It’s a big day today, as I join the Nimble team in the newly created role of Chief Customer Ambassador.
The Nimble Way has always focused on helping businesses grow their acumen in the areas of social selling, marketing, customer service, engagement and collaboration. Powered by a community of some of the brightest minds in business, Nimble’s blog community has become a destination of inspiration and education about the new Social Buyers journey and how to engage them and grow a business. As we move to the next level, I’m here to help expand Nimble’s ongoing commitment to customer success.
What you need to know about Barb.
The 411 on me is that I bring 25+ years of experience working with technology companies in Sales, Marketing and Service leadership roles. I am also a small business owner. In that capacity I’ve become known as a global Social Sales and Marketing pioneer and early evangelist in the Social Selling and Social Business movement. My Social Selling book, The New Handshake: Sales Meets Social Media published in August 2010, was the first book to inspire sales leaders and their teams to think differently about selling in today’s social world.
Though I remain passionate about Social Selling, it is also clear that in the last 10 years social media has disrupted every aspect of business. I have come to fiercely believe that businesses must focus on the overall customer experience.
Engaging social customers must move beyond a focus on how social fits Sales, Marketing or Service independent of each other. Each touch point in the life cycle of moving someone from prospect – to close – to happy customer for life – is all about the “experience”, how that individual feels about the interactions they have with Sales, Marketing, Service, Operations, Accounting or the CEO.
Many companies – small and large – are just not adequately prepared.
Why experience matters.
Stellar customer experience impacts the bottom line! Either your business is attracting and retaining profitable business, OR opportunities are being lost before they have the chance to gather steam.
According to the 2012 Annual Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, 86% of buyers will pay MORE for a better customer experience. But only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.
In one of my favorite Tom Peters books The Pursuit of Wow, he reminds us, “70% of customers hit the road not because of price or product quality issues, but because they did not like the human side of doing business with the provider of the product or service.”
And James Allen noted in the Harvard Business article The Three “Ds” of Customer Experience that 80% of businesses believe that they offer a great customer experience. This is in stark contrast to the 8% of customers who feel the same way.
The stark reality is that buyers will pay a premium for great experience but feel most companies aren’t even in the neighborhood of delivering it.
Frank Eliason, Director Global Social Media at Citi said in a recent blog post that “One of the reasons the Customer experience is broken at many companies is we have tried to force the Customer into our view instead of taking the Customer view.”
A bright future lies ahead.
I’ve been admiring what Jon Ferrara and the Nimble team has been doing to build community around teaching people to “fish in the social river” to grow their business rather telling them how great of a “social fishing pole” that Nimble was.
I love quoting Jon when he says, “Teach your customers to fish, they will figure out you sell great fishing poles.” When Jon and I began talking about the possibility of working together, it was clear that his philosophies, passion and commitment to relationships and customer experience mirror mine.
With the decision to expand Nimble’s commitment to be a leading voice in customer engagement strategies and what that means for attracting, nurturing and retaining happy customers, I couldn’t be more excited about playing a role in Nimble’s continued success.
In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be reaching out to customers and community influencers to solicit your feedback, ideas and suggestions related to Nimble’s expanded vision of customer experience and what customer experience means to you.
Join Me on my First Nimble Webinar – May 7 at 10 AM Pacific Time
We’ll talk Social Selling, What’s New with Nimble including our Chrome Browser app and you get a sneak preview of our upcoming native mobile apps for iOS and Android. Register Here!