap between the questions they have and what breakroom service providers share on their websites. Therefore, to win new business, you must provide potential clients with a website that is easy to navigate and filled with the information they want. It can really help to enlist a digital marketing specialist who knows what drives buyers and how to showcase your breakroom services to match.

Customer's Journey | Vending CustomerStep 3: Bring It All Together to Seal the Deal

Once you have the attention of your potential breakroom service customer, then what? How do you prove that you are the best choice so they reach out and ultimately sign a contract? The answer is ensuring everything comes together online to provide a great user experience. From powerful SEO to engaging content to lead capturing technologies, a full-circle approach is needed to showcase your business, interest buyers, and capture leads. When your outreach is seamless, informative, engaging, and complete, then it’s easy to close the sale.

Ready to enhance your vending marketing to impress customers? VendCentral is dedicated to assisting breakroom service providers with vending marketing, including enriching the customer’s journey. Contact us for help navigating online marketing and creating strong business leads.

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VendCentral: Spreading Good Karma VendCentral: Spreading Good Karma

Written by Jen on August 23, 2022

Jen / August 23, 2022

Five years ago, we shared the philosophy of Karmic Management and how it influenced VendCentral’s team and business approach.  Our founder, Neil Swindale, connected with the concept when he first read the book Karmic Management many years prior and its principles continue to shape the way our company operates and grows. Today, the idea of good karma is still one of the cornerstones of our vending marketing agency. Here are some of the biggest ways it is impacting our own people and our relationships with clients.

Do for Others

We believe in putting out into the world what we hope to get back. Because of that, VendCentral nurtures an honest and ethical team with a strong desire to do for others. We know it is just as much our people as our business practices that turn new customers into long-term clients. We aim to foster a supportive community within the vending industry and to lend a hand to hardworking breakroom operators, whether they are our clients or not.  To us, it’s just as important as hitting profit goals. In our practice of doing for others, we have been fortunate to gain valuable friends and business relationships in the vending industry and grow our revenues.

New Business | Breakroom Services | Online MarketingBuild the Connection

Our relationships with our clients are just that: relationships. And, we know a great relationship can’t result from two people just doing their own thing. We invest in building a connection with our clients that generates positive energy for us both. The foundation of that relationship is communication, collaboration, and respect. Through it, we gain a deeper understanding of our client’s business goals. For those relationships to be strong long-term, VendCentral invests in learning, growing, and adapting to our client’s changing needs. It has allowed us to exceed our client’s expectations as they evolve.

Be Comfortable with Change

Growing a small business is the result of being open and responsive to change all of the time.  And in the world of digital marketing things are changing all of the time too.  Our mindset is to view change as an opportunity, even when it’s hard. Change, in itself, is the constant we can always count on in the vending industry, in digital marketing, and in our own lives as well.

Live (and work) with Purpose

Personally, and professionally, we believe life is much fuller when we live it with purpose.  Our purpose at VendCentral is to use our talents to help vending operators succeed online.  Through authentic customer engagement, we drive new businesses to increase their sales and profits. For us, it means more than building vending websites or developing marketing programs. It means helping family-run operators thrive. It means secure jobs for route drivers.  It means spreading the word on what better breakroom services can do for employees and communities across the nation.  It means spreading good karma.

VendCentral is laser-focused on supporting the vending industry.  To discover how our marketing programs can help you achieve your sales goals contact us or call (866) 699-8363.

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ZippyAssist Improves Service and Profits for Operators ZippyAssist Improves Service and Profits for Operators

Written by Jen on April 28, 2022

Jen / April 28, 2022

The refreshment services industry is buzzing about ZippyAssist. The powerful but simple-to-use customer service platform is seeing tremendous growth in the marketplace this year and there is good reason for all the excitement. ZippyAssist can be used from any mobile device and it offers speedy support for customers in unattended environments like micro-markets, vending machines, and office coffee locations. Here we dig into the big reasons why ZippyAssist is receiving a warm welcome from operators in the refreshment services industry.

Easy refunds

One of ZippyAssists’ key advantages is how easy it is to issue a refund online through electronic payment systems like Venmo and PayPal. When a customer submits a refund request through their mobile device, a breakroom operator can see and authorize the request right away, with the customer then automatically reimbursed if they choose an online option. Breakroom operators love ZippyAssists’ focus on simplicity and ease-of-use, with the new online refund feature just the latest example of this attention to improving the customer experience. And for customers themselves, having their money refunded without unnecessary hassle and delays is a game-changer.

Reduced Costs

Calls and emails for customer service issues are drastically reduced when customers shift to ZippyAssist. The ZippyAssist dashboard allows multiple members of an operator’s team to see and manage the service requests submitted. Customer service representatives spend less time receiving and forwarding issues for follow-up. Instead, they can focus on other tasks and become more productive.

Increased Business Intelligence

A key feature of the ZippyAssist platform is its reporting capabilities. Breakroom operators are now able to access information and identify trends in the types of customer service requests submitted. If problems arise more frequently on a particular driver’s route or with a particular customer or piece of equipment those issues can be recognized and resolved more quickly.

ZippyAssist | Digital Refunds | VendCentral

Improved sales

Breakroom operators are using ZippyAssist to market themselves above the competition, and they are noticing it instills a higher level of customer confidence from the very start. Operators report that ZippyAssist helps them demonstrate their commitment to superior customer service in a tangible way and allows them close deals with new accounts more quickly. Sales improvements have also been seen with existing customers. Problems are resolved more quickly, missed sales are avoided, and client satisfaction is higher.

For breakroom operators looking to elevate their customer service, save costs, boost sales, and enjoy more productive operations, ZippyAssist is an easy choice. Getting started is simple and the platform can be up and running in a few short weeks. Want to try it out?  Click here for a 14-day free trial. Or schedule a quick demo of ZippyAssist to learn more.

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How Blogs Create a Deeper Connection with Customers How Blogs Create a Deeper Connection with Customers

Written by Jen on April 14, 2022

Jen / April 14, 2022

Operators and manufacturers are using blogs more and more to connect with customers, display their expertise, promote their breakroom products & equipment, and generate leads. 

There are many ways to keep blogs engaging for breakroom customers. But what types of content work well in a blog? Read on to discover ideas for incorporating interesting and relevant blog content into your digital strategy. And stay tuned until the end to learn one of the biggest benefits of creating blogs.

Answer FAQ’s

It is easy for breakroom operators to identify frequently asked questions when servicing their clients. Write blogs that can be used as a customer service tool for answering them. Consider sending these blog articles to your clients proactively to show you are in tune with their needs and have resources to help them.

Promote New Products & Brands

Use blogs to let your clients know you are working hard to keep your snack, beverage, and fresh food assortments new and exciting. Blog articles are an interesting way to explore new flavors, brands, and seasonal items.

Explore Breakroom Trends

The refreshment services industry is constantly evolving and there are always new ideas to share.  Blogs that identify and elaborate on breakroom trends are a valuable tool for your clients. They can also create opportunities for breakroom service and equipment upgrades. 

Equipment Information

Breakroom equipment is constantly innovating.  Write blogs that provide information on your most popular breakroom equipment – especially gourmet coffee brewers. These articles can help your clients maximize the use of their equipment and be helpful for troubleshooting problems too.

Industry expertise

Use blog articles as an outlet for demonstrating your industry knowledge. It will show you stay on top of what is happening in the industry and reinforce your company as a leader in refreshment services.

Build Trust

Blogs are a great way to establish a deeper connection with your clients, build trust, and enhance your company’s brand image. Use these articles to get a little personal. Share your company’s values, highlight outstanding employees, or explain what you are doing to contribute to your community. 

There are so many ways blogs can be useful for your breakroom customers. The added benefit? Blogs are one of the best ways to attract new customers and generate leads for your website. Blogs are often rich in industry keywords, improving your company’s SEO and search engine ranking. 

Marketing Blogs | Breakroom Operators | Digital Strategy

Blog articles published to your company’s website remain online far longer than any social media post. This means its content will continue to be helpful to your existing clients and effective in driving new website traffic for years to come.

VendCentral specializes in creating thoughtful and impactful digital marketing content for the refreshment services industry. If you would like to learn more about our marketing programs visit our website or call us at (866)699-8363

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Use Testimonials to Help Seal the Deal Use Testimonials to Help Seal the Deal

Written by Jen on March 16, 2022

Jen / March 16, 2022

Client testimonials are a mighty way to influence buyers of breakroom services – and operators who incorporate them into their digital marketing strategy are using a proven tactic to drive sales. Here we explore why testimonials work, how to obtain them, and where to incorporate them in your digital marketing strategy.

Why testimonials work

Buyers in every industry use the internet to search for new products and services and the refreshment services industry is no different.  A great company website can impress and inform but client testimonials go one step further in establishing trust and converting leads to customers.  In fact, 85% of buyers find testimonials as valuable as a personal recommendation from a friend or colleague.

Client testimonials can also have a positive impact on SEO. When testimonials are specific, they often contain “search worthy” keywords.  And, if properly promoted, they can boost your website’s ranking in organic search results. Better rankings drive more traffic to your site. Testimonials that include specific recommendations are also a great way to increase the awareness of particular products or services.  This can lead to upgrades with your existing customers too.

Obtaining testimonials

A great testimonial is often the result of great timing, so always keep the idea of collecting a testimonial top of mind.  Guide your customers toward providing the information you seek by asking them questions. Did your customer recently switch to single-cup coffee equipment? Ask them how their employees are enjoying the convenience.  Did they recently upgrade to pantry service? Invite them to tell you about their employees’ positive reaction to free snacks and beverages. Also ask them to share how your company handled communication, logistics, and service issues along the way.

Make it easy – The key to obtaining testimonials is to make it easy for your customers to contribute.  Email long-term customers to ask for a few words on your company’s behalf – and give them a prompt or a few simple questions to answer. If your customers are willing to provide you with a testimonial but are short on time, offer to co-write one with them or prepare one for them. Remember, if you are writing a testimonial on your customer’s behalf, be sure to get their approval before using it.

If you are reaching out to a relatively new customer, a quick call to check in on how things are going might be a better option.  If they respond favorably them, follow up with a request to quote them in an upcoming testimonial.  They will be pleased to know you value their comments.

Consider video – Video testimonials are growing in popularity, so consider getting a few of your own. According to LinkedIn, 79% of consumers say they have watched a video testimonial to learn more about a company, product, or service. Video testimonials don’t have to be rehearsed.  Many buyers love their authenticity. So, if you are on-site installing a new micro-market or hosting a fresh food or coffee tasting, seize the moment!  Speak with your client directly and obtain a video testimonial on the spot.

Regardless of how you obtain your testimonials, tailor them to be as detailed as possible.  In addition to the SEO benefits, buyers find detailed testimonials more unique, relevant, and tangible.

Customer Reviews | B2B Marketing | VendCentral

Marketing testimonials

Once you have obtained a variety of testimonials, it’s time to put them to work!

Showcase them on your website – If your company has acquired a lot of testimonials, it deserves a testimonial page on your website.  But, if you are still gathering them, don’t wait to show them off.  Testimonials are a perfect addition to a company’s home page or about page.  Sprinkling relevant testimonials on pages dedicated to specific breakroom products or services can provide key information right where buyers are seeking it too.

Post on Social Media – A steady stream of positive customer feedback posted on social media has many benefits.  Fresh new content that validates your breakroom services is always a win.  Including backlinks will drive traffic to specific pages on your website that pertain to your client’s testimonial too. Also, don’t forget to tag your clients who provide the testimonial.  Your post will be seen by all of your clients’ connections and your company will gain valuable exposure to prospects who value your client’s opinions.

Share as a Google Review – Ask your customers to post their testimonial (or a portion of it) as a Google Review and offer to show them how.  A positive Google Review will further enhance your company’s credibility and boost its ranking on Google search.

Client testimonials are an important component of your digital marketing strategy and can go a long way in influencing buyers of breakroom services. Unbiased input from customers in similar circumstances can certainly enhance lead generation and validate a buyer’s decision to become a customer. But, don’t underestimate how the process of collecting testimonials can enhance your relationships with existing customers too. The experience shows them you value their honest feedback and care about their input.  The information your clients share can praise what you are doing right, identify employees who are going above and beyond or offer chances for breakroom upgrades.  However, it can also reveal opportunities for improvement. Acting on your clients’ feedback, positive or negative, will help ensure you retain them for years to come.

VendCentral helps operators and manufacturers in the refreshment services industry with digital marketing strategies, website development, written content and creative design.   Contact us for a free consultation.

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Online Ordering: Boosting Profits for Breakroom Operators Online Ordering: Boosting Profits for Breakroom Operators

Written by Christine on February 9, 2022

Christine / February 9, 2022

Gone are the days when placing an online order was considered a luxury. It is now an expectation for customers, including those in the refreshment services industry. But, online ordering not only makes it easy for OCS customers to order products where and when it’s convenient for them.  It’s a legitimate way for breakroom operators to increase sales and cut operational costs.

That is why VendCentral recently teamed with Supply Wizards to help our clients add and promote online ordering capabilities. Supply Wizards specializes in the refreshment services industry. Their online ordering system is fast and easy to implement. Plus, it can function independently or seamlessly integrate with your existing vending management system.

Are you a breakroom operator interested in upgrading from taking orders via phone, email, and fax? Want to explore a streamlined, more reliable process? If so, read more to learn the many benefits Supply Wizards can provide.

A personalized experience for your customers

Supply Wizards allows you to customize your online store by individual customer account. Do you have a variety of pricing, payment terms, or product offerings in your contracts?  No problem.  Each customer has their own login to the online ordering platform and a unique experience based on their contract. You can even provide budget tracking in the system for customers who request it.

Increased order sizes

Online ordering not only increases customer satisfaction and loyalty. It can also boost sales by encouraging customers to order more. Supply Wizards builds an intuitive product recommendation feature into their platform. And the power of suggestive selling is real.  Customers often add on recommended items or additional products available to them through the browse feature. Studies have shown that 52% of customers on the Supply Wizards ordering platform use these features.  This means a bigger average order size for you.   In fact, breakroom operators report an average order increase of 14% after implementing Supply Wizards for their OCS customers.

Influence over what’s purchased

In addition to the recommended products feature, the Supply Wizards platform includes dedicated space for promotional ads. VendCentral can work with you to design promotions that move slow sellers, introduce new products, or reward customers for buying more. For clients on select marketing programs, VendCentral can further promote these specials through exclusive website features, social media, or email campaigns.

Online Ordering | Supply Wizards | Customer Convenience | VendCentral

Streamlined operations

Staffing shortages have become a significant pain point for breakroom operators. Keeping up with customer orders across various methods can be time-consuming, create bottlenecks in the system, and cause inaccuracies that lead to dissatisfied OCS customers. Supply Wizards streamlines order management for more efficient back-end operations. Orders can now be processed by your team with little to no manual effort. Breakroom operators using Supply Wizards report significant decreases in operational expenses – enough savings that the Supply Wizards system actually pays for itself.

Better inventory management

One of the biggest challenges for breakroom operators is efficiently managing their inventory. Supply Wizards seamlessly integrates into your existing vending management system. Once items are set as out of stock, they are automatically hidden from the customer’s view on the Supply Wizards ordering platform. They will not reappear on the ordering platform until they are acknowledged as back in your inventory.

An online ordering system can be a powerful addition to your website – loved by your existing customers and impressive to new prospects.  With Supply Wizards, adding online ordering to your website is easy and completed in only a few short weeks.  In the end, the only thing breakroom operators wish is that they had done it sooner.  If you are ready to see the Supply Wizards ordering platform in action, VendCentral can help.  We will arrange a quick demo and show you how we can help launch and promote your new online ordering capabilities. Contact us and our team will help you get started!

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