3 Things To Remember When Interacting With Customers

July 13, 2020 Written by Dave Duke

One of the things I preach as a customer success leader is to be mindful of every customer interaction. On the surface, it sounds like a no-brainer. Anyone on your team who has an interaction with a customer should be on their best behavior and dedicated to ensuring the customer is treated with respect and is the recipient of a great experience.

As we know, however, that is not always how things play out. Sometimes we don’t give customers the attention that they deserve. We have a tendency to take customers for granted and in doing so, we forget that a true partnership involves more than just an email or two a month accompanied by a quarterly business review. Managing at scale makes the situation even more challenging. For a customer success team, juggling a large volume of relationships and conversations can be cumbersome and overwhelming. Customer facing teams usually have the best intentions, but can forget that every interaction leaves an impression.

Something to keep in mind is that customers are busy. Like all of us, they are balancing various responsibilities and working against deadlines. As suppliers, we have a limited amount of time to build lasting customer relationships that ensure renewals and lock in future growth.

To ensure you’re making the most out of every interaction, keep these three suggestions in mind. 

1. Be In The Moment

There is a lot to be said about being present when having customer conversations. Giving all your attention to the interaction benefits all parties and leads to better outcomes. Customers only have a set amount of time to give us so we have to give each conversation our undivided attention. When you’re not present in the moment, questions can go unanswered, confusion can be created, and you can miss out on subtle warnings of things being amiss in the partnership. Give your customers the attention they deserve.

2. Ask Why

When you’re on a customer facing team, it’s always a best practice to ask ‘why.’ It is the only way to truly understand the concerns and aspirations of your customers. Oftentimes, it is necessary to ask several follow-up questions to truly get to the heart of the matter. If you can get to the root cause of the question, you will be better prepared to offer an appropriate solution. This can apply to short term scenarios as well as the long term account strategy. Asking ‘why’ can be the catalyst to fully understanding your customer’s needs and desired outcomes.

3. Prioritize Alignment

Alignment is a critical component of the customer relationship equation. Without it, individuals on both sides of the supplier/buyer partnership can be left unsatisfied. Your customers purchase your products and services with specific goals in mind, but without a system in place that puts desired outcomes at the forefront of the customer relationship, it’s easy to lose focus.

Make sure to consistently check in on what your customers’ goals are during each stage of the customer journey. Then, document these outcomes so that everyone on your internal team is on the same page and understands what your customers are looking to achieve. 

Managing customers is a 24/7/365 endeavor. We can all do better to fully embrace the importance of every customer interaction in B2B. Be in the moment, ask why, and always be on a mission to attain alignment. Your customers will thank you.

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