Post Sale Team VoC strategy (Voice of the Customer) is critical to IoT (Internet of Things) customer retention.
What happens to the Buyers Journey once the product, service, platform or equipment is installed in the smart manufacturing plant or IoT workplace?
Think about it.
Post sale support teams have front row seats to observe not only symptomatic post sale problems. These teams also can identify factors contributing to the root causes of the situation.
Post sale VoC team strategy creates value for customers by offering triage while executing your organization’s customer retention strategy. These teams have hybridized skills. Their skills are particularly valuable after the sale: when sales and engineering promises meet the reality of daily end user workplace experience.
Become visible throughout the IoT smart enterprise by deploying a post sale team VoC strategy.
The key to leveraging a post sale team VoC strategy is to gain greater visibility throughout the client’s organization. Why continue to bury business value only within the department or division in which the solution is placed?
Enhance the long term business value of your offering. Target making your solution, and your support people, critical to the quality of business outcomes throughout the client enterprise. That is customer retention strategy in my Playbook.
Enlightened organizations take their post sale team VoC strategy a step further. They utilize captured insights from end user experience to catalyze innovation, for both your and your clients’ organizations.
This strategy, put into practice, differentiates your organization from competitors. The type of information gleaned is so granular – and enticing – that teams (yours and theirs) become motivated, proactive and creative. Why continue to fix what is broken when you can innovate so it does not break in the first place?
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a structured approach to defining customer needs or requirements and translating them into specific plans to produce products to meet those needs. The “voice of the customer” is the term to describe these stated and unstated customer needs or requirements. The voice of the customer is captured in a variety of ways: direct discussion or interviews, surveys, focus groups, customer specifications, observation, warranty data, field reports, etc. This understanding of the customer needs is then summarized in a product planning matrix or “house of quality”. These matrices are used to translate higher level “what’s” or needs into lower level “how’s” – product requirements or technical characteristics to satisfy these needs.
Post sale Team VoC Strategy liberates teams from status quo, break-fix mode.
Field ops, tech and customer support teams are best poised to capture the voice of end user experience (UX) within the IoT smart plant ecosystem. Do you deploy them in this manner?
Traditionally, these support teams have tactical interactions with customers. They interface with customers when machines do not work or there is a meltdown in customer experience with software interfaces or quality of service delivery.
This status quo scenario creates Voice of the Customer tunnel vision. Teams are deployed in reaction to a negative customer experience. Alternatively, how about deploying teams proactively to determine opportunities for innovation and collaboration?
Also, what happens when team VoC strategy focuses on the dynamics of customer-team interactions in creating value? Use their insights to catalyze product innovation and equipment efficiency and performance as well as best-in-class quality and service delivery.
Target line of business value creation, even while your teams fix what is broken.
Utilize post sale team VoC insights to create the types of product, equipment, service and platform innovations which create line of business value for clients. Gain greater visibility within your clients’ enterprises.
Utilize your new strategic weapon: post sale support teams focused on Voice of the Customer. Create a continuum of valuable customer experience and customer success business cases particularly relevant to the dynamic IoT workplace and smart plant ecosystem.
Innovate to retain customers. Move beyond only fixing what is broken.
Babette Ten Haken is a writes, speaks and coaches about customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical teams. She serves manufacturing, IT and engineering intensive companies. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Image author: ake1150 Image source: Fotolia
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