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DEC 24 2012

Economy and Rising Costs Top Customer Concerns in PotashCorp Annual Survey

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Pricing, reliability, quality, economic concerns and market volatility top the list of pressing business issues for PotashCorp customers, according to the results of our recent customer survey.

While responses differ between our fertilizer, feed, industrial nitrogen and purified phosphoric acid customers on industry-specific topics, concerns common to all sectors include economic and market factors that could or do affect their businesses, along with availability of quality products.

PotashCorp’s annual customer survey measures satisfaction with our products and services and our performance relative to our competitors. From this information, we learn where we stand in the industry and where we need to focus on improving.

Overall, customers – who were asked to rate PotashCorp and competing companies on a scale of 1 to 100 – were pleased with the company’s performance in key areas, including:

 • Sales representative’s knowledge of product line – 91
 • Sales representative’s knowledge of industry issues – 90
 • Sales representative’s knowledge of your business – 88
 • Quality of product – 93
 • Reliability of long-term supply – 92
 • Ease of placing an order – 92
 • Response/follow-up to any problems or questions – 91


“Our annual survey provides an invaluable snapshot of our customer performance and essential insights that will fuel our ongoing improvements in the future,” said Chris Reynolds, PotashCorp’s Vice President Fertilizer Sales and Trinidad Ammonia.

“We’re grateful for our customers’ cooperation in this research every year. It allows us to uncover an in-depth understanding of their changing needs and informs us of the products and services they require for their ongoing success.”

More than 85 percent of customer survey respondents indicated that PotashCorp is doing the best job communicating market updates and reporting on industry news and developments.  This critical information is provided year-round via customer newsletters and market analysis reports.

Pricing and other economic issues ranked as top concerns for fertilizer customers who participated in the survey. Some fertilizer respondents noted that risk management issues coupled with declining markets were major issues affecting their business.  In addition, several customers said they were constantly working to balance fertilizer purchases with grower demand to ensure they had adequate supply.

Respondents told PotashCorp we must remain committed to North American growers and maintain the timely movement of product to domestic customers through regional warehouses.  We also must continue to provide high-quality products that meet grower needs and help keep customers competitive. Respondents said pricing, quality, reliability and customer service are all key components of a successful relationship with a fertilizer supplier.

Customers in this sector credited PotashCorp’s sales representatives with knowing the most about their businesses as well as agronomy issues and product lines. Nearly 90 percent of fertilizer respondents named PotashCorp the leader in product quality.

Among our feed buyers, reliability and availability of supply were of key importance, followed by knowledgeable staff, alternative ingredients and environmental compliance.

Feed customers rated PotashCorp higher than its competitors in the areas of product quality, long-term supply reliability and all facets of customer service. More than 75 per cent of these respondents named PotashCorp the best in the industry at meeting feed phosphate customer standards for product quality.

Industrial customers expressed high levels of satisfaction with the company’s product services.  Ninety-five percent of industrial nitrogen customers and 92 percent of purified phosphoric acid customer respondents named PotashCorp number one in product quality.

In five key areas of customer service, both nitrogen and purified phosphoric acid customers consistently ranked PotashCorp higher than competitors.  These areas ranged from industry experience of PotashCorp sales representatives, to customers’ confidence in the company’s long-term ability to meet their needs.

In response to the question “What’s keeping you up at night?”, industrial nitrogen customers reported rising prices and market volatility as their leading issues of concern, while purified phosphoric acid customers noted economic and financial issues as a major area that is affecting their business.

 “At PotashCorp, we work every day to ensure our customers have the quality products they need to run successful businesses,” Reynolds said.

“These positive survey results encourage us to continue improving our customer service and product quality and reinforces our commitment to serving fertilizer, feed, nitrogen and purified phosphoric acid buyers to the best of our ability.”

An independent research firm compiled customer responses to the in-depth, quantitative and qualitative online survey. Customers from the fertilizer, industrial nitrogen, purified phosphoric acid and feed sectors answered questions about their interactions with PotashCorp, including relationships with salespeople, the ordering process, ongoing communications, product delivery and PotashCorp’s follow-through or response to concerns.


 

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