Are Customers “B(g)hosting”​ You?

Jason-Grier
Jason-Grier , Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer

This piece was originally posted on LinkedIn. (Click here to follow Reputation.com.)

Customer Success: If you’re doing it right, the name says it all. You are genuinely concerned with and passionately in pursuit of the success of your customers. The most effective customer experience (CX) teams know how to help customers achieve their business objectives, increase their time to value, and keep them engaged with meaningful and actionable business insights.

If your CX organization shows up “empty handed” with any type of regularity, you are setting up your customers on a slow drip to failure. Over time, this creates a value gap, and your customers will listen to your competitors. Once they stop reaching out to you or (worse), don’t return your calls — the customer just vanishes — you’ve been ghosted. In the business world, you might call it “B(g)hosted.”

Here are the six reasons why your customers might B(g)host you — and how to prevent it:

  1. You don’t know their goals and how they define success. Too often, post-sale and after the customer is transitioned to your CX team, the support and feature help calls begin to dominate the conversation. Over time, your CX department becomes more of a help-desk than a value-add focused on successful outcomes — and that can lead to you being B(g)hosted.

    Do this: As part of the onboarding process, make sure you sit down with your customers and define success. Agree to a plan to get there with clear toll-gates and successful outcome metrics. Make sure to account for hiccups in the transition; there’s no such thing as software without bugs or customers who don’t want new features.

  2. You aren’t properly aligned with your internal teammates. Customer-centric companies have multiple departments with different roles and different areas of expertise to engage and ensure customer success. When executed properly your CX, sales, sales engineering and support teams operate like a symphony with precision timing. Get out of your “lane” too often and your customers will become frustrated with their perceived lack of value from you.

    Do this: Stay in your lane and work as a team.

    Group of colleagues discussing social media.

    The best CX teams understand how to help customers achieve their goals.

     

  3. You aren’t talking to the right people. The culture of procurement in the “Feedback Economy” may still have a single decision maker, but the number of people who influence the decision has widened and deepened. If you’re “single-suited” in your B2B relationship building process within an enterprise, you will ultimately get B(g)hosted.

    Do this: Get deeper and wider with your relationships.

  4. You didn’t have anything interesting to say. The personality of the “Feedback Economy” is curious, demanding and impatient. If you are “calling to check in to see how things are going,” you will get B(g)hosted.

    Do this: Pre-determine your agenda so you can engage in meaningful dialogue every time you interact with your customers.

  5. You didn’t speak to them as an equal. The best CX teams understand that different levels within a company have a different focus and adjust their discussion appropriately. Your interactions with front-line team members are going to be different than with managers, operators and executives.

    Do this: Be relevant and speak as an equal. If you can’t, bring someone with you who can.

  6. You don’t understand their business. The days of the generic, one-size-fits-all approach are gone. To provide value, you need to operate at a business level that is considerate of the implied business objectives and metrics of the industry with which you are dealing.

    Do this: Focus on your customers’ revenue success, expense, loyalty and the metrics that impact their operation.

The “Feedback Economy” demands real-time action that is rooted in successful outcomes. To achieve this, you need to have a plan and work at it every day. Even the best-intended plans encounter obstacles that you can’t anticipate — and you can’t control that. To avoid a disaster, have a clear understanding of how your customers define success and align your teams to help them achieve their goals.

Most importantly, be sure you’re talking to the right people and have something interesting to say. When you say it, do so with confidence and on their level, and articulate your message in terms relevant to them. In the “Feedback Economy”, you only win when your customers win.

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