The Trouble with Handoffs
Have you ever spent thirty minutes chatting with a support rep, telling them all your hopes and dreams, only to chat in again the next day and be greeted as a stranger? If your answer is ‘yes’, then you have felt the pain of an internal handoff. And if your answer is ‘no,’ then I think you might be lying. The trouble with handoffs is that they are clunky by nature. The very concept of a handoff is rooted in the tendency of organizations to silo. Instead of thinking about how to add value to your customer, you’re busy thinking about making it to that handoff point.
Making sure you’re delivering a seamless experience at every stage in the customer journey means looking at every interaction through the eyes of your customer. What are they thinking, feeling? Then, what can you do to add the most value?
Particularly in B2B, this kind of consistency is critical. Not just to win conversions, but to build trust with existing customers. Consistency and a customer-focused go-to-market strategy will result in increased LTV and turn customers into evangelists.
Brand messaging is the first impression people get from your company. The tone of your emails, ads, chatbots, and website set the expectation for what it will be like to actually interact with your company. Just think about B2C brands like Glossier or B2B brands like Drift. In addition to selling a product, their messaging sells an ideal. A lifestyle. People want to be associated with these brands because of what it says about them and the way they live their lives.
That said, your messaging should always accurately represent your product or service. There’s a fine line between great marketing and false advertising. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of that line. Maintaining true alignment across your go-to-market teams will help avoid the kinds of miscommunications that can negatively impact the customer experience.
During the sales cycle, fast response time is critical in helping drive conversions. If your company uses a conversational marketing tool like Drift, this happens more or less automatically. Adding a chatbot to your highest traffic landing pages also provides your sales reps with a buffer of time in which they can get back to a lead without hurting the chance of conversion.
Be aware of the expectations you set in the sales cycle and maintain comparable response time throughout the customer journey. Fully adopted customers should never feel like buying your product or service has made their voices less of a priority. No matter the stage in the journey, your customer experience should always be just as seamless and personalized as the first day of engagement.
Let your customers know you value them by scheduling time to listen to them and answer their questions. Building strong relationships with your customers will lead to increased LTV through upsells and renewals.
Revenue operations breaks down operational silos that impact your customer experience. Part of that is making sure your customer data is able to flow freely between go-to-market teams. Instead of hoarding sales, marketing, and CS data in their respective universes, all that information should be available to everyone. This will improve your customers’ experience by providing a holistic view of the journey and allowing your team to identify gaps.
There is a reason ‘personalization’ has become a buzzword. Delivering a truly personal customer experience is the holy grail of B2B marketing, selling, and beyond. As this concept has become widely embraced, it has left no room for the impersonal, blatantly self-serving methods that came before it. It’s important to note that ‘personalization’ doesn’t mean just peppering a generic email with someone’s first name. We’re talking about really tailoring the experience you provide to the specific person, regardless of where they are in the journey.
So, yes, know people’s names. Know how they use your service or product. What other products and services are they using? Know their pain points, communication styles, pet peeves, and motivators. All these things will help you create a complete picture of each customer, which will allow you to provide them with the experience they expect.