One of the things that consistently troubles me when there is talk about the changes in the way customer buy, is that the focus often gets centered on the impact for one department in the “selling organization.” And most often that is sales. For example, as buyers increasingly leverage digital channels, the sales centric view is that that is a problem — limited opportunity to interact and influence.
But a different lens could turn that into a great thing: lower cost of sales; lower cost of education, etc. Now, there is less control in those scenarios, which means you have to raise your game, but great products (think product-led growth), effective marketing, a solid content strategy, and influencer marketing can all improve your position in that game.
As I reflect on the research I’ve been sharing with regard to regret, delays, and frustrations, the same thing comes to mind. Regret is a customer issue (so they are part of the problem, but need to be a part of the solution), but it is a vendor issue if we don’t make it easier for buying teams to build confidence, improve decision making, and embrace change.
Vendors that do this will we take a unified approach to regret reduction and value management. They don’t view it as a sales issue. They look at their product strategy and ask how can we make it easier to get value. They look at their contracts and search for things that are too complicated for no good reason. They simplify their pricing, reducing the array of options that stall and confuse. They create content that guides on an effective buying process, and more.
Yes we all work in departments, but customers don’t care and if we are looking at challenges customers face or that we face working with customers, the wrong answer is to start with the implications for your department. The right answer is to look through the customer lens and across your org for the best place, or places, to address it.
I while back, we created an image for customer experience that conveys this well. Only two minor issues with it that are hard to address. First, many “customers” that have experiences with you never become customers (and yes CX starts before someone is a customer), so make sure the abandon option is understood to be potentially immediate. Second, for the sake of simplicity, we did not list every possible department. Basically, any group that touches or impacts a customer directly or indirectly has a role in customer experience, regret reduction, and value management.
Don’t forget this and don’t let your perspective and challenges force you to address issues better served by others.