Customercentricity: A Big Word That’s Even More Strategic Than It’s 18 Letters Indicate

Author

Larry Myler

February 6, 2017

Your B2B sales strategy is quite simple. Because your customers are businesses, your can reasonable assume that they want a stronger bottom line. They will buy more from you if they believe you can help them reduce costs, increase sales, or do both. If your strategy does not put proper emphasis on these outcomes, here are three ways in which you can refocus your message.

1. Reduce customer response times. Whether it’s a prospect wanting to buy, or a customer in need of immediate help, there may be nothing worse than making them wait. Conversely, few actions could help cement your relationship more than surprising and delighting them with an unexpectedly fast response. For businesses, time is always money, so never make them lose it. Sean Hopwood, CEO of DayTranslations, has improved two processes that have made all the difference. “Knowing how urgent prospect and customer questions can be, we shortened our email response time to ten minutes. This really shows our desire and ability to help,” explains Hopwood. “That worked so well that we added an instant chat function to our website, with the goal of answering chat questions within 30 seconds.” As a worldwide company that can translate customer content into more than 100 languages, every second counts for DayTranslations’ business clients.

If your idea of responsiveness is getting back to customers within 24 hours, as many companies commit to do, you may want to rethink your approach. No matter where you are on the customer response continuum, you can always do better.

2. Relentlessly make the improvements customers want. Innovation is helpful, but customer-led innovation is vastly superior. Change for the sake of change rarely creates the improvements that will increase your B2B customers’ ability to perform. If you ask and listen, you will learn exactly how to become indispensable. Patrick Quigley, SVP and General Manager North America for Nearmap, describes this simple principle. “Satellite imagery often lacks the resolution needed by commercial and government users, and the rate of image renewal in a given geography is too infrequent to be practical. The unmet needs of the market gave birth to our company.” As a result, Nearmap developed and patented a camera system that captures detailed images from small aircraft flying at 15,000 feet, and they renew images two to three times per year. Proprietary software makes the aerial ‘map’ accessible to organizations in construction, government, real estate, solar, utilities, and any other industry that needs to measure, bid, monitor or maintain anything on the earth’s surface via a high-resolution, current visual source.

What’s next from Nearmap? Quigley reveals an upcoming customer-led innovation slated to debut in 2017. “Many of our customers have requested advanced imaging so they can have access to oblique view-angles that show the faces of buildings, or the relative heights of trees and other objects. So, we upgraded our camera system to enable the capture of this level of detail. It is wonderful how our customers always seem to know what we need to do next.”

3. Help customers beat the competition. Traditional retailers are up against the toughest competition they’ve ever faced, and it’s called Amazon. If your company sells to retail businesses, can you position your offering to help clients beat Amazon? SalesWarp can. “We have heard our customers loud and clear. To remain competitive, they need to seamlessly manage an omni-channel sales strategy that leverages their store investments now. They need to sync critical functions of ordering, shipping, real time inventory and customer management to blend the digital shopping experience with the physical stores,” says SalesWarp Founder and CEO David Potts. “If retailers do this right, they can actually gain an advantage by leveraging all store assets to build brand loyalty that may be stronger than with Amazon.” No matter what you sell, do you know the biggest competitive threat your customers face? What can you do to help them come out on top?

Customercentricity is a long word. It’s only fitting that a concept as large and potent as this should take up a lot of space in your B2B strategy.

 

This article was written by Larry Myler from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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