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The B2B Sales Rep.: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty

With all the talk of social media and its importance in marketing and lead development, sometimes the importance and value of the sales representative in the B-to-B environment are overlooked. This concept was reinforced to me this week while working on a project for a client.

We conduct product delivery surveys for this client, and these surveys are designed to measure customer satisfaction with the product and their sales process. Our client, like many, has a network of dealers that sell and support their products to the end-user. They wanted to know which of the questions on the survey were most strongly correlated with overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend.

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Creating Client Loyalty in a Tough Industry

In this blog, I want to share how one company, Carocon Corporation, has created client loyalty in an industry not know for much loyalty.

Carocon Corporation is the fourth largest apartment contractor in the US.  They build over 2,600 apartment units annually.  I have had the privilege of working with the company since early 2000 and currently serve on its board of directors.

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The 5 Emotions of Customer Surveys

Customer surveys can help companies measure customer loyalty and identify opportunities for operational improvement and innovation.  Done right, they leave customers feeling valued and your organization better equipped to serve them.

To give your business the best chance of running an effective survey, besides applying technical best practices it helps to know how the process may feel to members of your organization along the way.

Below are five common emotions we see our clients experience in the course of performing a customer survey, along with tips on how to manage them:

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Unsung Heroes of the Customer Experience: Your Back Office

Believe it or not, your non-customer facing employees, from Sales, Support to Finance, to Legal, are the foundation on which great customer experiences are built. Yet, too often, organizations don’t realize this, or they forget the importance of the support team until it’s too late and your customers begin leaving for your competitors.

If you work in a sales function, take a moment to read the story below and consider the importance of your support team. If you’re in support, take a moment to pat yourself on the back!

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Connecting Customer Experience and Your Brand Promise

If your company is looking to strengthen its brand, consider including the customer experience as a key component of your strategy. The customer experience matters, because brands are built on promises made real.

Consciously or subconsciously, your customers compare what your company logos and slogans are saying to what you’re actually doing. If you consistently make good on the promises you make, your brand grows stronger over time.

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Who Moved My Cheese(burger)?

Imagine you ordered a cheeseburger.  But as you prepare to dig in, you discover there is no cheese.  Now you just have a burger.  I recently spoke to a customer who had a “burger only” experience.  He rented a backhoe and was ready to dig in at his construction site.  But the bucket was loose and the dig was a disaster. You guessed it -- no cheese.

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Rethinking Risk in Customer Experience Improvement

This summer, we finished rewriting a major part of our customer portal software to make it easier to use.

It took a lot of time, money, nights and weekends, and we ran into our fair share of bugs and headaches along the way.

After we had launched the update, I thought “rewrites aren’t for the risk averse!”

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Easier, Faster, Friendlier: Customer Expectations Are Rising

First, I must attribute the idea for the blog to Doug Fowler, our COO. After one particular frustrating service call with a software provider, he came into my office and said “Let’s look for another vendor. It is just too difficult to deal with this company!”His frustration got me thinking about how customer expectations are always changing.

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Using Neuroscience to Understand Your Customer

Our business helps clients improve the service experiences they provide to their customers.  When we start working with a new client, it is always an interesting experience.  Typically, the first concern is being flooded by disputes through our interviewers in the course of following up with customers.  “Will our staff be able to handle them?” lamented one senior manager.  In another case, after three months of surveying, an executive vice president of a company came into the office of our contact and questioned the validity of the numbers.  In his words, “Our customers don’t like us this much!”

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Creative Destruction: Innovation Vs Destruction

In 1942 Joseph Schumpeter, an economist, coined the phrase “creative destruction” to describe the process by which innovation continually upends products and markets.  After reading excerpts of his writings this week, I thought about three simple examples outlined below.  But the key message is that product manufacturers cannot assume the products they sell now will be in demand in the future.

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