Don’t Just Sell To Customers — Guide Them On A Journey
It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking about your customer interactions in a binary way: either you’re selling to them, or you’re providing post-sales support. So much importance is placed on closing the deal that pre-sales interactions are mostly focused on persuading them to purchase. After that, it’s all about damage control when technical or support issues arise, or it’s about “keeping the customer happy,” as we’ve all heard it said many times. But what it really implies is just keeping the customer content until the next sales cycle.
Instead, I suggest viewing your organization as a constant companion for your customers, confidently guiding them on a journey of business evolution and transformation as they innovate and compete in their own markets. In the field, a guide never leaves the people she’s guiding, and your organization shouldn’t, either. Your customers need regular attention from you, and in the long run, both you and your customers will benefit from those touchpoints. By maximizing those moments of connection, you can better understand customers’ pain points and how you can help them.
These touch points should be focused on different topics and concerns depending on where your customers are in the journey. The initial touch point gives you the opportunity to gain awareness of their needs, and then to build their interest in how you can assist them on their journey. Done effectively and earnestly, you’ll find that you enter into the next touch point, which revolves around piquing their interest in what your organization has to offer them. These are the interactions during which you and your customers can qualify needs and requirements.
Depending on your market, the next touch point is either installation or delivery of goods purchased. With both sides of the business deal fulfilled (payment and delivery), this is the moment when many organizations start looking for the exit. In reality, taking the extra time to consult with your customers and transfer knowledge means you can look for ways to extend your interactions with them apart from purely support activities. If you put in the effort, you’ll notice that you and your customers enter into the sixth touch point, which is mutual advocacy. You’re interacting with them, and they’re communicating to everyone they can about the fantastic relationship they have with you.