Aligning marketing with customer goals – otherwise known as customer experience (CX) – is rapidly becoming one of the most important components of successful B2B business. So, what does it mean and where should you start? Jill Willis shares her insight.
- What outcome does your customer want to achieve?
Jill says: “This is the first question any senior exec or business owner should ask themselves. Why? Because this is all that matters. It’s not important what you want to do, or achieve, or become. It’s the wrong mentality. All that matters is what is important to your customer.
It’s vital to get inside the head of your customer and uncover the journey they’re on and the goal they want to achieve. This is how you begin to create engaging and effective CX.
- What does your customer need, value and receive from you?
Jill says: “Your customers give you their attention, trust and ultimately, their money. They choose you rather than your competitors. So, you really need to understand what it is that they need from you to achieve their goal, how you add value for them in the process and whether what they receive from you right now is enough.
- Are you truly customer orientated?
Jill says: A lot of SMEs see customer experience as a bit of a to-do list. There are tasks to complete, and that is pretty much it. However, being truly customer orientated requires your business to switch from being internally focused to very externally focused. That can be a challenge.
Often marketing is given CX and told to get to work on ROI. In reality, the entire organisation needs to transition, the CEO needs to lead this with buy in from the c-suite.
It is unrealistic to think that the marketing team can own customer experience with the sales team doing something completely different.
- Can you transform value created for customers into value created for your business?
Jill says: Once you know what your customer needs and values and have worked out what changes need to be made to deliver this, the next step is about creating a strong link between your customers and the value to your business.
If you’re intending that a stronger customer experience will ultimately reduce acquisition costs, marketing costs or create an increase in retention then you should set a target to reach so you’ll have something to measure against by the end.
This is all linked to the sub-question, ‘why do you want to become more customer oriented?’
- How can you bring CX to life?
Jill says: Now is the time to create a CX action plan. But be aware, you’re not going to become more customer oriented just because you created a customer map.
True CX success is in the tangible action of listening to customers, changing teams, and developing products or services that align with customer goals. That’s how CX comes to life.
Consider that you won’t be able to transition everything at once, so you’ll need to prioritise based on customer needs. Involve all parts of the business and clearly communicate your needs.
It might be the marketing team who have been asked to lead on CX and transitioning the business to a customer orientated way of operating, but it is unlikely they’ll manage the other teams, systems or tech required to make it happen.
So, break down silos, and get straight to the basics. Focus on the people, processes, and technologies that you’ll need as this will make implementation possible.
Connect with Jill Willis via LinkedIn