Today, technology drives B2B businesses, with highly educated and digital world savvy marketing and sales professionals at the core. With the Internet becoming the primary source for information gathering and sharing, digital content is king. Complemented by CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and SFA (Sales Force Automation) software, our historically analog sales world has transformed into a digital cyber world.
Given the technology trajectory described above, it is no wonder there is an accelerating push towards a highly fact-based, data-driven and technology-focused mindset. And so, rather than trying to help solve the human side of their customers’ problems, salespeople have a tendency to focus on the many attributes of the products, the technical capabilities and marketing-shaped values by adopting the latest digital technology while connecting with all customers at all times. And, as technology keeps growing exponentially, we will see this trend of digital interaction taking over customer-facing human activities accelerating even faster.
We constantly push customers towards digital content in a variety of ways such as making them navigate complex phone trees just to get a question answered, requiring they select their product from complicated online selection tools prior to human contact, to pushing out multimedia presentations as a result of a first contact. Yes, there is research data that shows buyers actually prefer to learn more on their own through electronic sources prior to engaging sales, but these days, we’re often requiring they do it whether they want to or not. And, we’re not always making it easy or enjoyable.
So, where does this leave the customer? More precisely, where does this leave the person, the human, the individual that is our customer? It leaves most of them upset because they typed the wrong number in the phone system and were forced to start again, frustrated as the well-intended product selected did not provide the expected information and disappointed because the on-line web-ex event was just boring.
When all the answers they don’t amount to much
Somebody that you can just talk to
And a little of that human touch
Bruce Springsteen – Human Touch
Offering meaningful and personalized support from a customer point-of-view should be at the start of our thinking. We need to put the customer at the core of our whole organization. Let us all focus on exciting and lasting customer interactions.
Credits: Miller Heiman