‘Plan for change’ was the message from Jon Purdy, EMEA Director of Customer Experience at Kimberly-Clark, and Lord Jon Mendelsohn, formerly Labour’s business and international trade spokesperson in the House of Lords, at the Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association’s (CHSA) prestigious House of Commons event.
Stephen Kerr MP, who prior to entering Parliament in 2017 was EMEA Sales Operations Leader at Kimberly-Clark, is the CHSA’s unpaid Parliamentary Adviser. He hosted the event.
“To stay relevant now and in the future, businesses must understand their customers,” explained Purdy. “Advancements in technology, connected devices and data has led to a digital transformation that is changing the way people operate in many aspects of their day to day lives, not only from personal perspective but also in their working world.
“This change is driving three key trends in how customers want to interact with companies in the business-to-business market. Our customers have moved online in their personal lives. They search for information and transact there and expect the same in the corporate world. People have got used to getting everything they want at the click of a button, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. These same expectations are being carried forward to the business-to-business environment. Finally, customers now expect that communication and support is tailored to their preferences and delivered in a way that suits them.
“To be relevant now and in the long term, companies need to recognise and respond to this never-ending process of change and adapt the way they communicate and support customers to deliver strong customer experiences.”
Lord Mendelsohn praised the CHSA’s commitment to standards but warned members to be aware of and ready for changes in the wider economic environment. “The Association’s focus on standards in the sector is to be applauded. This commitment, however, will not be enough in the long term. The sector needs to be alert to the ever changing commercial and economic environment. Brexit is getting closer so it’s essential to prepare and secure the proper regulatory environment, and the concept of ‘clean growth’, environmentally sustainable growth, is beginning to dominate. Companies in the cleaning and hygiene sector need to be aware of these and other factors and plan their strategy accordingly.”
Stephen Harrison, Chairman of the Cleaning & Hygiene Sector, said: “Members who joined us at the House of Commons received valuable insights into the macro trends affecting consumer behaviour and how these trends are changing the way our customers want to do business. Anyone not already doing so, needs to adapt their business accordingly. Those slow to respond may find life increasingly difficult in the coming years.
“We will be running more events such as this one, giving our members the information they need to remain competitive and stay ahead.”