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Selling Power Magazine Article
The Customer Experience: A Spring Cleaning Checklist for Sales Leaders
Spring has sprung – what better time to turn your attention to the customer experience?
It's not just the change of season that signals a need to shake the dust off your customer service and engagement strategies. Consider the following facts about today's B2B customer and the sales teams that serve them:
- Many customer service organizations have recently seen operational budgets cut by amounts close to 20 percent.
- Consumer research by Oracle has shown that 85 percent of buyers expect the shopping experience to be consistent and personalized.
- 48% of companies surveyed in a recent Forrester Research poll said that an e-commerce platform for customers was their technology investment priority for 2010.
- In its 2010 Global CEO Study, IBM reported that 95 percent of successful CEOs said getting closer to customers is the most important part of their corporate strategy in the next five years.
In his presentation at the April 2012 Sales 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, Kirk Mosher, vice president of CRM and product marketing at Oracle, said that the buyer experience will be the defining element of success for sales organizations in the future. "Good leadership ... finding ways to provide the customer with a seamless end-to-end experience," he stated.
Specifically, sales leaders should have a thorough understanding of how the customer does any of the following:
- Learns who you are
- Selects your product
- Buys your product
- Gets help maintaining your product
- Finds opportunities to recommend your product to others
According to Mosher, many companies have solved these challenges in individual silos but have yet to create great end-to-end customer experiences.
When a company lacks a vision of what the customer experience should look like, says Mosher, the customer comes up against a default experience.
Every year, you should audit all the things your company is doing to create a great customer experience. Examine all your customer touchpoints, and ask tough questions about how customer-centric you really are.
Take these initial steps, and you'll be poised to create the kind of experience that results in loyalty for life.
Want further advice on customer service operations, sales operations, and channel partner management? Check out these four white papers, courtesy of Oracle.
– Selling Power Editors
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