Chances are, you’ve been on the receiving end of frustrating customer experience, where your service provider is unresponsive, unable to sufficiently answer your questions, or maybe just sold you a bill of goods from the beginning. And hopefully, you’ve been on the receiving end of a satisfying experience, where the service provider customizes your purchase to meet your needs, answers your questions quickly and thoughtfully, and treats you like a priority.
It’s not necessarily bad people in the frustrating scenario. It’s possible that they’re just following poor customer service practices. So, what are the best practices to serve customers in every phase of the journey?
That’s the question we’ll explore in this series.
Part 1: The Introduction
It’s unlikely that a vendor has ever called you with an unfamiliar product and convinced you to buy it. So, here’s a good place to start: find prospects who are familiar with the service or product.
The best prospects have already taken some type of action to indicate interest. Perhaps they’ve signed up for a trial or webinar. Maybe they’ve requested a quote. Whatever the case, hopefully they are not surprised by the initial phone call.
Finding the right fit:
As the initial points of contact for potential customers, our job is not to sell them something right then and there. We actually have three jobs: gather information about their organization, help them understand what our product or service can provide, and, this one’s important: Don’t waste their time!
At Samanage, we want to know how many people and assets are in their organization, how many users and service agents they might have, which processes we can improve, and what tools they’re currently using in service management.
Usually, it won’t take more than a few minutes to determine whether or not we can help. If we are the right fit, it’s time to get them some useful information so they can decide whether or not they want to proceed.
The introductory period is almost over. Now it’s time to get them to a product specialist so we can determine the specific needs, pain points, and scope. Again, the goal is not to waste their time, so our last job in the introduction is to prepare them for the upcoming steps of the customer journey.
The product specialist will need to collect some information to setup an appropriate trial or demo environment. We need to help them gather that information to make the process more efficient. We want our potential customers prepared to answer any of our specialist’s questions about their organization. This will cut out the back-and-forth Q&A and help create a trial environment quickly.
These discovery steps are vital because it prevents wasting both our potential customers’ time and our product specialists’ time. If we’ve done none of the preparation with our customers, we risk our specialists putting them through time consuming demos, only for both parties to find out it wasn’t the right fit. That type of wasted time is not what we want to provide to customers, and it’s not an effective way for us to budget our time as a business.
Follow these steps, and you’ll have useful introductions to realistic prospects. Your customers will be prepared to make informed decisions about your products or services.
Part Two: Discovery, Demo, Trial.