When you hear about collaborative customer experiences, you think about the folks “out there” to whom you sell. Consider, however, that we all sell our value to our professional networks as well. After all, we serve each other on a daily basis. Our actions translate into creating and managing collaborative customer relationships with our internal colleagues, first and foremost.
Everyone, indeed, becomes a collaborative customer of everyone else. Have you ever thought of your job functionality, let alone the focus of your midmarket C-Suite activity, from this perspective?
Your collaborative customers include everyone you come into contact with during each workday. Combined with the folks you deliver your throughput and output to, you create a continuous business development and delivery process.
Everyone has customers in the workplace. You probably prefer to collaborate with some colleagues more than others. Similarly, there are external customers for whom you do your best work: they bring out your best effort.
What if all of your midmarket customers brought out your best collaborative efforts?
When you strive to create a set of collaborative customers, both internally and externally, you move yourself, your team, and your company forward. You all get to the finish line together. That is the power of collaboration. It starts with the C-Suite as well as with you. Top down, bottom up.
Today’s globally competitive midmarket ecosystem requires collaborative individuals. While the focus of the C-Suite may be on creating collaborative relationships with external customers, the success of these initiatives firmly rests on growing internal collaborative customer relationships.
That initiative favors individuals who perceive themselves as the CEOs of their value systems, domain area expertise, and ambassadorial relationships with their colleagues. You become the CEO of yourself and your career. Just as the C-Suite forms a collaborative customer team, so you and your internal colleagues provide the daily throughput and output of that strategy.
Have you ever thought about your midmarket company and career in that manner?
Creating collaborative customer relationships involves more than just smiling and being nice to each other. Collaboration is fueled by shared expertise across corporate silos, as well as within silos. Collaboration involves putting your cards on the table rather than holding your hand close to your chest.
When your focus is collaborative customer throughput, the midmarket workplace ceases to become a competitive battlefield. Collaboration drives interchange of ideas across your organization. Collaboration fuels innovation, revenue, and profitability.
Your customers will recognize your differentiation as well. Everyone is a customer of everyone else. How will you implement that mindset this week?
Babette N. Ten Haken catalyzes collaborative business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers, engineers, small and midmarket manufacturers, and technical startups. Her book on collaboration strategies and tools, Do YOU Mean Business? Technical / Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, is available on Amazon.com.