Too many clients tell us that the only time they hear from their vendor or supplier after the initial purchase is when the vendor wants to sell them more stuff or when it’s renewal time. Others grumble that when there is outreach from the vendor, the messaging and offers are totally irrelevant.
Think about it for a second. If a customer hasn’t participated in any user groups/events and you haven’t heard from that customer in years, what’s the likelihood that they will be willing to serve as an advocate? Similarly, if another customer experienced onboarding challenges with the initial purchase, hasn’t installed the last two software updates and consistently provides low customer satisfaction scores, what are the chances that customer will buy your newly released software modules?
With an increased emphasis on customer retention, advocacy and customer growth (cross-sell, upsell), delivering a captivating, useful customer experience right out of the gate is more vital than ever. In SiriusDecisions’ recent State of B-to-B Customer Experience study, 72 percent of respondents said they consider customer experience “absolutely critical” to their overall market position [Tweet this stat]. Yet many organizations are underinvested in this area and, as a consequence, their customer experience still leaves a lot to be desired.
What can you do to create a differentiated post-sale experience that positions your organization to achieve your retention, advocacy and growth goals? Here are three ways to drive breakthrough customer experiences:
These building blocks will enable you to better understand your customers, their needs and your start and end points for the customer experience. Build simple customer journey maps to design the differentiation needed. This will allow you to create highly engaged longer-term customers who will deliver higher lifetime value.
Matt Senatore is Service Director, Account-Based Marketing, at SiriusDecisions. Throughout his career, Matt has focused on how organizations can build, grow and foster deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers – improving top-line and bottom-line results while improving the customer experience. Follow Matt on Twitter @mattsenatore.