Ah, the impact of experience conflicts on the performance of our customer retention strategy. Just when we think we have all the moving parts in order, someone in some department somewhere does something. That “something” completely disrupts customer experience equilibrium.
Perhaps experience conflicts are more important when detected prior to acquiring customers than they are when they occur during post-sale execution?
Now, the last thing sales people want to hear about is that there is a last thing they have to remain vigilant about. So I’m here today to discuss this “last thing.”
Sales leaders, and all leadership professionals of worth across the organization, regard the proactive identification of potential experience conflicts as their professional obligation. Not the last thing in a sales close “To Do” list. Or the first order of post-sales service when the problem occurs.
Detecting the potential for experience conflicts is the same conversation as talking to clients about predictive and prescriptive maintenance of Industry 4.0-connected manufacturing machinery. Why react when things go wrong? When, in fact, you can be proactive and anticipatory to keep things humming along nicely?
Customer retention strategy is about the impact of experience conflicts on the customer’s productivity and profitability.
Staying in front of customer experience is the responsibility of everyone involved in serving that customer. Pre- and post-sale. No exceptions.
Ideally, there are no experience conflicts. However, as long as every department across the organization measures customer experience with a different set of metrics, service quality delivery gaps are created. Additionally, as long as every department across the organization has a different set of KPIs, with no overlapping fields of comparison, experience conflicts will arise.
Also, when innovators are sequestered from order-takers within the organization, there is a gap in tribal knowledge which impacts new product development. Everyone is very busy working full time at only half the capacity of what is possible.
Finally, experience conflicts are the results of assumptions. Basic assumptions. That everyone “else” is doing their job and covering for the customer experience gaps we are responsible for.
For those of us who do business in multi-factorial, complex environments, there is no tactical “To Do” list. How we serve customers is dynamic. There is a velocity to what experiences impact them, over time. As a result, we cannot assume anything, including their remaining a loyal and retained customer.
Identifying existing, and remaining vigilant about detecting new, experience conflicts is the key to creating a vibrant customer base. A customer base who knows we have their backs, no matter what.
Interested in learning more about how to get ahead of experience conflicts and increase the value delivered to new and existing customers? Contact me about my workshops and speaking programs, tailored to your organization’s needs.
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ keynotes, breakout sessions and workshops help individuals, teams, organizations and associations leverage productive and profitable collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. She serves organizations as an inspiring speaker, strategist, coach and storyteller. Her speaking programs combine her training as a STEM design thinker, Six Sigma Green Belt and Voice of the Customer practitioner with her background in new product development, startups, market research and sales. How’s that for walking the cross-functional collaboration walk? She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association. Babette’s Playbook of collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.
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