“Excellence is the standard at Standard Coffee and we expected nothing less from our partnership with MAI. We heard nothing but positive feedback about their performance from the Standard Direct customer base – they truly handled our business as if it
was their own.”
Stanley W. Eilers, Standard Coffee
STANDARD COFFEE 'Standard Direct' Program
Standard Coffee is a full-service, brewed-beverage provider serving customers in the office, restaurant, hospitality and convenience store markets across America. Standard Coffee delivers beverage solutions ranging from brewed coffee and tea products, bottled water and juices to supplies, brewing equipment and water filtration systems.
In 2008, an in-depth analysis of Standard Coffee sales revealed that more than 2,000 of the company’s customers were located in areas which made its traditional route service approach unprofitable. Standard Coffee needed a solution for retaining sales from this large group of customers while eliminating the high costs associated with traditional route service.
MAI was engaged to develop a direct sales approach for this group of Standard Coffee customers. The program began in November 2008 and ran successfully through May 2012 when Standard Coffee was acquired by DS Waters. Among the steps taken to establish the Standard Coffee Direct program:
- Sales tools support analysis – MAI staff reviewed the Standard direct registration and ordering site from the customer’s perspective and made recommendations for improving ease-of-use, promotions, etc.
- Outbound registration program – Standard Coffee provided MAI with 2,000 customer contact records. MAI agents made introductory calls to these customers to explain the Standard Direct program and process. Registration and ordering assistance was also provided.
- Customer support protocol – MAI developed scripting to enable agents to efficiently respond to customer inquiries. Agents handled all equipment and service related issues as well as pricing, billing and delinquent payment arrangements.
- Integration with Standard Coffee’s AS400 – MAI agents utilized Standard Coffee’s own AS400 for customer maintenance and order management. A separate web-based application was also maintained for the purpose of tracking customer contact activity.
- On-going support – MAI agents made periodic follow up calls to direct customers on an established schedule. The purpose of the calls varied from simply inquiring about the customer’s satisfaction with the program to offering promotional items, samples and/or information
on new products.
- Customer retention – By tapping into MAI’s capabilities, Standard Coffee was able to retain brand loyalty and sales from approximately 2,000 customers who were previously deemed “unprofitable.”
- Bottom line profits – Serving as Standard Direct’s sales force, MAI was able to eliminate route expenses associated with servicing this customer group, transforming it from a liability to an asset.