The amount of time modern businesses spend on thinking and talking about the best ways to connect with their prospects and customers is truly incredible. Since the quantum of inked spilled (real and virtual), the number of webinars and conferences held, and the number of dollars spent on this topic is vast.
The irony in this “connect the customer” paradigm is that businesses most often start with their natural ability to act in a customer-centric way when businesses are small.
Since it is easy to keep a significant amount of knowledge of the customers (especially the best customers) when the business is growing, which later on becomes unmanageable as the business scales, which in turn creates a degree of impersonality to creep in into the buyer-seller relationship.
Now, in this present era of social media and digitalization how people see the companies they buy from has changed.
This is because, nowadays, customers expect companies they buy from to behave like a single entity, regardless of the role of the people in the company they talk to.
In other words, since customers are well aware that companies are collecting information about them, the customers too expect that businesses must use those data for the benefit of their purchasers to create an easier and better buying experience.
Therefore now that we know the reasons for all the spilled ink, forcing brands to adjust everything, right from technology to business processes to mindsets, here are five necessary tasks that all businesses must do to tackle customer expectations on their path for rapid business growth.
1. Treat Customers Like You Know Them
It is given fact that customers expect your brand’s offerings to essentially meet their needs, which if not, will make them buy from someone else. Apart from these, customers also want to purchase from people and companies they like.
Hence establishing a solid relationship with your customers is most vital for this subscription economy, especially by adopting easy to use CRM software solution for your business, as returning customers in the long haul becomes the key to any company’s profitability.
One of the most common ways to doing this is to enable everyone in your business who deals with customer-facing interactions (in sales, marketing, and support) to find a complete and consistent view of their customers, which even though is one of the classic ways to use CRM objectives. Unfortunately, it takes just more than mere technology to achieve it.
This is because, knowing your customers is not about matching up-sells to their profile after segmenting them correctly in your CRM database, but it is all about demonstrating your customers that you will work for their success (since you understand them), in moments of truth.
2. Orient Your Processes Around the Customer
There are several businesses that have spent their last decade honing their organization’s workflows and internal processes with the complex algorithms of mathematics as their primary driver for business growth.
Now, there is nothing wrong in improving the efficiency of your business- as long as it does not come at the expense of your customers.
Since we live in a world in which customers expect their answers immediately if your business process requires something or a workflow that requires additional efforts from your buyers or delays whatever that your customers want, it is better that such processes must be changed or certainly benefit your customers significantly, and not just the company.
3. Empower Employees to Solve Problems
The modern concept of business as a single entity after the growth of all-in-one easy to use CRM software platforms with many employees having access to a single 360-degree view of the customers has also shifted the customer’s view of who can solve their problems.
In the past, while it might have been a tolerable situation to be transferred from person to person within an organization to resolve a customer-facing issue, but now the situation has completely changed as digitally conscious customers in the present time want support representatives to resolve their problems immediately without being transferred elsewhere to look for their solutions.
Therefore, companies that still have a hierarchical structures that withholds employees from being empowered to solve customer-facing issues or lack the process for escalating support-tickets to the right person, must make an effort to enable their employees to provide necessary solutions or create a workflow which is capable of providing the ability to the support agents to advance difficult problems to the concerned people within the organization rapidly.
4. Respect Customers’ Time
The customer remains under tremendous pressure for ‘time’ which is especially true for any B2B buying processes.
Now, it should not be shocking to hear, that employees working in businesses that sell to these organizations also undergo the same pressure, which is why they seek to become increasingly productive.
Therefore, it has been observed that somewhere along the way “corporate empathy” breaks down and thereby businesses (that should have ideally taken care of its customer’s time pressure) focus inward to solve their own issues at the cost of their customer’s time.
Hence, the key to solving this problem lies in examining the buying process and finding out steps that can be overhauled to make both the purchaser and the seller come to a decision faster.
In other words, smoothing out bumps in the sales process makes life easier for both you and your customers.
5. Stay Connected in the Way That Customers Want
Especially in B2B industries, customers do not want ‘one-and-done’ sale for their key purchases.
While it may not always mean that your customers will always be thinking about their next purchase as they close their present one, but this is for sure that all B2B customers prefer to make their next buying experience as relatively quick and effortless as it can be, which mostly mean buying from a vendor they have dealt with satisfaction before.
However, there are several businesses that do nothing to maintain an ongoing relationship with their customer after-sales, while there are also others that take an aggressive approach and market their offerings recklessly to their existing customers which eventually wears out the customer’s welcoming approach for that brand.
Therefore, while it is most essential that you must keep in touch with your customers, but make sure that you do it at a cadence that applies with the expectations of your customers, which can put you in a far better position (than your competitors) to sell again to your existing customer base, when the time is ripe for another purchase.
Now, while all these things are easier said than done, but if you can devote some thought on your customer’s expectations and needs, identify the most pressing areas for concern, invest in technology like easy to use CRM software; redesign your sales, marketing, and support processes, we are sure you can take a major step towards becoming the brand that your customers want and lead your company towards a rapid business growth.