Firstly, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year from the team here at Glu and hope that 2022 is a fruitful year for you and your respective businesses.
Apologies for mentioning the dreaded “C word” so early on but COVID has taught us that whether you are a Partner operating within The Channel or an end user operating in most industries throughout the world that without doubt you can absolutely gain a competitive advantage with superior customer experience.
This blog will look to set out some of the key Customer Experience trends for Channel Partners in 2022 and why it will be important for you to embrace them.
1) Partner Personalisation
Increasing levels of personalisation will be very important this year, with Partners getting used to the notion that it isn’t just about the cost of a project that is key. Partners will need to start positioning technology in a way that develops closer and more personalised relationships with their customers, their employees, and THEIR customers.
Salespeople in 2022 need to stop being reactive to customer requirements and engage with more lines of business outside of the IT Department to do this.
Partners need to reach the right customer at the right time with a relevant message that resonates with them as opposed to being continuously being pushed by a Vendor or Partner to refresh or replace technology without understanding the business impact that it will have or if it is even relevant to do so.
In 2022, Partners should invest the time to send personalised offers that will help solve whatever problem is facing the potential/existing customer at that time into the market that they are serving or are looking to serve. By doing this Partners will increase customer relevancy, gain a competitive advantage and increase their overall renewal rates.
What’s not to like?!
2) Hybrid Working Strategy
Hybrid Working is a huge opportunity for Partners in 2022 just in the areas of Cloud, Hybrid Cloud and Cyber Security alone the opportunity that you should be presented with next year will be phenomenal and if you aren’t aware of this well then frankly – you should be!
More than half of businesses will fail their employees as we continue to shift to hybrid working next year and experiences such as meetings, job roles and promotion opportunities are being designed with a face-to-face mindset and some hybrid working plans are being engineered to fail.
Forrester predicts that 60% of companies won’t get right the employee experience for a hybrid workforce and this is where you come in. Do you understand your customers Hybrid Work Strategy? Do they have one? How can you support them?
Having an eco-system to support you in areas that you may not be strong in today is key in this space and will ensure you are not turning away opportunities or needlessly introducing competition into your accounts unnecessarily whilst driving net new margins and annuity for your business.
3) Customer Experience will be a differentiator
Forget trying to undercut other Partners pricing with a deal registration; providing a superior customer experience is swiftly becoming the priority for Partners attempting to differentiate themselves from their competition. Partners should be focused on customer experience right now and if they aren’t they will get left behind in the coming years post 2022.
A major factor is that the Partners that understand customer experience know that this includes building trust with your customers, and when they trust you, they are much more likely to be willing to share their business outcomes with you.
As society transitions to a service-driven economy where the lifetime value of customers is of primary importance, 2022 will see increasing investment in technologies designed to improve experiences and if you help your customers deliver their desired business outcomes, it means you will also earn their trust to share more with you as a trusted Partner and not a supplier.
We know that involving multiple stakeholders in the formulation and execution of a customer experience strategy isn’t easy, and is why Glu was formed, but if you aren’t discussing Customer Experience as early as possible with your customers you are missing the opportunity to drive real change at a time where customers need it the most.
The cost of a project, although still important, won’t be a major deciding factor as it once was especially if what you are positioning is more value based and meaningful to them.
These trends represent very real opportunities for Partners in 2022 but there are also risks, with Partners unwilling to embrace Customer Experience, some are unsure of where it sits within their business or how to position it back to their customers.
As an ex- CXO for over 20 years in some major global Retailers, I now have a view of what CX looks like from a Partner operating in the Channel but also from an end user perspective.
I hope you have enjoyed this blog and if there are any Partners that need support or additional insight in this area please do not hesitate to contact myself or our team to discuss further.
Best wishes again for 2022!