The value of customer enablement
Sorry, we didn't mean to create an earworm, but that old song from The King and I is particularly apt when talking about customer enablement. In other words: how well do your customers know your products? How successful are they at using them? Do you have a strategy for educating and empowering them?
Customer enablement - what actually is it?
Customer enablement is all about the process of providing customers with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to effectively use your products. The value lies in its ability to improve customer satisfaction, increase customer retention, and ultimately drive revenue growth. When you empower your customers to fully utilise and derive value from your offering, you'll boost customer loyalty and reduce support costs. Additionally, an effective customer enablement strategy can lead to increased customer referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
For B2B organisations, customer enablement is crucial. Customers need the necessary resources to achieve optimum results when they use a purchased product. When they're getting the most out of it, they're having a great customer experience - and that kind of retention and loyalty is critical for B2B success. So what are some of the strategies you can employ to boost customer enablement? Tried-and-true methods include:
• Providing customers with a Customer Success Manager who's on hand to assist when and if needed
• Demonstrations, videos and tutorials that highlight how to unlock product value
• Providing self-service support tools
• A comprehensive FAQ
• Offering customised up-sells tailored for customer needs and product usage patterns
• Keeping a close eye on customer satisfaction metrics and taking action when those levels drop
Think of customer enablement as the flip side of sales enablement; instead of focusing on what your sales team needs to do to close sales, customer enablement focuses on customer needs, so they get the most out of your products.
When you're not spending hours on manual order processing, you can focus on customer enablement strategies. Discover how bringing Lucy on board enabled the team at Royal Foods to do what they do best - provide excellent service to their customers, all around Australia.
We've looked at what customer enablement does to improve the customer experience. Let's dive into how it benefits your business:
- Improved customer satisfaction - when customers are properly enabled, they're more likely to be successful in using your products
- Increased customer retention - when customers can effectively use your products, they're more likely to keep buying them
- Reduced support costs - educated and empowered customers are less likely to require assistance, reducing your support costs
- Positive word-of-mouth marketing - possibly the most powerful marketing tool of all. Happy customers will tell others about you and that kind of advertising is invaluable
- Improved customer loyalty - customer enablement helps to build trust and loyalty towards your brand. As customers become more proficient with your products, the more loyal they'll be.
Overall, an effective customer enablement strategy can lead to significant benefits for your business, including increased revenue, reduced costs, and improved customer relationships.
Thanks to Lucy, Kincrome's customer service team is no longer weighed down with manual order processing. They're now free to spend more time interacting with their customers on high value activities like product advice and technical information, as well as supporting them strategically in their individual markets.
While customer enablement is a proactive approach to help customers achieve their desired outcome with your products, customer success is the result - the outcome of the customer enablement process. It's a reactive approach to measure how well your customers are doing after the enablement process.
Customer enablement is the means to an end, and customer success is the end goal. It's important to have a clear customer enablement strategy in place to ensure customer success.
How to achieve customer-enabled buying
Let's get your customer enablement started. Here's how to create a customer-enabled buying experience:
- Understand your customers - get to know their needs, pain points, and goals. This will help you tailor your products to meet their specific requirements.
- Create a customer-centric culture - your team needs to understand the importance of customer enablement and be committed to providing excellent customer service.
- Provide relevant, easy-to-find information - ensure your customers can easily find the information they need to make informed decisions about your products. This could include product documentation, tutorials, videos, demonstrations, FAQs and customer success stories.
- Offer training and support - provide your customers with the know-how and assistance they need to effectively use your products. This could include online tutorials, webinars, or in-person training.
- Put customer feedback to work - gather feedback from customers to understand their needs and identify areas for improvement. Use this feedback to continuously improve your customer enablement efforts.
- Create a Self-service platform - empower your customers by giving them access to a self-service platform that provides the information and resources they need to be successful.
- Personalise the experience - use data and insights to tailor individual customer experience and make recommendations that align with their specific needs and goals.
- Automate - empower your sales and customer service teams to focus on customer enablement by automating manual order processing.
Follow these steps, and you'll ensure that customers are making informed decisions about your products, and be successful in using them.
With the right customer enablement strategy in place, you'll drive customer satisfaction skyward. And that's what it's all about - creating happy, loyal customers who'll return again and again, and who'll become cheerleaders for your business.
How much time do you and your admin staff spend working through purchase orders? How much of that time could be spent on customer enablement instead? Check out this blog on what inefficient B2B order management is really costing you.