We have been programmed to service our customers with the mentality of "The Customer is Always Right." While that is true, it can also mean they have a narrow view of what their goals are for newly purchased products and services.
With many customer teams, they get focused on the immediate pains or challenges that they need to solve in day to day responsibilities, but it may not have much value to the company in a way that is meaningful to the leadership team. What I have found in working with customers is that they focus on lower value tactical problems and don't always recognize what the higher value problems are that could revolutionize the way they operate.
One way to help a customer tie their lower value tactical goals to a higher value outcome is to ask a planned series of questions that helps them to share how they operate today and where are the bigger challenges. Even diagramming workflows will help customers explain where the deficits and inefficiencies are in delivering on their organizational goals and objectives. In most cases, it will become clear where the lower value tactical goals come into play and allow you to ask deeper questions on what their bigger strategic goals and objectives are. Then you can identify the higher value problems and begin to develop a plan and roadmap for how you can solve their tactical goals at the same time of delivering on a solution to the high value problems. Instead of having them tell you what they need you to do, ask them questions about their organizational goals and objective for the year or quarter and the challenges they are facing to be able to deliver on those goals. It will allow you to help them diagnose the real causes of these tactical problems and design a solution that provides a much higher value and potential ROI.
Once you've had this detailed discussion, it will create the opportunity for you to present solution options for them to not only resolve the current lower value tactical issues, but perhaps educate them on other areas they can improve and innovate that begin to solve the higher value problems. The benefit is that the customer will feel that you are vested in helping them be successful with their short term goals, and in the process help them to improve their organizational effectiveness with a more innovative approach. You'll make them feel that you really cared about improving their ability to optimize their operations or enable new revenue streams. You are creating a much higher value experience for them to get the most out of your products or services.
Customer Success team members can create a customer on-boarding approach that not only validates their current concerns and challenges but helps them to define the higher value problems that align with their current goals in order to generate a plan and roadmap to ensure they can realize both soft and hard ROIs. Then you've got a plan in place to ensure customer's will continue to invest with your company's products and services.
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Jackie A. Golden