When it comes to building a successful customer service organization, you always want to start with defining your business outcomes. So the first question becomes: what do you want to achieve? Is it increased customer loyalty? Increased revenue? Incremental customer growth? Without understanding your ultimate end goal, knowing a customer’s history may seem unnecessary. But as soon as you identify your goal, it’ll become clear that your organization won’t be successful without access to customer history, and you’ll instantly know what about the customer’s history is most valuable to understand.
Let’s think of customer relationships more broadly. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about building a relationship with a new friend or significant other? You’ll most likely want to learn about who that person is on a deeper level. This helps you understand why they make the decisions they make, what their habits are, and more generally, who they are as a person.
You should follow that same mindset when it comes to your relationships with customers. The way you approach a customer varies depending on the type of business you are in. Whether it’s B2C or B2B, both are equally as important. Your customer is purchasing from you for a reason, and it would be a missed opportunity to not understand why. An inadequate view of this information will disrupt your team’s ability to create more meaningful interactions that will leave a lasting impression and keep valued customers.
Customer History for B2B Organizations
If you are in the B2B space, you know how much of an investment, in both time and money, your customers are making by switching over to your business. Clearly, the previous provider didn’t work for them, and if you never bother to understand what their pain points were and why they have moved over to you, you’ll end up making the same mistakes, likely resulting in churn.
Pain points are defined as specific problems that current or prospective customers can experience along their customer journey. They are essentially any problems that the buyer may experience with the product or services a business provides. Paint points for B2B buyers can involve several concerns ranging from poor service from a vendor’s support team to limited integrations and scalability, or even broader vendor dissatisfaction due to lack of reliability or high costs. Pain points such as these can negatively impact the buyer’s own business and reflect poorly upon the provider’s services.
Changing providers can be logistically challenging and is not a task that many organizations would undertake without identifying the challenges they are facing with their current provider. Understanding the pain points of these potential buyers can help you significantly improve the customer experience you are able to provide and, in turn, help improve conversions and customer retention. The pain points that buyers in the B2B space have previously experienced can provide insights into areas you may need to address, improve, and alter your own processes. For example, suppose buyers have expressed that challenges related to customer support were major factors in their decision to switch providers. In that case, you’ll want to ensure that your support team has the necessary processes to respond to customer needs promptly and follow up with actionable solutions or recommendations.
It is incredibly important to always identify customer challenges, map out how to solve them and ensure that you are delivering value at every opportunity. At the end of the day, if your service still can’t solve some of the pain points they have presented, the relationship might not make sense and it’s better to set proper expectations right at the forefront.
People yearn for trust and that goes hand-in-hand with powerful and effective business relationships built on a collaborative plan that sets out to overcome obstacles. This can only happen when you understand and have access to your customer’s history.
Delivering on B2C Consumer Expectations
In the B2C space, younger generations are continuing to trend towards higher expectations from the brands that they engage with. They are looking for easy access, real-time information, and proactive approaches that make their day-to-day life easier. Customer service in today’s digital world is what makes you stand out from your competitors.
Knowing your customer’s purchase history, loyalty status, preferences, or even sentiment with your brand, allows you to treat them with higher levels of service, increasing customer loyalty. This, in turn, makes your own team’s lives easier and helps to prevent fatigue. Arming your team with such valuable information allows them to act quickly and spend less time tracking down information, which grants them more time to think creatively and respond more thoroughly.
Whether you are working with a business or you are engaging with individual customers, knowing a customer’s history will allow you to avoid the same mistakes or disruptive experiences they have been faced with in the past, and build long-lasting, lucrative relationships.
Interested in learning more about what your customers expect, and how to deliver? Check out our research on modern-day consumer expectations.