Today marks ‘Getting to Know Your Customers Day’, an opportunity for organisations to take a fresh look at customer relationship management and experience.
Whether you’re trying to convert a new sales lead, or retain current customers, nurturing revenue sources along the sales cycle is central to business growth. By nature, this often involves business trips to visit existing and prospective customers in order to build relationships and close deals. It’s a long ingrained practice, and one which is essential if sales and customer success reps are to get to know their customers better, both in terms of making them successful, and on a relationship building level too.
There’s no denying that building trust via in-person meetings is easier – and much more natural – than it is on a teleconference. My point? Business travel is still hugely important for customer relationship management. Irrespective of how advanced communication technologies become, tech simply cannot yet replace the need for face-to-face human interaction.
Knowing your customers vs understanding their business value
Getting to know your customers doesn’t only mean connecting with and nurturing these customers and prospective customers, however. It’s an old age saying that you have to spend money to make money and so it’s about using new technologies that leverage AI and machine learning capabilities to gain further insight into which specific customers deliver the best ROI against spend – and inform where continued monetary investment should be focused most logically. As our CEO, Manoj Ganapathy, recently discussed: “the days of ‘gut feel’ and ‘sixth sense’ are over, and those who fail to transition to a smarter way of selling will see the effects on their declining bottom line.”
As one of the most advanced workplace technologies to date, AI can even provide a level of objectivity that helps to reduce bias in business travel, whether it be conscious or otherwise. These insights have enabled managers to view the hard facts, ensuring decisions are driven by data – and data alone. It presents a foundation from which to work intelligently and more objectively – making customers successful in the long run.
Getting to Know Your Customers Day comes around every three months (the third Thursday of every quarter in case you were wondering) and provides an important reminder that getting to really know your customers needs to be as much about understanding their potential value as it is building relationships. Organisational spend on nurturing customer relationships will always be an important exercise for all revenue generating organisations, but it is only when this is done with complete visibility of ongoing ROI, that business travel can be, for the first time, viewed as a mechanism for business growth rather than an uncontrollable cost centre.