“Customer experience” is the latest in a long line of buzzwords surrounding the supposed secret for keeping your customers happy. It’s no longer enough to focus on customer service or customer satisfaction; it’s the comprehensive customer experience you’re after. Is it all hype, or are there things you can learn about how to serve your customers?
When it comes to cloud services providers, it is true that the customer experience is critical, and there are many touch points that shape this experience. You’re selling both a product and a service, and it’s one that’s central to your customers’ ability to, in turn, serve their own customers well. Here are a few things that cut right through the hype and that you should keep in mind for building good customer relationships:
First, eliminate any self-delusion. Bain & Company reported in a recent white paper that 80% of companies believe that they’re providing a superior experience to their customers, but only 8% of customers believe they are receiving one. That’s a major disconnect that should cause you to evaluate your proposition.
Listen to your customers. Many companies make the mistake of thinking they know what problems their cloud solutions solve. Meeting after meeting, they highlight the features of an application that don’t solve the problems their customers are concerned with. Talk with your customers and find out why they chose your product, what they wish it would do and the problems it solves for them. Reach out to lost opportunities and find out what caused them to eliminate your product from consideration.
Examine your touch points. Even perfect individual touch points don’t always add up to a positive customer experience, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t measure their effectiveness. Again, talk to your customers. Was there a point in the process where they faced what they perceived as unnecessary obstacles? Is there something you could implement at a particular point to make it more convenient for them?
Focus on relationships. At the pace with which cloud technology is innovating, your customer relationships are critical. If they value your insight and assistance, they’re likely to reach out to you first for an updated solution when it’s time to upgrade.
Simplify the customer experience. This may mean giving front-line employees more freedom to make decisions or eliminating unnecessary forms. Wherever possible, streamline customer interactions and look for ways to add value to their business.
At eXemplify, we work with you to increase your business value and assist you in your efforts to be the trusted advisor your clients appreciate. Contact us for more information about becoming an eXemplify Partner.