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Summer is almost here. Many of you may be thinking about your vacation plans. Often we return to favorite vacation spots. Have you ever thought about why we go back again and again to the same places to rest and relax? Maybe it’s because they treat us well, we know what to expect, they communicate with us effectively, and perhaps even going so far as to remind us to make our reservations before they are booked up.

What about your company and your customers? What keeps them coming back again and again? Are you treating them well, do they know what to expect, and are your employees communicating with them effectively? I’ll take it two steps further, do your employees and your company leadership know the benefits to them for providing excellent customer experiences? 

Apply my vacation example to your organization.  Consider asking:

  1. How well is employee feedback of all kinds listened to and acted upon?
  2. When you interact with customers, how often (never, some, a lot) do they complain about poor communication?  Hint: if they never complain, they may not be leveling with you!
  3. How effective is the organization at anticipating customer needs?  Wayne Gretzky, the famous player was asked about what made in great and he replied that “I skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”  Reminding someone when they have not placed their typical order is a great example of anticipation that benefits both company and customer.

In my recent blog, Three Important Questions to Answer (and Keep Answering) for a Successful CX Program, I outline why we need to share continuously with our three stakeholders – company leadership, customers, and employees – what’s in it for them in providing excellent customer experiences. One time is never enough.

For additional reading, I found “A CMO’s Guide To Creating A B2B Customer Experience” as a guideline to developing and expanding your CX programs. It notes the fact that you may want to share with your leadership: customers will pay 16% more for customer experience.

We can be creative in our communication as well. Disney is always evolving the customer experience process to keep their employees focused on providing a ‘magical’ experience. As you can imagine, Disney gets creative. At one time, they even used the seven dwarfs to outline how to generate a positive customer experience.

  • Be Happy…make eye contact and smile!
  • Be like Sneezy…greet and welcome each and every guest.
  • Be like Doc…provide immediate service recovery…

You get the point. I’m guessing this was presented visually like a movie advertisement.  Effective communication is often entertaining. Now that most of our communication is digital it’s time to think about how to improve your visual communication to customers and employees as well. Everything should be easy to understand and digest for the most impact. For some ideas and tools, read Adobe’s “Visual Communication is Key to Improve Customer Experience.”

Finally, below I’ve included two blogs about the importance of communication for further pondering.  One is from one of our Research Analysts, Joy Williams, Kudos for Communication in B2B and the other provides 8 communication tips for B2B service organizations.

Hope everyone’s vacations plans are in place!

Lynn Daniel
President

Kudos for Communication in B2B!

Courteousness and competency are significant factors in the customer service experience. However, excellent communication skills complete the trifecta of excellence.

As a researcher at The Daniel Group, I regularly receive feedback on a company’s quality of communication.  The comments typically highlight successes or hindrances.

Having a repair completed correctly or having a rental or vehicle delivered on-time, are high on the list of customers’ expectations. But many of them are also commenting on how and when they are informed:

“The technician was great about explaining the various phases of the repair.”

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8 Communication Tips for B2B Service Organizations

Over the last several years, I’ve seen an increasing number of B2B service organizations buy into the idea that communication, a soft skill, is an essential ingredient in delivering exceptional customer experiences and in turn, hard business results such as repeat business and word of mouth referrals.

I think they are on the right track.  We have analyzed over 200,000 B2B customer follow-up interviews we have performed on service experiences, and found communication is on a very short list of critical customer loyalty drivers.

Moreover, we also see evidence that if the communication with a customer is effective then they will give you the benefit of any doubt if other aspects of the experience are not up-to-par!

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