An excellent customer experience is essential to earning and retaining business. We know that it costs more to get new customers than it does to grow existing customers, yet sometimes customers have bad experiences. According to research, 80 percent of companies say they deliver a superior experience though only 8 percent of customers agree. Of course, this is something we all want to avoid. Good news! We’re sharing what you can do to win back those customers and improve the experience for all current and future customers.
First, let’s look at how the customer’s experience went from great to bad. There are three areas to look when things go awry – communication, alignment, and resources. Often, one or more of these areas lack value in the mind of the customer. B2B marketing and sales teams need to be knowledgeable of the customer’s needs, challenges and preferences to provide an optimal experience. This means that the channels of communication used, messaging, sales pitch presentation and other marketing materials should be reviewed for relevance. Communication that misses its target may make customers feel that companies don’t understand them and therefore not value their business.
During the customer onboarding process, companies discuss roles and responsibilities, workflow process, communication style, and define what success looks like for the customer. It’s during this phase of the relationship that the company and the customer align expectations and resources. Arriving at this shared understanding allows you to mutually lay out a roadmap to achieve success. When there are gaps between what the customer requires and what you’re able to provide, the customer may choose to go elsewhere. That decision could be based on price, product, or service.
A third influence of customer experience is resources, or lack thereof. From funding to internal frameworks and staffing, companies cite missing resources as a major obstacle in consistently producing excellent experiences. One crucial resource for thriving B2B companies, for example, is CRM software. The investment in such a tool to best manage customer data and insights will reduce the chance of customer loss due to a service issue. Customers that discontinue a business relationship because of poor service are less likely to come back than those who leave based on price alone. Take advantage of the information at your fingertips and secure the best resource – internal or through outsourcing – to manage your customer relationships.
Before leaping into action, going after every customer that discontinues service with you, make sure you fully understand the situation. Target customers that have a high propensity to return, know what happened and why; and then follow these five steps to win back business. The process may take time, in which B2B sales teams can offer incentives to return and B2B marketers can focus on building positive sentiment with frequent communication and content.