The two top things to be thankful for as a B2B business: Employees and Customers. You wouldn’t be much without them, and when they’re happy, everything else will fall into place, too. And what’s a great way to get them all on the same page? By revamping your Customer Experience efforts. How exactly? By aligning teams under one common goal and by boosting the success of your customers because they use your product.
According to Salesforce’s State of Marketing 2021, 78% of CMOs own CX for their organization. And according to a quick poll of our own CMO Huddlers in a Bonus Huddle about CX, it varied across the board. Regardless of who owns CX at your company, Huddle guest Dan Gingiss pointed out the crucial role that the CMO plays in CX-land—check out our key takeaways below!
Be CX Empowerers, Not CX Police
Whoever leads CX is responsible for empowering employees across all functions, not auditing them. Every employee is responsible for CX, so the CX leader needs to look through a customer lens and identify friction points that silos might miss along the way. As F5 CMO and CXO Mika Yamamoto shared in her episode of Renegade Marketers Unite: “Unless we look up and unless we look end-to-end, we may be inadvertently causing more harm than good.”
In this regard, the marketing function is primed to lead CX initiatives. Marketing provides the experience before the experience, promising that their product or service will solve X for customers, make them feel Y way, and help them accomplish Z. Marketers simplify that promise and synthesize it into a human way, which can then trickle through to all other functions in the org—which we’ll dive into in the points below.
Incent Customer Success, Not Upsell
Here’s a novel idea. Customer Success should be about the success of your… customers! Hard to wrap your mind around, I know, but hear me out. Here’s what customers want: to buy from a brand that they can trust, to use a product that delivers on its promise, and to see real-deal value. Bonus points if it over-delivers.
And do you know what a customer doesn’t want? To spend more money. So why is the CS function incented based on upsell and cross sell? It misaligns with the goals of the customer and skips a vital step—ensuring that they understand how to get the most out of your service. What happens after that? Re: Dan: “Then it’s going to be easy to sell them on more. Then they’re going to want to invest more because they see the value.”
Celebrate the Guest of Honor, Not the Sale
In the world of business, there’s nothing more satisfying than making a sale. And yes, it’s a great cause for celebration, but for who? If you’re toasting with your team or blowing up an internal Slack channel with self-congratulations, you’re missing one crucial element of the party—the guest of honor.
Dan brings us back to the foundation of CX: put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Like anyone making a large purchase, it’s natural for your customer to feel apprehensive about whether they made the right decision. So, invite them to the party. Put your arm around your new customer and welcome them to your tribe. Let them know they made the right decision by showing them you’re still there after the money has left the bank.
(Bonus: Have Sales stick around for the first 60, 90 days as the customer is being on-boarded)
Be Extraordinary, Not Boredinary
According to Dan: “All you need to be is a little bit better than ordinary.” Marketing should empower product teams to add delight along every stage of the customer journey, and it’s all about finding little opportunities within the experience to personalize. What if your log-in landing page greeted your customer by the name they go by? What if receiving an invoice could be fun?
Added delight equals reduced friction, and the clues are in the Voice of the Customer and the Actions of the Customer. In an example Dan shared from a past job at Discover, they found that the #1 reason customers logged in was to see recent transactions, but the recent transactions page was three clicks deep. They then created a feed on the homepage so customers, and while clicks went down, customer satisfaction scores skyrocketed. From Dan: “We got out of people’s way, and we gave them exactly what they wanted.”
Use a Sparkler, Not a Candle
Word of Mouth marketing is powerful. The goal of CX should be to get customers talking about you without having to ask. This, like the example above, is about having personality. It’s about giving customers a little bit more than they expect. It’s about swapping out that candle for a sparkler.
Dan expands on the sparkler story in this blog post, but the gist of it is: His family all had their phones out when a restaurant brought out a birthday cake for his son topped with the extra pizzazz of a candle that flickers with light. The restaurant exceeded expectations with a small, simple change, and now countless people in Dan’s audience have heard its name. In B2B, it’s about being helpful with pizzazz—something that customers will appreciate from the rooftops.
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