Customer Experience: How to Align Expectations and Reality
Aug 02, 2019, 14 views
We negotiate with many clients every day. The most difficult part is not to price or conduct a presentation with beautiful slides and many buzzwords, but rather to identify what the real challenge of the job is and how it can be approached by the potential, language and market view, as the customer deserves the deepest focus and understanding of your needs and expectations.
What makes the experience so perfect for the customer to sign the contract? It is not an easy answer, as people rely on different factors to evaluate their experiences, analyzing some points based on their personality and the influences they have received throughout their lives. Thinking about this, we present below a real example of Customer Experience (CX), focusing on sales for the financial area.
There is an intense competition to offer the best experience to the clients, since it is a very well developed area and reference in UX in the world. However, some companies still do not invest enough, with some fear of innovating. After all, it's a whole new scenario.
The initial contact
The first contact was not exactly in a working meeting. But the subject came up in a conversation, where we quickly explored a few examples of how we have helped important partners stay ahead of their competitors. Cards were exchanged and we were subsequently asked to talk about our portfolio and to know their requirements and concerns.
We participated in a meeting at the client's headquarters, in order to talk about the scenarios in which we have worked and the opportunities identified. At the time, we talked about our capabilities and also the flexibility to understand the customer's concerns and what we were proposing. We explain and demystify software development practices, such as Dojos, Meetups, team management models, our quality concerns (A / B tests, chaos tests, etc.). The next step was to submit a proposal. But could we celebrate? Not so fast.
The client was a very conservative company, which had not yet taken any initiative related to digital transformation and did not even intend to do it immediately. Completely different from us, we are accustomed to working based on agile methodologies, Lean approaches, testing and discarding losses quickly. They wanted everything to be predictable, with defined goals and steps, but understood that their competitors had undergone transformations and that if they kept the same position, they would be behind in the competition scenario.
One expectation of the company was how much it would cost and how long it would take to be ahead of its competitors. Well, if we had those answers, we would certainly be one of the competitors. And it is at this point that the Lean mindset and experimentation get attention. Startups that are troubling industry giants do not have these kind of answers. We decided to attack a first deliverable (we can call MVP) and then carry out a new evaluation to draw the next steps.
We had to use a lot of knowledge to show the differences between the way they were trying to address the problem and the direction we should go. We decided to use the experiment mindset to start the first phase.
When things got cold
With the delay in making decisions, things have cooled (bad news). We invited those involved to come to our company so they could see and understand everything we discussed. This was a key step as they were able to talk to people who would really be involved in their project and the negotiation heated up again.
Turning on and annoying the client's patience would not have been an effective approach. Bringing them to a known environment where we could talk again about some issues and remove doubts and objections were key. People will not understand everything the first time you speak or present something. Even empathy will not happen at first.
Just a few more generic examples
A customer may love to hear more buzzwords, all pronounced in English. Another, coming from the interior, may not like it, considering that this only works in big companies. About the proposal: a client may prefer a document filled with beautiful images, explaining in a more abstract way what will be achieved; another may prefer to receive a single-page document, going straight to the subject with deliverables, using only text. It's unpredictable.
Nice! How can I learn from this scenario?
The good Costumer Experience becomes more challenging to achieve when we talk about B2B or B2B2C offerings. When you have a B2C scenario you will probably have people at the end of the process who should be pleased with your offer and advantages. It's easier to ask, "Hey, did you like this new feature?" Going back to B2B or B2B2C, the variables are countless, since it will be necessary to deal with many layers of decision makers from the beginning of the work to then reach the end customer.
How to attack efficiently?
Quick response: be interested in both successes. Long answer: Keep the knowledge among the people involved, use this experience and be interested in evolving the process and actually learning from the lessons learned. Try to understand body language and psychology, even know who is buying from you. Does this person write publicly? Do you give speeches? What is he / she talking / writing / reading / listening / studying / being interested in and what can you take into consideration to create a moment for a quick contact?