Customer enablement sounds like a complicated marketing term, but it boils down to educating and empowering your customers with the tools, resources, and information they need to make the most of your products or services. Ultimately, customer enablement is built on a simple principle. When customers succeed, everyone wins.
Stats on customer turnover prove that paying attention to the customer experience is always good for business. In fact, estimates indicate it costs five times more to recruit new customers than to keep existing ones. A focused enablement program takes the customer experience to the next level with a thoughtful effort by your sales team to anticipate customer needs and ensure customer success at every step of the journey.
5 steps to better customer enablement
Your guide to better customer enablement includes five steps to create an enablement program for your business that will drive customer success and, ultimately, sales.
1. Focus on customer feedback
The customer experience is a journey that begins pre-sale, but far too many companies focus on conversion and drop the ball on customer enablement post-sale. Sales teams can provide a better experience by working closely with customer service to follow up and ensure implementation of the product goes smoothly.
Post-sale is also the perfect opportunity to lean into customer feedback, especially on social media platforms. A study sponsored by Microsoft found 77% of consumers view companies that ask for feedback more favorably, so don’t be shy. Engage directly with customers online and via email to solve complaints and be proactive about soliciting feedback. Using feedback to regularly identify pitfalls in the customer experience can prompt development of better tools to enable and empower the people who use your products or services.
2. Think of your customers as partners
Ultimately, you and your customers have the same vested interest in seeing your products or services be successful. You both want to provide or receive value in the marketplace. To achieve that, you and your customers have to work together. Thinking of your customers as partners can produce the kind of framing that’s especially helpful in enablement programs.
Consider what you can offer to create a better understanding of how to use your products or how to get more out of the services you offer. Putting customers in the driver’s seat means not only providing great, personalized service but offering plenty of self-service options, too, like chatbots. Not only do 70% of potential customers expect a knowledge base on your website, but 40% prefer self-servicing to human interaction.
3. Educate your customers through brand advocates
Putting a wealth of product information at the fingertips of your customers and clients is a good start, but you also have to show instead of tell. Think bigger than tossing a few FAQs on your website and start a laundry list of possible customer training content like webinars, knowledge bases, and video demos.
Some of the best folks to do this are your brand advocates and social influencers who can become partners in producing how-to videos and promoting educational content. Leaning into empowering and amplifying the voices of brand advocates also creates a sense of community. This is a critical step in successful relationship marketing because it demonstrates that your business is invested on an emotional level in putting something meaningful out into the public space.
4. Give your sales teams the resources they need
A commitment to pursuing customer enablement is admirable, but it won’t result in success unless your sales and service teams have the resources and tools they need. The dissonance between a concerned and attentive customer service rep who shares sloppy, outdated instructions or materials to solve complaints is real, and it can leave an unfavorable aftertaste.
Consistent, high-quality resources such as product pamphlets, instruction manuals, or even social media how-to graphics are an often overlooked component of sales enablement. Invest in managing and producing branded assets like the ones Lucidpress provides so you can ensure your sales and service teams have everything they need to enable a better customer experience and educate consumers.
5. Make an enablement program part of the customer experience
Mapping the customer journey can be a transformative exercise for your marketing and sales team, but take it a step further and consider what roadmaps you provide along the way to customers. How do you help them navigate the customer experience at each step of their journey from product sale to implementation and beyond?
Carefully considering how you encourage and empower customers can also identify roadblocks you’ve inadvertently placed in the way. This goes beyond identifying sales touchpoints into identifying how your business fosters customer retention and encourages advocacy. Educated customers that are passionate about what you do and why you do it can create the kind of enviable engagement that turns customers into lifetime brand advocates.
Investing in a customer enablement program is about building out a robust customer experience and it requires being able to step back from your role in sales and see the entire journey. Organizations that carefully consider how they can empower and educate customers can seamlessly reap the rewards of sales enablement through customer loyalty and retention.