What are the Top 12 Things that Annoy Your Business Customers?
I thought you might like to know about the current Moments of Truth that keep emerging as we work with business customers to co-design their ideal customer experiences in a wide variety of industries, with quite different products and services—from software to information, from analysis to capital equipment, from professional services to office or manufacturing supplies.
In a business account, you’re dealing with customers in different roles throughout your relationship with the people in the account. When you’re in the pre-sales mode, you’re working with key influencers and decision-makers, and occasionally, expert end-users. Once customers are using your products and/or services, you’re providing training and support to help end-users better understand and leverage these tools and to help them troubleshoot, solve problems, and avoid future problems. When contracts are up for renewal, or the products need to be refreshed, or the customers’ needs change, you will probably be dealing, once again, with key influencers and decision-makers, but these may be different folks than the ones you started out with—now you’re dealing with the people whose jobs rely most on your products and services.
Across the entire customer lifecycle, and across different customer roles, we’ve identified a dozen customer-critical issues. We call these “moments of truth” because the quality of the experience you provide at each one is highly likely to make or break your entire account relationship.
- We can’t get access to your experts pre-sales!
- We can't test drive for free!
- I can’t get a timely, firm quote!
- I can’t convince others that this is a good solution for us!
- It's too hard to integrate!
- It's too hard for our users to adopt!
- We can’t get quick help from experienced users!
- Your support reps don’t know MY situation!
- We can’t see how well we’re doing in using your tools to get things done!
- We can’t convey the benefits clearly enough to get continued support!
- It's too hard to true up new and existing contracts!
- It's too hard to cancel!
As you read through this list, you’re no doubt saying to yourselves: “our customers don’t have these problems. We’re really good at all of these things, (except maybe the last one, and that’s on purpose).”
Think again. These moments of truth wouldn’t be showing up over and over again across multiple industries serving business customers if they weren’t occurring fairly often.
In my recently published article, The Top 12 Issues for B2B CX, I take you through all twelve of these customer showstoppers and give you the current set of customer expectations for how business customers want you to perform on each one. You'll learn why these are customer-critical issues; what you can do about them; what customers will consider a successful resolution for each; and how you could experiment with CX improvements and monitor whether these improvements actually make a difference to your bottom line.
Need for Instrumentation
My two favorite Moments of Truth are 9 & 10--knowing how well we're doing and being able to articulate the benefits of using this product or service. Whether your customers are monitoring the efficiency of their power plants, or the ROI their customers are earning on their invested assets, or how much more quickly they can provision new telephones for customers, they all want to see that feedback in near realtime.
Your products and services need to be constantly (but not annoyingly) in their faces with analytics and feedback that show users what benefits they've gained: what near misses they've avoided, how much time they’ve saved, what quality improvements they’ve gained, and so on. These benefits statements should be part of their normal operation.
These are not reports that are sent to a select few people. You should be providing statistics and feedback that are visible to all users as they go about their daily activities. Basically, you want to make it easy for any user to see the status of how well your solution is performing for them compared to the results that other users are getting both a) within their own organization, and b) within organizations similar to theirs.
If users don’t see, or don’t understand, or can’t communicate the benefits and utilization statistics for your solution in their operation, you’ll be at a severe disadvantage when it comes time to renew or upgrade.
What about the last Moment of Truth: It's too hard to cancel?
It seems counter-intuitive, but you actually increase your referrals if you make it easy for a customer to cancel his contract with you. If customers have to jump through too many hoops to discontinue your service and be subjected to exit interviews and upsell attempts, they will never recommend your firm to their colleagues.
Situations change. Other suppliers may win business away from you. Make it easy for customers to cancel/discontinue your service and you’ll be surprised by how many of them will refer you to others and come back to you when the need arises or when they move on to a different organization. You want your last customer encounter to be a really pleasant one.
Here's a link to the article. Subscribers to our Customers.com Strategies service or to our Customers.com Technologies service can login and download the full article.