By Peter Armaly
You’re a customer of business software. Your company spent a lot of money on a product it hopes will improve the speed with which you do your job.
Um, great. Pressure. Spotlight. Those things you try to avoid.
You think to yourself, “Why is it me who’s under the gun?” Which leads you to ask, “Isn’t this a two-way street?” Then you say, with some irritation:
- It would help if the vendor would improve the speed at which I could learn their product.
- It would help if the vendor’s support department would improve the speed at which they fixed things when I report a problem or even knew who I was when I called in.
- It would help if the vendor’s marketing team would send me tips and tricks on what we have instead of trying to convince me to buy those things we already have or to buy something else.
- It would help if the vendor’s salesperson, who seemed so interesting and interested in me at one point, would send me more than a templated Christmas card, likely signed by an underpaid admin.
- It would help if the vendor would improve the speed at which I could talk to a real product expert if I got to a point where I needed just a little bit more knowledge about how to use the product and couldn’t figure things out from their documentation.
- Most of all, it would really help if the vendor would improve the speed at which they learned about me. Me. I know all about them from their “About us” page, but how much do they know about me?
Is this you? Don’t lie. This is you. It’s me too. It’s everyone who has ever worked with any enterprise software program anywhere. Especially that last “it would really help.”
I made up all those thoughts you see above but you can probably identify with them, right? As the lead on our Voice of the Customer program for customer success, I hear all kinds of feedback, but the one that has the most powerful impact on the future of all of us is that last one.
Despite all the legitimate concerns about privacy, a desire for personalization is on the rise. It’ll require a delicate balance of respect and technology (see this piece by a former colleague), but it is possible for vendors to deliver what customers want and need. Convenience, speed, knowledge, and a relationship.
Here’s a quote to close the post. Bain & Company recently released a report called, Customer Experience Tools and Trends 2018, which includes this:
“The toothpaste is out of the tube: More and more customers expect their vendors to provide a highly personalized approach, powered by AI.”