Your customers don’t buy the same way they did before the internet was in everyone’s pocket and you shouldn’t be trying to sell to them like they do. Gone are the days of hiring a new salesperson, going to tradeshows, and cold calling to drum up new business. Today’s buyers find information, compare vendors, and make buying decisions in new ways, so it’s time to update your manufacturing marketing strategy.
Buyers don’t want the same sales or marketing experience they got ten years ago. They want a new kind of buying experience that values them, their time, and delivers exceptional solutions to their specific problems and they want to buy from the companies that give it to them.
The companies that can adapt to this new kind of buyer and deliver this kind of customer experience create differentiation.
And creating differentiation is crucial because your customers have access to all of your competitors and all of their products. Creating differentiation in this buying environment with products and features is exceptionally hard.
Creating differentiation with customer experience, on the other hand, requires a commitment on the part of the seller to curate relationships with their customers where every interaction builds the customer experience. From leadership to tech support, everyone has to be on board, or the experience will fall short.
Before you can make active changes to your internal culture or strategy, you first have to understand and internalize why you need to make those changes.
All of your competitors, their products, services, pricing, and features are one internet search away at all times. To stand out to your prospects and keep customers coming back you need to do more than just offer a product or a feature.
If you want to stand out, you need to solve for the customer and put the customer first across your entire organization.
This might seem like a simple idea, and you might even think that solving for the customer is already something you’re doing, but is customer first really the driving philosophy across all your departments?
Does your back office have anyhuman connection to your customer? Is your sales team really focused on solving problems or are they just trying to meet a quota? Is your service team proactive or reactive (they only do something if a customer complains first)? Who is making sure that your customers are successful when they first purchase, helping them set up, and get started?
Your culture (the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors) needs to be customer focused across all levels of your organization because if it is not, your customers will know and you’ll lose out to the first competitor who approaches them with a lower price or a better customer experience.
“Customer experience is the new marketing.” - Brian Solis
Your customer experience should be putting your customers’ needs at the center of all of your interactions. All of your customer-facing people should be living the mindset of being helpful, they should have a centralized view of the customer, and they should be all be actively curating an amazing customer experience. That is how you create a marketing strategy that creates differentiation, drives new revenue, and keeps existing customers loyal.