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There’s something every executive is itching to discover: how to turbocharge revenue growth. In today’s challenging business landscape, where finding top-notch talent is a struggle, foot traffic of new customers is down, marketing budgets are shrinking, and cost pressures are relentless, the quest for growth seems like an uphill battle.
The answer, in simplified terms, lies in selling more to existing opportunities and attracting new customers — or ideally, a blend of both. Here are four secrets to growth that you must know.
Related: Why Customer Experience is the Secret to Revenue Growth and Business Success
1. Know what your customers want — then go way beyond
It starts with this: Make your customers feel welcome; show genuine enthusiasm for your job; be attentive; exhibit empathy, care and enthusiasm; possess expert knowledge; and leave them feeling great. Remember, it’s all about them, not you.
But here’s the challenge: Give customers a voice to tell you the truth about what’s really going on. You need a daily measure of how well your team delivers on this from your customers’ perspectives.
When asking customers about their experience, separate the “service” from “sales” related behaviors. Identify how your teams apply their product knowledge and recommendation solutions to solve problems. The best team members are patient to understand needs, appear to anticipate everything customers might need and always recommend the full solution. They explain the “why” and have customers’ best interests at heart. You must invite customers to tell you what happened in their own words, and not in a tick-and-flick survey. It really frustrates customers when they can’t tell you in their own words what happened, why they felt the way they did and what next.
Related: 7 Business Growth Secrets From Successful Entrepreneurs
2. Never cut corners on the demonstration step of the sale
While industry-specific factors exist, high performers are skillful in the demonstration stage. Our data reveals that customer expectations are high around wanting to receive a full and thorough demonstration of your product or service. Team members who assume customers “already know that so I won’t bother” are losing sales. Customers are well-researched — they want you to understand their problems and needs and to build trust and rapport, but they expect you to show them the full solution.
Revisit training provided so they never compromise this step. They need skills to be confident in how to do it with different types of customers (e.g. time poor or short attention spans). Build their confidence in suggesting everything, ensure they know how to add value and explain the value in choosing your company over your competitors. Go beyond training features/benefits. Customers must feel they are dealing with an expert and have a means to tell you exactly what happened.
3. Have a laser focus on any problems via customer feedback
If you present people with a list of 10 things to focus on, most will struggle to excel in any one of them. The starting point is to identify the No. 1 priority for each person. Here’s something you can do around this point: Invite customers to provide feedback about the experience with the specific team member. From those results, identify the behavior patterns and then provide skill coaching in the moment. If a team member serves 10 customers but misses a subtle but crucial part of the process (e.g. cuts corners in the demonstration stage) then team-based reporting at the end of the week or month is a waste of time. The (not so) secret is having a “laser focus” on what happened, eliminating wasted effort and starting to focus on one thing per person per quarter.
As team members have better focus, they start to realize they can achieve more with less wasted effort. It’s about developing new habits to improve customer experiences.
Related: The Simple Secrets of Business Growth People Forget
4. Stop chasing scores and focus on engagement
This secret may sound controversial but I need to tell you straight — stop chasing scores. Time and again we see executives bonused on CX scores but a distinct lack of engagement with frontline team members responsible for delivering the customer experiences. Customers also don’t care about your scores. They want to be heard, to see you improve and have great experiences they can share on social media.
Managers get so distracted trying to chase scores, but they have no idea how to move from a seven to an eight out of 10 — and I’m not suggesting that data isn’t important. What I’m saying is: If you can’t take the guesswork out of why and have a clear plan for what to do and how to drive improvement then chasing scores will not get you there.
Here are a few suggestions: When you attend meetings, note the first thing that is discussed. Is it operational, sales figures, customer complaints, etc.? Great teams go straight to a recent customer success story. They amplify the behaviors we want to see more of and hold people accountable for action plans to address performance gaps. Notice I didn’t say they ask about NPS or CSAT as these are outcomes.
You should reinforce these points: What are you working on to improve? What barriers do you need to overcome? What skill gaps do we have? Who can help us? Now, let’s review your plan.
The secrets above may sound simple but they are not always easy to implement.
Ask yourself, are we truly putting our customers at the center of everything you do? Is every decision about improving their experience with us? The secret to achieving more growth with less effort is within reach. By prioritizing customer experience, focusing on the right behaviors and aligning your team’s efforts with customer expectations, you can achieve remarkable growth even in challenging times.