At the Strategic Account Management Association's (SAMA) 49th annual conference, the conversation focused on putting the customer at the center of the business. While this conference was for SAMs, the content was relevant for customer experience professionals.
Two good reminders emerged:
- Many companies fail to define success in customer terms. It's common to talk about success as increased sales, customer satisfaction, or employee engagement. While these are important for the company, they aren't necessarily important to customers. Instead, customers care about the outcomes they receive when using your product or service. As companies focus on creating a customer-centric culture, they must start defining success in customer terms.
- Customer experience is more than providing customer intelligence: For B-to-B companies, customer experience professionals support the account planning process by providing customer insights and intelligence. While this activity is extremely important, we must broaden our role by providing tools, materials, and frameworks that help account managers facilitate joint planning activities. Engaging the customer in the planning process will deliver mutual value and more engaged customers.
In B-to-B, companies make significant headway toward customer-centricity by driving actions at the customer level. Essential to driving results is defining success in customer terms and joint development of the account plan.