Purchasing departments that handle the procurement of chemicals often face customer service issues. The level of difficulty in resolving a problem that chemical buyers experience is usually inversely proportional to the size of the buying organization. Large com panies demand and receive a high level of service. Suppliers go out of their way to ensure that bulk buyers do not find any reason to com plain about their services. If something does go wrong, they immediately take up the issue and initiate corrective action.


Unfortunately, small and medium-sized chemical buyers do not receive similar levels of customer service. Emails written by the purchasing department to the supplier can remain unanswered. Even repeated phone calls can often fail to resolve a com plaint.

How can buyers who do not purchase large volumes of chemicals get their suppliers to give them better customer service? They cannot threaten the seller that they will divert their orders to another com pany. The volume of chemicals that they buy would not make a significant difference to the supplier’s total sales.

Happily, there is a solution available that will not only give small buyers an enhanced level of customer service, but will give them additional facilities as well.

Online platforms provide a greater level of customer service to buyers

When requesting a quotation from a supplier or when placing an order, the purchasing department of an organization buying chemicals usually needs access to certain information. This is especially true if the buyer is dealing with a supplier for the first time.

Is the chemical that is being procured available in different grades? Can the quantity being purchased be increased after the initial order is placed? Will this lead to a delay in shipment or will the lead time for delivery remain the same as for the initial volume?

Buyers will have a number of questions to be put to the supplier. A lack of response can delay the transaction. In fact, if the supplier does not revert on the queries being raised, the purchasing com pany could be in great trouble. Their com pany’s production process may get delayed, leading to an inability to fulfil a client’s order in time.

Small com panies can face problems of this type when dealing with suppliers in the traditional manner. However, if they are making purchases through an online marketplace, it is unlikely that their queries will remain unanswered.

A supplier that sells its products on an e-com merce site has to ensure that it replies to queries in time and meet its com mitments. Each buyer has the opportunity to rate the supplier. A negative rating given to a seller can adversely affect future business. Conversely, a positive recom mendation can result in higher sales volumes.

Most sellers would go to great lengths to preserve their online reputation. The level of service that they offer would be similar to the service that a seller would provide to a large buyer. In effect, the online platform provides small com panies with the ability to enjoy the benefits that are usually reserved for buyers who purchase in bulk.

In the unlikely event of a lack of response from a seller, the purchaser can ask the administrators of the platform for help.

Online com munities promoted by e-com merce sites are a great resource for buyers

A com pany that buys chemicals online may have a query that does not relate specifically to a particular seller. They may be looking for advice on the suitability of certain raw materials for a particular process. A buyer may also have a query regarding a technical issue.

Online platforms promote com munities where customers can help each other and share ideas. Buyers find this facility to be very useful as the members of the com munity deal with com mon issues and are often in the best position to help resolve a problem.

If you’re interested to read more, click here to read the new ebook:

“The future of (petro)chemical procurement”


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