This is a claim that Timo Kiuru (award-winning creative director) presented in Markkinoinnin viikko event couple of weeks ago. As a business leader, I confirm this thought, even though it might seem a bit straightforward. There is truth in it: without customers there’s no revenue. To follow this, we need to understand that customer experience isn’t anything you can sell. It’s a way of doing things, a philosophy and an attitude that describes what’s important for us.
Last spring, we carried out a survey to some of our most active customers. It was a crucial one for us since in 2017 we had an acquisition where two IT vendors became one company. With the survey we wanted to find out how our customers felt about this all and as a cornerstone: do they experience that our service is exceptional. When asking if we create more, as much or less value what the respondent has personally experienced with other IT vendors, 76 % felt that we create more. This is of course a very good number, and we should be proud of it, but nothing we can lull into. Customers’ trust must be won project by project.
Recently I ran into an eMBA thesis where it was stated that companies who can provide good customer experience, grow 4 to 8 % faster than markets in average.* If we can produce good experiences to our customers, the customer is more likely to choose us when starting something new. It’s a competitive factor and without any effort the customer will for sure choose a vendor who produces these experiences to them.
Profit Software has several long customerships, of which we are obviously very proud of. We operate daily with our customers and aim to be proactive with their worries and needs. This shows that we’re customer-centric and enables us to react fast in case there’s a problem. This is also the reason customer experience is not only a job that Sales & Marketing should do, or myself as a CCO, but a job that belongs to all of our employees who directly or indirectly operate with the customers.
The core is to get to know customers’ people, habits, ways of doing things and everything that’s essential in keeping the relationship in a good shape. Even though we operate within B2B sector it’s still actual persons dealing with each other. I have a customer contact who once crystallized all this by saying that “Your strength is that you sense our needs with your sheer presence”. I felt that this was one of the best compliments I’ve ever had and a solid proof of that the way we are doing things, is the right path and a clear competitive edge.
Harri Inkinen, Chief Customer Officer, Profit Software
Harri is Profit Software’s Chief Customer Officer as well he works with business development. He has 15 years of experience in software development and consulting.
*) eMBA thesis ” Mistä on hyvät B2B-asiakaskokemukset tehty? – Asiakaskokemuksen anatomia yritysten välisessä liiketoiminnassa”, Ruusuvuori M. 2017.