Tag Archives: customer service


Using Stories to Sell and Improve Customer Experience

Sales people, at least the ones that I have met, love nothing more than to “Show Up” and throw up all over their customers.

While amusing to watch this feature focused product/service dump, businesses are losing money each and every day that they continue to deploy this strategy because of these three simple words…

It. Doesn’t. Work.

For anyone who hasn’t seen Simon Sinek’s “Start With Why” presentation, make sure you watch it right away. (Click Here)

In short, the reason that feature selling and product dumps don’t drive a purchase is because people don’t buy with their rational brain, they buy based on feeling. Those feelings are completely disconnected to our ability to speak and that is why we can’t always express our decisions, even when we know they are right.

So how do we get closer to driving sales and happier customers?

First, we stop selling our features until we truly understand their needs.

Then we need to build an experience around their story, their belief on how your product or service should work.

Make Sense?

Let me give you an example.

My company, EC3, is a provider of IP Based Telephony and Communication Systems.

Our cloud based solution is amazing and it has every feature and capability under the sun. It takes pages and pages and pages just to list everything that can be done with our “UberSuperCool” system.

Guess what?

Most people don’t care and if I walk into a prospects office and tell them about all of the great features we have, they will probably tell me just that, “Who Cares” or some iteration of that because the features don’t make them want to buy.

So how about a different approach?

How about you ask the customer a question such as…

Mrs. Customer, tell me in your mind, how would the perfect communication system work for your company?

And then…Ssshhhhh, listen and see what happens next.

A series of questions to force them to further elaborate and share the “Story” of what communication should look like, you are now connecting emotionally to what matters and simultaneously learning about the customers’ needs.

This emotional connection creates an attachment to you, your service and then to those great features and benefits you offer.

Too often companies that don’t successfully sell their product or deliver great service fail to realize that it isn’t their product or their service that is holding them back. Rather it is their determined nature to focus on the product and service itself, rather than what is truly important.

And in case it hasn’t resonated yet, what is truly important is the ability for the customer to connect to you and your business.

Letting them tell the story gives you the ammunition you need to make the sale and to deliver better customer experience because you truly understand what they want.

Your story is the fastest way to sell more you…

And your customers story is the fastest way to help them, sell themselves.

Once they’ve done that, all your whiz bang features will be the icing on the cake.

And who doesn’t like icing?

This article was originally features on Millennial CEO and can be found here. For a great cloud story and a partner that believes in your success, join us here.


Making the Grade for Customer Experience

As a child, you learn from an early age that an “A” is target grade.

And while we all end up setting the bar for ourselves higher or lower, the A is the most coveted grade.

With enough A’s we can get ourselves into the best colleges, internships and careers.

Usually represented by greater than 90%, an A means you are getting less than 1 in 10 wrong. Regardless of what that 1 is.

In the world of technology, there is an A grade as well.

An “A” is reflected by the satisfaction of the customer.

More specifically for a service organization, an A is the only grade that will ensure you long term customers.

What they don’t teach you in school though is that the A grade in customer service isn’t 90%. It is 100%.

Nowadays anything less is becoming increasingly unacceptable.

So how do you make the grade in technology to deliver 100% customer satisfaction?

Especially in a world where change is the only constant and there isn’t enough hours in the day to train your team to fully support your last product let alone your next one.

But guess what, it doesn’t matter.

The expectations are there because if you don’t deliver the grade then someone else will.

That is the type of world we live in.

People want to be satisfied with real results. How they want them, when they want them with no waiting and certainly no excuses.

Guess what?

This desire is great in theory, but it is a disaster in practice.

The bottom line is there isn’t an organization out there that can deliver perfect experiences 100% of the time.

It simply isn’t realistic.

But the good organizations, the ones that become known for delivering world class service do something that other organizations do not.

They follow a path that doesn’t only solve most problems, but humanizes the entire experience of service.

Moreover the things they do aren’t rocket science, they aren’t even complicated. But they work, and when the grade is the only thing that counts for keeping customers, the fact that they work is what counts.

From my experience, this is what the great companies do to make the grade for customer experience;

First, they communicate.

And not only do they communicate often, but they communicate well and in a timely manner. Nobody wants to be waiting on hold when they have a problem to solve.

Secondly, after they communicate they empathize.

This isn’t because they feel obligated to, but because the genuinely care about your challenges as a customer and they want to understand how to make it better.

Next, they set the right expectations.

People can handle challenges and delays much better when expectations are set. Sometimes just knowing a problem or need is being attended to can put a company in a much better light. Further it amazes me how often this isn’t done well.

Finally, they meet the expectations.

Sounds easy enough, but it is easy to get bogged down or distracted or just forget to deliver on a promise. However meeting the expectation set is like your brand promise.

Even though people want things to work 100%, 100% of the time. Most (not all) people are realistic.

But once you fail to deliver on your brand promise it is very hard to regain the trust that was had and then lost.

The A grade for business may or may not be the same as the grade back in your school years.

But in today’s world companies that want to set the pace have to go for the “A” because anything less is merely an open door for the competition.

Are you an IT Var or a cloud service provider looking to partner with a pace setting provider of hosted unified communications. Check us out here