I am sure you feel your company delivers great service. Your website says so!
But what do your customers say? Are you asking them?
B2C companies like Amazon have changed buyers' perceptions of a good customer experience and what they expect from ALL companies they deal with, whether for personal buying or with purchasing decisions at work.
Get your experts talking to prospects early in the process
One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to the buyer’s journey and customer experience is that many salespeople still think it’s a pipeline with linear stages.
19% of buyers want to connect with a salesperson during their buying process’s awareness stage when they’re first learning about the product.
Do you have knowledgeable salespeople available to prospects EARLY in the sales process? If your sales process is like most industrial and manufacturing companies, you delay sales discussions as long as possible and try to use marketing and automation to move them towards the end of the process. This is classic sales qualification and holds that salespeople should be brought in once a contact is qualified.
But people want to talk to knowledgeable experts early in the buying process and not just read your website.
Technology gives you many ways to engage with buyers earlier in the process and to provide the experience buyers want.
Are you employing tools to connect with people how they want to connect?
How about this one? Does your site have a chat function staffed in real-time with people who can answer questions quickly?
Many people will not pick up the phone or fill out your contact us form. Many companies have ruined these tools, turning them into a reason to deliver a sales pitch and not help people first.
But those people are still looking for answers, and they LOVE chat.
Our clients have sold capital equipment, metal roofs, chemicals, and more using chat sessions.
Help first, then earn a chance to get into the buying process.
The first company that is helpful has a much higher chance of earning the business. In fact, 74% of sales go to the first company that was helpful (see source here).
According to Gartner, sellers often try to push the buyer through a linear pipeline with stages that the seller determines.
That’s not how buyers buy. It is not how they want to be treated.
It is not the experience they want to have.
Why is customer experience so important now?
In an age of almost unlimited competition, the only way to build differentiation and competitive advantage are to deliver a unique and superior customer experience.
An Inbound Organization creates a competitive advantage in the age of buyer control by building relationships with employees, prospects, buyers, and partners and intentionally designs a personalized experience to help them reach their goals.
We have seen buyers take years to make a decision and others just a few days for high-ticket items.
Buyer journies are all over the map, and your only chance of growing is to pay attention all the time to behavioral buying signals and be available when the prospect needs you and your expertise.
How do you deliver it?
The fundamental premise behind being an Inbound Organization is simple: everyone in the organization must consider how their role specifically influences the customer journey to enhance the customer experience.
Great customer experience comes from a company with a mission focused on creating customer value, supported by a culture that demands customer focus and a system that enables and rewards those that take care of customers the best.
If you do not have a system to deliver great customer experiences, then you won't.