A shift from sales-driven ideology to customer-centric methodology!
Customer engagement is an obligatory paradigm for every business to lead and make its roots strong. With the ever-increasing competition, it’s not only your product or offering that will distinguish you. But an overall experience and customer journey outline your business impression on others. Knowing what your customer feels about your organization is important. In this dynamic world, a continuous evaluation is a must to adhere to the customer desires and train your employees accordingly. By this we mean, creating a culture in B2B organizations to evolve your workforce organization with a customer-centric attitude.
“In the age of the customer, executives don’t decide how customer-centric their companies are — customers do.”
~ Kate Leggett
There exists a line of difference between doing a thing and doing the right thing. There’s no point in wasting efforts and time in the wrong direction. Understanding your business, your customer and how this association can benefit both parties should be the topmost factor to form a strategy. We believe that employees play the supreme role in sustaining a business by creating user experiences. Especially for B2B, special care needs to be taken considering the pricing and duration of the contracts. Losing a customer in B2B transactions can cause a huge loss compared to B2C. Hence, fostering a customer-centric culture in your organization keeps the ball rolling for everyone. Enlisting the top five factors to devise a policy with customer-centric beliefs.
Openness: The virtue of openness plays an important role to inculcate an effective and positive working culture. An organization should ensure that its employees are aware of what the company is doing, to whom they are serving, the goals, mission, and vision. Apart from that, give them the liberty to SPEAK their heart and mind. Since they are the ones who will be actually helping to develop your relations with the clients, their opinion and thoughts matter. Allowing your employees to openly come up with ideas and convey the official plans to them in detail ensures two-way communication. They would be more confident in serving your customers if they are aware of everything & comfortable with their approach.
Sharing: The old saying “Sharing is caring!” holds true for the modern B2B and organization-employee associations. Maintaining good employee relations lays a foundation for strong customer connections. As important as it is to understand the problems of customers, it is to let the employees share their issues. A good practice would be to hold sessions where the staff can share the complications at their level, at the customer level, and at the organization level. This sharing can be helpful to analyze common problems, even employees themselves can come up with a suitable solution and improvise the whole process as a whole. It glues your team with trust, which in turn, motivates them to bind the customers as well.
Consistency: B2B philosophy demands persistent and consistent efforts at every stage. Since every B2B deal involves multiple stakeholders, a company needs to make sure that its entire team is on its toes to meet the varied requirements. Consistency is the key to unlocking new opportunities. Put emphasis on parameters like best communication skills, training, product expertise, rich knowledge base, behavior, research, and timely response. One more advantage of having a consistent approach is active employees. It lets them explore new areas to provide support and ensure customer satisfaction. Moreover, the customer is bound to appreciate these service initiatives over a period of time.
Recognition: As they say, recognition is the greatest motivator. While businesses consider treating their VIP customers in the most pleasing manner, they tend to forget the people behind these customer associations. It is considered extremely significant to manage and take care of your prime clients as they are giving you those profit figures. Similarly, rewarding and praising your employees proves to be beneficial and inspires them to perform to their best capabilities. Recognize the contribution of both- your customers and employees. It forms a chain that links the customers and your employees together to work for and with each other in a harmonious manner.
Values: Organizational ethics create brand values that are propagated and delivered to your customers with your products & service interactions. Maintaining decorum at an organizational level is very necessary for a perfect outcome. This has to be done at all hierarchal levels with a mutual agreement. A business that works on principles is able to gain customer loyalty that serves as a medium of word-of-mouth marketing. One can confidently advocate & refer your organization to others if they know that your values and ethics add value to their business. And this image has to be created by your staff in their interactions and trades with the customers. Although there is no concrete rulebook, it should be focused on participation & consideration of all.
The Success Loop
“In a Loyalty360 survey, three-quarters of respondents reported that 20% of their new sales come from current customers.”
A good strategy and its seamless implementation boost the revenue process along with extended clientele relations. For B2B based companies, it is mandatory to coordinate the work and employees in a way that helps to retain customers and have lasting associations. To achieve the same, product and support both need to go hand-in-hand. The workforce must be motivated to adopt a customer-centric and user-focussed approach. The success loop can be formulated with the five elements as below:
- Planning: All it takes to start a journey is a plan! A roadmap stating the work, roles of individuals, requirements, resources, schedule, deadlines, customer communication, budget, and competition is much needed at the initial stage. It is good to keep it flexible to accommodate dynamic changes.
- Sales: Keep it realistic! Aiming high is a good sign but being overambitious & burdening your employees with extreme targets can lead to negative results. B2B sales take a long cycle, but with persistent efforts, a proper market study, competitive pricing, and quality standards, you can get through it.
- Support: Here comes the crucial link! Customer support is the fundamental element to becoming the “preferred associate” of your B2B customer. Quality and timely support act as a catalyst to accelerate this loop and maintain business relations. It helps to build a level of trust & reliability with an assurance that they come back to you.
- Experience: Every interaction offers something! A customer invests in buying your product to simplify their processes. It’s your responsibility that all touchpoints of this journey are lived up to their expectations & help them to realize their ultimate goals. Prepare every staff to be equally attentive & answerable.
- Branding: Don’t lose your way, any day! It has been noticed every now and then- Customer creates customers! No wonder why you need to be on the same page as your customers’ to instigate the brand values and market your organization via them. With high employee engagement, create & spread your brand via your customers.
Above all this, have a formal well-placed support system for your employees to support your customers. Encourage communication on a regular basis, take feedback, ask questions, and suggestions, organize customer advisory board meets, set performance parameters, and THANK them! Every customer is a human and will appreciate your concern. Take a call to punch to the gut and win over them with your employees!