So, how do you deliver a customer experience that prospects will love? Here are four easy things you can start doing this year to improve customer experience, and by extension, revenue:
1. Set expectations
When pitching your client on your business solution, it’s important to provide a realistic overview of how they see success.
Be upfront about how long a solution needs to be implemented before the customer will benefit and how much the customer has to add internally to make the solution work. By discussing implementation, you will show the client that you care about the outcome.
Then, set benchmarks for success.
Figure out which KPIs (key performance indicators), ratios, and other metrics that your prospect should track.
Offer to set meetings to discuss the prospect’s progress and challenges after they sign up. This way, you can keep the conversation going and show that you’re not merely a vendor, but an expert consultant.
When you take the time to give a prospect a clear roadmap of how to track the benefits of your business solution and demonstrate that you’re invested in their long term success, you create a positive customer experience and make it more likely that they’ll want to sign on or renew.
2. Invest in empathetic listening
Empathetic listening is when you pay close attention to someone when speaking and respond with compassion.
It’s the principle behind “Seek to understand before being understood.” It’s not always easy, and can require practice."
To improve your empathetic listening skills, practice active listening. Give the client room to speak freely. Ask about their needs and concerns. Then validate what they’re saying and feeling.
By repeating back what you heard, you can make sure that you’re on the same page.
When responding to clients, particularly when they express frustration, it’s important to consider your tone.
In sales, as in life, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
Consider the difference between curtly saying “Sir, I’m trying to help you.” and “I’m so sorry this is happening. Let me help.”
The latter indicates that you understand the client’s frustration and want to solve their problems, rather than simply getting off the phone to talk to a new client.
Proving that you’re really listening to the client’s specific needs and concerns makes for an excellent customer experience.
When the customer trusts that they can speak candidly, feel seen, and receive feedback tailored to their experience, they will want to work with you now and in the future.
3. Ask for feedback
As customer expectations increase, you need to go above and beyond in order to stand out. Don’t assume that your prospects or clients necessarily share your feelings on how your interactions have gone. Instead, ask them for feedback.
Open a social forum where people can communicate their feedback and ideas for improvement, or encourage customers to write reviews that you can share.
Ask your existing clients to submit feedback directly. How likely are they to work with you again? What went wrong? What went right?
Soliciting feedback is a win-win. Sales professionals benefit from positive online reviews and can improve your process by receiving constructive criticism and customers appreciate having their voice heard.
By opening the door for critique, you show prospects and clients that you value their opinion and want to be the best possible resource for them. This goes a long way toward providing a great customer experience.
4. Be honest about right fit
When a prospect trusts a salesperson, they will open up and reveal their pain points, their budgetary concerns, and what’s really going on in their head.
Only when you achieve this level of open communication can you really start to make your pitch about why your product or solution is the right fit.
How do you build trust? In the most basic sense, it’s important to act ethically.
If you see that your solution isn’t a good fit for the buyer, don’t sell them on it. In fact, explain why it’s not a good fit.