Post sale execution experience makes or breaks customer experiences. Why jeopardize customer loyalty, success and retention by making assumptions about what happens next? When, in fact, nothing is happening, at all. Or worse, something in-between.
First, when introducing new products and services to existing customers, details and nuances get lost in transition. Because we already are comfortable with one another. Next, specifications are not translated properly, resulting in less-than-stellar implementation outcomes. Then, the original sales professional is not part of these critical, post sale steps.
When gaps in post sale execution persist in organizations and associations, why are internal stakeholders still so surprised? Keep these three reasons for post sale execution experience top of mind, moving forward.
Products, services and platforms are increasingly more interconnected and complex. So are our post sale execution experiences.
Successful post sale execution experience continuously leverages buyer, seller and other stakeholder engagement. Before, during and even after the contract is signed. Here’s why.
When stakeholders, across all professional disciplines, perceive customer experience as a series of step-wise, linear experiences, things fall through the cracks. Especially during stakeholder handoffs to one another.
Once the hand-off occurs, even in the most highly-performing organizations, employees focus on the next task at the top of their list. As a result, they take their eyes off customers. And, they rationalize their actions with assumptions like these. “Someone else is handling this” or “I entered this step into our project management system. So someone else now is on top of this.”
Also, when internal stakeholders assume nothing has changed in their clients’ organizations since the last touchpoint, or sale, post sale execution experience is sabotaged.
Assuming a signed contract or a project in progress translates into customer stasis is not realistic. Look at the dynamics of your own organization. That is why before, during and even after contracts come in-house for execution, continuously incorporate these three questions into all client – and stakeholder – conversations.
- What aspects of your business have changed since the last time we worked together?
- Is your organization, or department, experiencing employee churn or stakeholder promotion?
- How has your external clientele mix changed and/or grown?
Otherwise, customer experience may look like this: customers becoming responsible for the quality and speed of post sale execution.
Even if you deliver non-complex products and services, customers assume everyone in your organization and association “knows everyone else.” Well, do they?
How often is this customer assumption actually a true reflection of your business and workforce models?
When customers need to “check in” with stakeholders throughout the organization, instead of hearing back from employees, customer trust erodes. Also, customer confidence in your organization’s collaboration and communication culture decreases.
Gaps in post sale execution experience need to be identified, prioritized, addressed and eliminated. Otherwise, consider the impact, over time, of post sale execution experience not only on rate of customer defection. But also, employee churn.
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Babette Ten Haken brings her One Millimeter Mindset™ speaking programs and workshops to organizations and associations, like yours, who want to leverage collaborative business models and profitable workforces to retain the customers you work so hard to win. Her programs catalyze communication and collaboration between disparate or siloed groups, especially in industries with technically-focused stakeholders.
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