By K.S. Parag Managing Director, FVC
Enterprise technology is a booming industry and companies are creating software and hardware that better meets the needs of their customers and solves the problems they face. But the industry isn’t without its problems.
Enterprise technology as an industry faces many issues that are threatening the success of new software and new businesses. From cloud to customer demands, some of the biggest challenges in enterprise technology right now includes outdated UI/UX, mixing cloud and on-premise services, standing out of the crowd, following consumer technologies, catering to one customer, balancing feedback and focus, and lots more.
In such a scenario, companies often turn to their solution providers and partners for solutions to their key problems. Thus, your team as a channel partner has to come up with answers that are flexible and as per the requirement of the situation. You also have to give your team some leeway where, in the interest of your company’s reputation, they would be able to serve your customers better.
Customer service in today’s world is an essential part of a company. With the increasing competition in all industries, the challenge is to deliver high-quality solutions accompanied by great customer service. However, this task is not a piece of cake.
Here are some suggestions on how you, as a channel partner can efficiently address challenges faced by your customers:
Understand Your Customer’s Expectations
The first and possibly the biggest challenge is to understand the diverse and constantly changing customer expectations. Since customers can be diverse by gender, race, age, generation, and so on, it is very critical to speak to your customers to understand their specific problems. Always approach them with a “no one size fits all” strategy. It is important for a business to get to know its clients, customers, and consumers. Find out their needs, expectations, preferences, opinions, and suggestions for improvement.
Reach Out to Your Customers
Researching and gathering data about your customers is paramount to solving their problems. There are plenty of ways to advertise and get through the customers. Use a mix of print media, radio, television, phones, email, social media and of course, face-to-face campaigns to reach out to your customers. Indulge in surveys, competitions and so on to gather information about your customers’ pain points, so you are better prepared to address those problems. Implementation of a customer feedback service and gathering data from customers will help you understand and work towards better customer experience.
Consistency is probably the most difficult challenge to achieve. Great customer service must be delivered to all customers, across all business channels, 24/7. Each and every experience of each and every customer must be equally good. What affects customer satisfaction are cumulative experiences across multiple touch points and in multiple channels over time. Hence, consistency can be achieved by having clear-cut policies on delivering great customer service.
Exceed Customer Expectations
As a channel partner, it is not just enough to meet your customer’s expectations. The fact that these expectations are constantly changing, you must then be always a step ahead. You need to understand that the expectations of customers are set by your competitors. Stay ahead of the competition by being updated with new initiatives and suggestions based on customer feedbacks and current industry trends.
Employ Skilled Professionals
Having a skilled workforce is the best thing a channel partner could ever have. However, you also need to understand that though hiring skilled employees is one thing, retaining them is another. Companies must have structured programs to teach and train new hires about company policies, values, culture and practices in dealing with customers. Additionally, considering that customer service is one of the most stressful jobs, companies must also provide benefits that offer work-life balance and support lifestyle activities that can reduce stress and boost productivity.