You can be transactional – or you can be consultative.
I think that talking about Outcomes is more important than discussing features. It will become even more important as our industry tries to stack services on top of network.
Outcomes are important to the C-Suite because their performance bonuses are based on outcome (or at least completed projects).
Customer Experience is going to be a factor for some 60% of the market place. Our jobs in technology is to remove the tech from the user experience on a daily basis. “It should just work!” Like an Apple product. (You’ve heard this before; you just didn’t think applied to you and what you sell. It does.)
In auto sales, we spend a bunch of time haggling over price. As if saving $500 is going to matter over the next three years when you are stuck with that dealer. What will be more significant is what it is like in the service department. (Auto warranties require timely maintenance at the dealer. You will be visiting at least twice per year for oil changes, tire rotation, tune-ups, engine warning lights, etc.) What is the service department like? Do they have express oil change? Do they rob you on tire rotation? (I just paid my dealer $38 to rotate the tires.)
One statistic not talked about in UCaaS is the post-ink 90 day churn. Customers who return the phones unopened because they didn’t think they would have to plug them in. Or they did plug them in and couldn’t get them to work. They got POE phones but no POE switch. There are a myriad of reasons that after signing the contract, the customer leaves in the first 90 days. Most notably poor implementation.
Customer Experience will be the differentiation, especially at mid-market level. These businesses may have an IT staff, but that IT staff is going to blame everything on the provider. Implementation is what gives you the Outcome that the business desires.
It all ties together.
You won’t get there discussing features, phones and pricing. You can start to get there by asking about who calls, how calls are handled, and what would make that more efficient. Voice calls are giving way to a host of other avenues like social media, text/SMS and email. How can that be incorporated into their comms platform?
Years ago, in Call Centers, One Call Resolution was the Holy Grail. It is more possible to get there today due to API, software integration, and a UC platform than ever before. Why not try to reach the Holy Grail instead of replacing the dial-tone?