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Your customer: "What have you done for me lately?"

March 23, 2021|Account Management, Sales

If I were to ask you to think of a memorable customer experience, what comes to mind? I’m willing to bet a bad experience or two pops into your head, along with maybe a really excellent one. There are many theories why, but in general, most of us tend to remember the bad experiences more than the good experiences, unless they were particularly astounding. 

While working with a customer recently, we introduced the concept of Make-or-Break Moments. Those critical points with any customer that, depending on how you approach them, can help you accelerate your relationship, or really tank it. When things go wrong is certainly on that list, but it might surprise you that it’s also critical to consider what to do when things go right.

Put simply, customers are busy, and they aren’t going to remember all the good things that happen everyday, because they EXPECT good things to happen. It’s our job to remind them, in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re just going around and tooting your own horn but serves the broader purpose of keeping and growing your relationship.

Share wins that matter

Busy customers don’t want to waste time listening to your self-serving highlight reel of greatest hits every time you talk. That gets old. Fast. To keep them listening, say something that matters (to them). We recommend focusing your wins on those that are either early, consistent, or substantial – or any combination of those factors. 

  • Early wins are great to highlight for new customers or new services. Showing an impact early helps buyer feel confident about the decision they have made and gets them excited about what’s to come.

  • Consistent wins add up over time (often making them substantial as well), and show that something isn’t a one-off stroke of luck. Customers want someone who can consistently deliver on their promised results.

  • Substantial wins have big impact! Whether it’s a great story or a significant impact on the bottom line, these are the anecdotes that will get shared.

Share for maximum impact

Whatever type of win you have, three rules of thumb apply.

  1. The right forum: An early win might be a quick phone call or an email to the relevant parties. It’s usually more of an FYI and doesn’t require big conversation. The nice thing about these kinds of things in email to your contact is that they can forward it on! Consistent and substantial wins might need a bigger forum. These are great for business reviews and executive debriefs. These are also great double- or triple-dip opportunities. Share them when they happen, and remind and reinforce at big milestones like quarterly and annual business reviews.

  2. Connect to the impact: Make sure you’re not just talking about what happened, but what the impact of that was to the customer’s business. The closer you can get to the bottom line, the better! This means that you’re not just talking about the consistent on-time delivery over the last quarter, you’re pointing out that that means avoiding costly delays and upset customers down their supply chain. 

  3. Keep it happening: A success story alone has a short shelf-life. Whenever you’re sharing one, make sure that you also cover what you will do to make sure this keeps happening. It shows customers that you care about continuing to perform at a high level and won’t just rest on your laurels.

Being smarter about how you share wins with your customers will help you keep them, but remember that you can’t service your way to growth. A strong overall strategy with new and current customers will help you get, keep, and grow the relationships you want.

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