2 minute read
By Ryan Hollenbeck
Posted in Customer Engagement
Would your customers call your organization a partner or a vendor? (Hint: This is not a trick question!)
The partner vs. vendor discussion is not new -- however, recent market research from Vantedge offers us telling feedback on the answer.
While most organizations likely want to call themselves partners, this research shows us something interesting. Having a partner vs. a vendor is still a priority for customers -- and yet most say they are not receiving the collaborative, advisor approach they want.
In my last blog, I said that to keep up with rapid changes in the customer engagement landscape, organizations need trusted partners and proven solutions that are easy to own, easy to operate, and easy to expand. Increasingly, these solutions must support collaboration, automation, open interfaces, simple integrations, and cloud and other deployment models -- all key success factors for driving modern customer engagement with greater simplicity.
Sounds like there's some work to be done, doesn't it?
Not too surprisingly, the study also found that "Optimizing Customer Support Staff & Resources" was a top business priority for decision-makers/influencers globally. The U.S. is also very focused on increasing efficiencies and customer engagement -- while the EU also prioritizes customer experience improvements.
I see this and what jumps out at me is the need to "practice what you preach." What I mean by that is if you want to be a preferred provider of customer engagement solutions, then you need to start with becoming a valuable partner to your customers. And then, help them do the same with their customers.
If only 36% of companies globally view their current provider as a "trusted advisor," then there's some room for growth, wouldn't you say? One way to demonstrate to your customers that you can be trusted is by offering them simple, modern solutions that help them solve their customers' challenges. This research showed that the concept of automating is viewed as most important in the U.S., while simplifying and modernizing are most important in Europe.
It stands to reason that if you sell to the whole world -- and many of us do -- you need a company that does all three well: simplify, modernize and automate.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, we regularly hear from our customers -- and the market at-large -- that they want to increase their speed and efficiency, as well as free up employees at all levels for more meaningful work. Our solutions enable employees to focus on more strategic and customer-facing activities -- and less on repetitive tasks -- by automating routine functions such as data entry and quality evaluations. When your employees can focus on serving customers with excellence rather than doing repetitive work, great things can happen.
With CX now a board-level priority across industries, it's time to focus on it. As we strive for continuous improvement as a trusted advisor for our customers, we find that they appreciate us most when we are listening, responding and improving.
So important to keep a finger on the customer pulse through these types of assessments. An old challenge for sure...but moving from a simple vendor to trusted partner position is still the ultimate goal. And one that differentiates the market leaders.
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