Do you pay enough attention to the quality of presale customer experiences your teams create?
Typically, the post sale process receives all the attention, in terms of measuring customer experience. In my playbook, start connecting the customer experience dots during presale.
Why? Paying attention to presale environments provides context for determining whether the customer will be retained.
That scenario places a premium on presale activities that showcase just what it’s going to be like working with you, your teams and your company. Especially when you live up to promises made and expectations set during presale activities and interactions.
No matter what you sell, lease or design, a client becomes deeply connected to your organization, should they sign that contract. No wonder they are skeptical and hesitant, presale.
The machinery, software and people living in industrial Internet of Things environments create an ecosystem of performance expectations.
A competitive smart plant environment creates a dynamic organizational IIoT ecosystem. That environment is a big move away from legacy mindset.
In IIoT environments, customers expect better and better performance over the lifecycle of their relationship with you. They do not expect their investment to remain as good as the day they purchased it. That’s old-school, post-industrial mindset.
The presale environment presents a great opportunity for addressing how your offerings will become better and better. After all, the conditions in which your products and services are used will, indeed, become better and better over time.
My advice: Take advantage of presale opportunities to determine just what else is planned for that manufacturing plant, post sale. Focus on becoming better and better.
The hallmark of the IIoT ecosystem is that everything and everyone is connected to everything and everyone else.
That scenario means that every purchase decision has an integrated cause-and-effect on many other decisions being made. Consider the following three areas in which clients will evaluate the business value of your offering.
For starters, investment in IIoT assets like equipment, software, service, integration consulting, you-name-it, can be significant. That presale scenario makes everyone involved a bit skeptical of trying new things and moving away from what’s comfortable.
Cost of connectivity
Also, interoperability and connectivity are challenged. Speaking about moving away from what’s comfortable. The cost of moving away from the status quo includes updates and upgrades to existing infrastructure. No IIoT purchase is considered on a stand-alone, independent basis. Factor this variable into the total investment you ask potential clients to make. They already include cost of connectivity in their decision making.
Utilizing new, connected assets impacts how people work. Today’s multigenerational workforce has an opportunity to become the test bed, champions and architects of tomorrow’s workplace ecosystem. The perceived ease of adoption (or lack of) for new products and platforms creates workplace angst. Anticipate this situation. Address it presale. Set the stage for smoother launch and implementation, post sale.
Presale customer experience also is about how the presale team becomes better and better, post sale.
During presale, you have an excellent opportunity to demonstrate far more than your products, software and equipment.
Perhaps your greatest IIoT organizational assets are the presale and post sale teams that clients interact with. These teams are the building blocks responsible for creating and maintaining customer success.
How integrated and interoperable are these professionals into your presale customer acquisition and post sale customer retention strategies?
When you demonstrate that your teams have the capability to become better and better, just as your products and services undoubtedly will, it’s gold. Execution of that type of IIoT team strategy involves collaborating across professional disciplines, on behalf of your clients.
How many of your potential clients remain stuck in pre-sale mode? Has this blog post impacted how you develop IIoT presale customer experience, moving forward?
Babette Ten Haken writes, speaks, consults and coaches about collaborative value creation for customer success and customer retention. She connects the dots between strategy and execution. She works across leadership, human capital / HR and technical/IT/engineering teams within the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Her focus? Creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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