Much has written about the role of leveraging customer experience in shaping the success of B2C giants like Apple®, Disney® and Starbucks®. How does your B2B company leverage customer experience to create a loyal and retained customer base?
You don’t have to be an industry giant before you create an enduring business model focused on leveraging customer experience. You can be a Company of One.
Leverage your understanding of customer experience. Differentiate yourself to your customers. Engage in value creation in the process.
If you manufacture stuff or work for an engineering or IT services company, you probably dismiss customer experience from your radar screen. In your mind, value is created through your engineering outcomes. Why worry about the experience a customer has when working with you, your team or your company?
If you don’t factor customer experience into your sales strategy, you will miss out on creating that “something extraordinary” which glues your customers to you. Let’s explore. Customer experience incorporates the quality, quantity and perceived value of all experiences a customer has with you and your company over the duration of your relationship. Make customer experience the focal point of your customer acquisition and retention strategies.
Here are three tips to keep customer experience top-of-mind. Incorporate leveraging customer experience into own selling habits. After a while, you will make customer experience part of your selling DNA.
- Customer experience is directly related to the length of your relationship with your customer. That relationship is longer than you think. The relationship starts when you initially engage that customer: socially, digitally, networking, you name it. That relationship doesn’t end once they sign the contract. Is your attention shifted to the next customer you want to acquire, 5 seconds after you obtain that digital signature on a contract? Refocus on the customer you just landed. They are in it for the long run. Make sure you are there with them for the duration of that customer’s lifecycle.
- Customer experience is nurtured and grown with more than just data. The more information you throw at customers, the more confused they become. Your competitors are creating data overload tsunamis. Why become lumped in with them? Develop a less-is-more strategy which relies on your ability to interpret data for your customers. Establish your expertise. Become their go-to resource. Differentiate yourself from being thought of as yet another order-taker sales person. Your goal is for customers to ask you “What do you think?” instead of “Can you provide these services?”
- Customer experience is value creation. At the end of the day, when buyers and decision makers are evaluating their vendors of choice, what will they say about you and your company? Are you creating headaches or euphoria for your customers? Your selling activities – and those of every non-sales member of your company – should be focused on the sustainability of your customers. If your customers endure, so does your own company. This customer retention strategy puts the quality of customer experience into play every day.
How will you incorporate customer experience into your selling strategy next month?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers like engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups to create sustainable business models and revenue strategies. Download her latest White Paper on Selling to Skeptical Decision Makers. This post first appeared on the salesforce Blog and is adapted and reprinted with this author’s permission.