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Keep Your Customers in the Loop

Keep Your Customers in the Loop

Keep Your Customers in the Loop. Don’t keep them in the dark.

There are zillion ways to enhance your customer experience. While the majority of such ways require a lot of effort to be put in, quite a few are easier to implement. One such easiest way to better your customer experience is to “Keep your Customers in the loop”.

As you keep reading through this article, based on my recent experience with 3 different customer service centers. You can draw parallels to the epic film of the 60s – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly directed by Sergio Leone.

The Good

I filled an online form on Vakil Search for an inquiry. Within a few minutes, I received an acknowledgment email along with the tracking number. To my surprise, I was told that a dedicated advisor has been assigned to handle my question and a 24-hour helpline is available for instant support.

Throughout the journey of my experience with Vakil Search, I was impressed with the way they kept me in the loop on all transactions by sharing regular updates. I would best summarize this as The Good experience among the three. In spite of the time taken to close the case, I would still rate them extremely positive on Customer Experience.

The Bad

You all have been multi-tasking, so do I. Around the same time of my experience with Vakil Search, I had to deal with another organization (name not disclosed for reasons better known to me), for they had a number of issues with their product.

While the acknowledgment was a standard template, it took more than a couple of weeks for them to understand my pain points. There wasn’t any response from their support team after a few follow-ups, which made to reconsider my decision on using their product.

At this decisive hour, I receive an email from them acknowledging it as a bug. All long those days of unresponsiveness, the Support Team had been working with the Development Team to deliver a fix. Nevertheless, I settled down with them as they managed to address my concerns. However, the bad experience with the Support and their process, keeps me thinking to switch over, for you all know by now that I am a Customer Experience Enthusiast.

And, The Ugly

Finally, take a few seconds more to read my experience with an e-commerce portal, where I ordered a gift for my bestie. I am sure you all would have guessed it by now. For those, who didn’t, the obvious thing happened – the gift wasn’t delivered in time. I now had to raise a ticket with their customer service portal.

Though there was a standard acknowledgment for the issue raised, the Support Team, neither the management, bothered to call or apologize for the non-delivery of service. After over a month or so, I receive a call from them saying the product was misplaced during transit and that the same will be delivered the next day. I wasn’t quite sure if this was going to happen as their Service seemed unapologetic to me.

Well, the last words.

One common thing across these 3 scenarios was that there was a delay in the final outcome. However, it is obvious that the Good (my experience with Vakil Search) turned out to be the top scorer in terms of customer experience, for they managed to keep in the loop during all transactions. I was well informed on the happenings and I could imagine what their next step would be. The result turned out to be on similar lines of my expectations.

Your customers never see the hard work you put in unless you keep him informed. However hard you may try to resolve his issues, you score a point less if you haven’t gotten back to your customer on what has been happening. The anxious wait to know what has happened kills the customer’s precious time and energy.

Offering great customer service is easy. But, the onus is on the organization to keep the experience alive for all customers across all times. Businesses need to empathize with the customer first, before trying to solve his product/service issues. Keep your customers in the loop well informed about the steps taken to address his/her concerns. By doing so, you are taking the first step to creating brand ambassadors for your product/service through the customer.

Do you agree?

The 30-60-90 Day guide for CSM Aspirants

The 30-60-90 Day guide for CSM Aspirants

The 30-60-90 Day guide

Landing a new job will give you both excitement and anxiety. The learning curve and the zeal to create a lasting impression will be pressurizing. Organizing your time and prioritizing tasks is imperative, and a 30 – 60 – 90 Day plan will help you do just that.

It will help you absorb the core job responsibilities and plan your activities accordingly. Think of the 30 60 90-day plan as the magical compass of “CAPTAIN” Jack Sparrow, it’ll show what you want the most and guide you and your team towards success. 

The plan consists of three phases

1. Understand

2. Analyze and Plan

3. Execute.

Each phase is divided into 30 days and each of them has its own priorities.

Hari Kishore, a customer success enthusiast, has willingly contributed a guide for CSM aspirants. This guide will walk you through his vision of product success and growth as a new joiner in the organization. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

If you are a self-motivated aspirant in your stream of business, feel free to share your plan for the benefit of the larger audience. You can reach me at [email protected]


Importance of Presales

Importance of Presales

Importance of Presales

In today’s customer success-driven industry, business is in a constant quest for growth. But, they often overlook a promising opportunity within their organization: Presales. An integral part of the sales team, Presales plays a crucial role in not only acquiring new business but also lay the foundation to retain customers for a lifetime.

Presales operations kickstart when the potential customer has been identified. They carry out a specific set of activities that lead to qualifying, present product demonstration and help sales win deals as well as to renew.

More specifically, it refers to the technical side of the sales; responsible to demonstrate technical aspect and business value of the product.

As mentioned in my previous blog, I have dwelled into the details of the responsibilities and importance of presales in an organization.

Who is a presales engineer?

A presales engineer is a person who works alongside a salesperson to discover a customer’s business challenges and creates a unique solution to present back to their decision-makers.  They help prospects visualize the value and benefits through an engaging story. When executed well it equates to a sale for the business, ROI for the customer and long term relationship.

Break down of responsibilities

Two-thirds of Presale’s efforts involve technical activities (crafting solutions to customers’ problems) and the remaining one-third is for commercial activities (manage deal qualification, bid RFP).

  • Qualify leads by tagging with salespeople during visits or calls with prospects and clients.
  • Deliver a kickass demonstration or presentation exhibiting in-depth knowledge in their industry.
  • Keep the POC moving by contacting prospects pro-actively and answer any technical questions related to their product.
  • Gather product feedback or feature request from clients and liaise with Product Managers
  • Collaborate with sales and marketing for Sales Enablement.
  • Respond to RFP’s when the tender is out and help sales to manage the bidding process.

Importance of Presales

It’s the first “proper interaction the customer has with the product/solution so the pre-sales group sets the standard and tone for the technical support and engagement they will receive” throughout their lifecycle. They invest their time to have a deep understanding of the client’s needs. Presales have the ability to predict customer needs with greater precision and provide expertise before the purchase is made.

A well-run presales organization will have a lasting impact on the customer’s perception and attitude toward your business. Oftentimes, they have a significant influence on the customer during the renewal period.  

In conclusion, Presales is not about delivering technical closure for a sales opportunity.  The primary focus of presales is always to deliver far more value to the customer during every stage of their sales journey. The value should contribute to the achievement of the customer’s strategic goals. The likelihood of customer renewing or expanding depends on identifying these value-based outcomes for the customer.