Use technology to be awake and responsive to your customers and associates

Imagine this:

Suppose you’re a wholesale distributor’s customer and you were mistakenly shipped a wrong component in a kitted order. They’re rushing to assemble your replacement kits.

When you call to check your order status, which responses will make you feel they actually care about you?

  1. “Let me put you on hold and I’ll try calling Bob in the warehouse to see if there’s an update.”
  2. “The kits are in process and on schedule to ship Friday.”
  3. You don’t need to call them because they’ve been emailing you status updates.
  4. Those emails included a page of ideas from other companies that increased their sell-through rates for the kits you ordered.

Now imagine the same example from the view of the distributor’s sales manager who made changes:

  1. “We don’t have kit problems often, but when we do they blow up into crises because our trouble tickets are hard to manage. How can we automate the tickets so things go smoothly for our customers?”
  2. “What if the customer didn’t even have to check up on us? Could we automate order-status updates to keep them up to date?”
  3. “What if we automatically attach proven sell-through ideas that are specific to the items ordered?”

Each iteration signals to the customer that the distributor better understands what’s important to them.

Now imagine the same process changes from the view of the distributor’s sales team:

They’ve gone from having to chase down order status information in the warehouse, to knowing their customer is being taken care of well.

After seeing their company make customer-centric changes to system, they’ll suggest innovations too. The work environment for employees is transformed as much as the customer’s experience is transformed.

Here’s how it can get really powerful

Michael Penny, Founder of organic mattress manufacturer Savvy Rest, takes customer focus to inspirational levels. Here’s an excerpt from his essay, Selling Without Self: A Nontraditional Manufacturer’s View, where he writes about genuine connections with customers during their buying process.

“If you make a sale just to score that sale, a few things happen:

1. You miss the opportunity to have an authentic relationship with another human being.

2. Your customer misses the opportunity to have an authentic relationship with you.

3. There is nothing in the experience for a customer to “pay forward” to another human being.

4. You make no difference in someone’s life other than to sell them an object.

5. You make no difference in changing the dominating values in our culture or our world.”

Innovative companies can have a big impact on the quality of people’s lives while still generating profits to sustain and grow their companies.

It begins with intention

Set an intention for more honorable, respectful relationships. Start by looking across your company to notice situations where people are upset, frustrated or de-motivated. Remove what causes that harm.

Get flexible, non-limiting tools that give you freedom to repeatedly innovate. Get a technology partner who thinks this way too, who can really make the tools sing for you.

We’d love to hear your wish list for connecting authentically with your customers and welcome your call. When technology helps us to be more aware of what needs attention, we can improve customer service and turn good intentions into automated, repeatable practices.