By now, you’ve read the flurry of New Year posts and had time to reflect on your learnings from last year. You’ve finalized your growth targets for the year, and are energized and ready to go. The excitement and anticipation of all the possibilities and potential that the start of a new year brings are palpable.
With the confetti swept away and the sparklers out, it’s time to think about your how you achieve those growth goals. It’s time to embrace the reality that your growth in 2018 depends on your ability to engage, inspire and serve your customers. Success will be a direct reflection of how well you understand their business, anticipate their needs and provide products and services that help them achieve their own growth goals. Knowing your customers better than your competition is essential to growing your revenue.
As you start your journey, we’ve identified three keys to winning, keeping and growing your customers in 2018.
#1: Become an essential partner to your customers’ success.
Customers are looking for a partner that can help them achieve their goals. The foundation of any relationship is listening, learning and engaging in a healthy dialogue – adding value to each interaction. Focus conversations on the strategic drivers and business needs of customers. Understand the business outcomes they are trying to achieve and the blockers they’re experiencing. Most importantly, define success in their terms – from a business and personal perspective. Check in regularly, to track their progress, ongoing issues and needs.
But, here’s the secret to achieving partner status: focus on their needs, not selling your solutions. By listening, you will have the relevant insight to help them attain their goals and will be able to collaborate with them to implement and manage the tactics required to realize their desired outcomes. Only inject your capabilities when you know that what you offer will help them achieve their goals.
# 2: Create experiences customers love.
We live in an on-demand world, with access to whatever we want, whenever we want, on whatever device we want. Think Amazon Prime, Uber, Lyft, Netflix or Spotify. They made it easy for customers to accomplish their objectives – whether that be transportation, entertainment or goods with just a single click. Customers want to engage with you on their terms. Not yours. By taking an in-depth, realistic look at customer expectations across their journey, you can create interactions that are not only satisfying for customers but profitable and rewarding for you.
This year make it a priority to analyze the experiences customers are currently having and how you can both meet and exceed their expectations. In 2018, find the intersection between perfect customer experiences and engagement tactics that work for your business. The result will be a win on both sides.
# 3: Deliver the outcomes customers expect.
If you want to make a difference in the lives of your customers, it’s critical that all team members understand and execute their role in achieving it. It starts with knowing what how customers define their success, what metrics will they use to measure the outcomes you deliver. Make sure your on-boarding team knows what they are so they can look for opportunities to help customers realize value as quickly as possible. Measure the actual results customers are getting and help them get the most value from your solution. Look for changes in behaviors and be proactive in assisting customers to make better use of your solution to achieve their goals and outcomes. Share tips, best practices, and tools to help them. Be a problem solver when roadblocks arise.
Engage other teams in your organization to help you. Helping customers achieve success has to run through the fabric of your business. If you stay close to their progress and work across functions internally, you will be at the finish line when they reach their goals. Nothing could be more potent for strengthening customer relationships than sharing success together. Ensuring that customers get the value they expect is key to customer loyalty and advocacy, and that leads to revenues.
This year will be transformational! I can feel the shift in B2B buyers, the strength in the economy, and the momentum of clients in their respective markets. By focusing on understanding your customers and, helping them to realize their growth goals you will achieve your own. Onward!
For tools to help you understand your customers, check out our Resources page.