|About the Book|
Consulting engineers could improve their sales efficiency by knowing their customers preferences for the frequency and duration of sales contacts. In spite of the emphasis of a customer-centric orientation, there is a lack of published researchMoreConsulting engineers could improve their sales efficiency by knowing their customers preferences for the frequency and duration of sales contacts. In spite of the emphasis of a customer-centric orientation, there is a lack of published research regarding customers preferences for sales contacts. The purpose of the study was to address the lack of guidelines for customers preferences. The theoretical foundations are customer relationship management and total quality management in which firms base decisions on information gathered from customers. The research design combined face-to-face interviews with exploratory descriptive statistical analysis. During interviews, representatives of 18 client organizations stated their preferences for the frequency and duration of visits and phone calls. The statistical analysis depicted the midpoints and distributions of these preferences. Average customer preferences were determined by calculating the mean and median of the customers responses. The resulting guidelines for the preferred frequency and duration of contacts by consultants were five visits/year at 1 hour/visit for visits, and nine calls/year at 15 minutes/call for telephone calls. The potential sales resulting from the guidelines for visits were validated using a sales forecasting model and a comparison with averages developed from previous studies. The significance of the research is that it will make sales contacts more effective for both customers and consultants by satisfying the customers preferences. This research contributes to positive social change by reducing the cost of services for public sector clients which should lead to lower costs for the consumers of public sector services.