Partners should make customer experience a part of their culture and client engagements.
By Heather Campbell, Chief Experience Officer at ARG
An exceptional customer experience (CX) is a differentiator your business can’t afford to do without.
In the recent Salesforce State of the Connected Customers report, 84% of customers surveyed said CX is as important as the products or services that companies provide, and 73% said one extraordinary experience raises expectations of other companies. So, in the fast-paced, ever-changing technology market, what can you to do to improve the CX?
Create a Process for Excellence. To foster great CX, get your sales and support processes in check so the details are documented and the service expectations are set with your team. The best CX is one that can be repeated across your entire client ecosystem. It’s also one that meets and exceeds the expectation for excellence at every point of engagement. You must prioritize your people and processes to scale success.
Earn Business Every Day. There’s no shortage of choice in the technology market. Take nothing for granted and go out of your way to get to know more about your customers’ objectives and desired business outcomes. The more you know, the more you can do for them, and the better you can map your services to their business needs.
Know Your Customer. Focus on the short- and long-term objectives of your customers by talking strategy with the right people in their organizations. Talking to IT is still part of the process, but most likely you’ll deal with the CEO, CFO, or others in the C-suite. The conversation has to be more meaningful. To figure out what the business needs are, both now and in the future, you have to understand pain points, needs,and goals.
Be Deliberate. If you’ve been in the business for some time, you should be able to address the vast majority of questions posed by your customer based on your own knowledge and expertise. You should have a process in place that leaves nothing to chance. Create a playbook for customer interactions that anticipates and addresses any issues that might come up.
Your playbook should map interactions with customers, from the time you first set foot through their door to the inevitable post-implementation support call. Before, during, and after implementation, check in periodically to review progress and project metrics. Are all KPIs being met? If not, why? What can you do to improve things? What do you need from the customer? Use technology tools, such as CRM and PSA applications, to standardize processes and to monitor and measure progress.
Consider All the Stakeholders. When you go to measure progress, keep all the stakeholders in mind. Look at how they’re adapting to the new technologies and services. If you’re adding voice services on desktops and laptops, for example, users need to know how to get their voicemail, answer calls, transfer calls, and conference in other callers. How users adjust to new technology is critical to both the success of a deployment and the overall success of the business.
As you develop and refine your customer experience, remember what’s foundational: identifying what your customers want and doing your best to deliver it and exceed expectations again and again.
In today’s dynamic and competitive technology market, you have to go above and beyond to show customers the experience you deliver isn’t just lip service. It’s authentic, impactful, and repeatable.
Heather Campbell is the chief experience officer at ARG, a technology solution provider that helps thousands of customers identify, implement, and operationalize technology such as cloud computing, security, mobility, Internet of Things, unified communications, and data networks.