Alexa The Spark - Shampa's Blog

Doing More with Less

The mood is gloomy … The predictions are dire …

Newsrooms as well as water cooler discussions are filled with talk about slowing growth, budget cuts, layoffs, …

Trimming the fat …

Tightening the belt …

Faced with an economic recession just around the corner, businesses are bracing for a long hard winter.

What do you do?

How do you respond?

This is the time to do more with less.

Efficiency is now the name of the game.

Are you facing this challenge too?

Are things slowing down in your organization too?

Are you having to do more with less?

If that is the case, here are 3 strategies that will help you drive growth in your organization during these challenging times:

  1. Narrow down your focus to the high-potential and high-revenue customers and markets. Prioritize what works. Create a plan to target your best customers and the best markets for new sales opportunities. Leverage a tool that includes real time data to track progress of leads and accounts, and does it across marketing, sales, and service departments.
  2. Use automation to increase efficiency. A tool that automates tedious manual tasks and takes care of day-to-day communications and notifications is important during normal times of course, but is absolutely critical during these times when you may find yourself short-staffed but with the same long list of deliverables.
  3. Simplify your technology by reducing the number of apps and tools. In most organizations, sales and service reps spend less time selling and attending to customers and more time doing tedious tasks like data entry on multiple apps and outdated tools. This would be a good time to take inventory of all the tools that are used by your organization or department and remove any that don’t add significant value or take the business process forward.

What strategies are you using in your organization to drive efficiency and do more with less?

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive efficiency by providing one platform that automates tasks and provides insights for marketing, sales and service departments, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

December 1, 2022

Unscripted

Does the customer service in your organization have a heart?
For a very long time … for decades really … predictability, consistency and efficiency have been the main mantra of customer service in all businesses, especially large enterprises. And companies have tried to achieve this with rigorous training of their customer service reps and asking them to follow a rigid script for every customer interaction. The more complex and emotionally charged the customer interactions are, the more companies used technology to double down on this rigid approach by automating the interactions.

But as technology is evolving, a more human approach to customer service is taking hold. We can call it ‘human-centric customer service’. This is the model where human agents work in tandem with high-tech platforms and yet use their human skills of complex problem-solving, communication, and emotional engagement to provide the best experience to their customers.

When you ask agents to follow scripts that have a decision-tree, you train them to behave more like machines that follow a certain algorithm. Although this approach is easier to automate, agents end up losing their human skills like creativity and empathy.

Even if this rigid approach results in improving metrics like reduced call times, it ultimately results in poor customer experience and dissatisfied customers.

So it’s important that instead of looking at customer interactions as isolated events or ‘transactions’, we look at them as important steps along the customer journey.

Great service requires authentic human connection … and human connection can never be scripted.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you create a human connection with your customers by helping you stay in close touch with them, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

November 17, 2022

Why don’t people buy

If your almost-closed deals are not closing at the last minute and your prospective buyers are consistently backing out and your revenue targets are not being met, it’s time to dig deeper and look for the reason why this is happening.

Here are the 5 main reasons why people don’t buy:

  1. No need – Pretty straightforward – the person doesn’t need your product or service.
  2. No hurry – This is the classic ‘Let me think about it’ response.
  3. No trust – If the prospect does not trust you, there is no way you can close the sale.
  4. No time – Sometimes the prospect is busy and has a lot on her plate, and you are not the priority right now. Other times, this is just procrastination and initial inertia of committing to your product or service.
  5. No money – Sometimes ‘no money’ really means that they don’t have the money to purchase. Often, it means they don’t have budget for it at this time. Or, it could be that they don’t think that buying your product is money well spent.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub lets you overcome these objections and help you close more deals, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

ConvergeHub is an enterprise-grade customer relationship management software that helps businesses build long-term relationships with their customers and prospects. It is easy to implement, can be quickly customized to suit any business, needs very little training, and will quickly get your business on the path to 10X growth.

November 3, 2022

The B4B Mindset

If your company sells to other businesses, you probably refer to your company as ‘B2B’ or ‘Business-to-Business’. But it has been found that reframing the business as ‘B4B’ or ‘Business-FOR-Business’ can increase revenues, customer retention, and employee morale.

Why would such a small change drive these results?

Because thinking of your business as B4B forces a shift in mindset.

Identifying as Business-FOR-Business provides an organization with a sense of purpose.

And that drives innovation and creativity.

When a business identifies itself as a business that sells to other businesses, it leads to a competitive mindset.

Pushing commodity products becomes the sales strategy.

Success is measured in volume.

Price becomes the primary criteria for offering value.

Volume discounts become the name of the game.

Which makes the business vulnerable to bigger manufacturers offering lower prices.

B4B thinking forces a complete mindset reboot.

It forces businesses to switch from a competitive mindset to a collaborative mindset.

When an organization thinks of itself as a business that works for other businesses, it deepens the relationship they have with their customers.

Its primary measure of success becomes how it helped its customers grow.

The business aligns its own success with the success of its customers.

Even if that means investing in customer training.

And providing value-added services.

At no cost or minimal cost for some time.

Why does this make business sense?

Because revenue growth of a business depends on two main factors:

  1. The volume of the cash flow – how much cash is flowing in during a given period
  2. The longevity of the cash flow – for how long that cash flow will continue

Companies with a ‘Business-for-Business’ mindset that organizes their activities around the success of their customers generate a long and dependable cash flow that helps them grow sustainably.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you switch to a B4B mindset by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you would like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

October 25, 2022

Designing Customer Experience

What would you say is the most important factor to transform the customer experience in your organization?

If you were asked to redesign the customer experience in your company, where would you start?

I think the most important factor is the ability to see the business from a customer’s perspective … viewing the business from outside, looking inwards … seeing what the customer sees … feeling what the customer feels.

That would be the first step to creating a compelling customer experience.

More and more, customer experience is becoming the ultimate battleground for companies and their competitors.

And this is a trend that will continue into the future.

Digital transformation wars will be won or lost on this battleground.

There is a good reason for this.

Compelling customer experiences are very hard to design.

And even harder to deliver.

Because it requires empathy before technology.

It requires a willingness to understand human behaviors.

To carefully observe the customer journey.

To really listen.

And only then use technology to digitally reengineer customer experiences.

To create an uninterrupted experience through each step in the customer journey by integrating the front end customer facing technologies with back-end processes.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you reengineer the customer experience in your company by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

October 13, 2022

An offbeat way to grow sales

When your rep calls a customer to ask for more business, how much does he know about that customer?

Would he know that this is an unhappy customer with multiple unresolved support tickets?
Would he know that this customer has threatened to move to a competitor?
How about the fact this customer has been with your organization for 10+ years and expects special treatment?
Or that they have specific needs and have purchased custom products or services in the past?

You see, the level of information that the rep has access to will determine how that call will go.

According to a recent study, 62% of customers said that a representative’s knowledge or resourcefulness was key to their positive service experiences.

Regardless of how you put it, even in this age of bots and artificial intelligence, there is no substitute for knowledgeable human service.

And study after study show that customers overwhelmingly show appreciation for great service with their wallets.

Not just their own wallets, but also that of their family and friends, in the form of referrals.

So, one of the most important ways to grow sales, even if it does seem a little unexpected, is to empower your reps with knowledge. The more they know about a customer, the more repeat business they will be able to close.

If you would like to know more on how ConvergeHub can help empower your sales reps and customer service reps to close more repeat business, sign up for a free trial here.

Or get a free one-on-one consultation with one of our experts.

September 29, 2022

The Correlation Trap

How much does your organization know about your customers? … and what does your organization do with that information?

Businesses today know more about their customers than they have at any time in history… they know where their customers live, where they work, every last phone number or email address they use, social media handles, birthday, cars they drive, … maybe even their shoe size.

And yet … their innovation process … building products or services that their customers will actually use … remains as uncertain as ever.

Why?

The more you know about your customers, the easier it should be to satisfy them … isn’t it?

So, why isn’t that happening?

Because the data that is being gathered is not necessarily relevant … it does not necessarily cause the behavior/action that we think it does.

Take the case of Marc Jones.

He is 62 years old.

Lives with his wife in the suburbs of California.

He drives a Toyota minivan.

His birthday is 12 October.

His shoe size is 13.

But none of these are the reason why he chose to buy a burger from McDonalds today.

Maybe he was tired of eating healthy all week and wanted a change in taste.

Maybe he was in a hurry and McDonald’s was on the way home.

Maybe he just wanted to chill in front of the TV and he picked the easiest dinner option he could think of.

Point is, companies who collect demographic or psychographic information about him are not going to be able to capture those reasons from the data points they collect.

Knowing more and more about customers … collecting volumes and volumes of data about them … and trying to force a correlation between the collected data points and customer behavior … can take companies in the wrong direction … and can even hamper innovation.

What organizations really need to know when a customer takes a specific action, is what that customer is trying to accomplish in that specific situation.

And that kind of insight can come only when organizations have deep conversations with real customers.

Think about it 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you stay in close touch with your customers, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 22, 2022

Becoming Unstoppable

This is a story about how a blind man escaped from the World Trade Center during the terrorist attack of Sep 11, 2001.. and what it takes to develop an unstoppable mindset like that. Click here to read it on my LinkedIn post.

On September 11, 2001, a blind man escaped the World Trade Center by walking down 78 flights of stairs with his guide dog Roselle.

That man is Michael Hingson.

Michael Hingson is one of the most inspiring and fascinating persons I had the good fortune to meet.

He is a New York times best selling author and an international hero honored and awarded by top organizations worldwide.

Blind since birth, Michael is inspiring thousands, giving readers a transformative look into the life and boundless capabilities of the blind.

Recently I sat down for a chat with Michael. We spoke about life, technology and what makes a person unstoppable.

Click here to listen: https://lnkd.in/d5S6jbHe

What do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback.. go ahead and leave a comment on the LinkedIn post.

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help your organization becoming unstoppable by helping you execute better at the speed that is right for your business, talk to us..

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 15, 2022

The Efficiency Trap

Here’s a trick question for you – if you think about implementing a new tech in your organization or business … like cloud or mobile or IOT … what benefit do you think about achieving?

Let me take a wild guess here … 😊

You thought about achieving EFFICIENCY in your organization or business …

Which is great …

Efficiency is definitely the inherent primary outcome of most digital interventions in a business …

Efficiency is quickly reflected in the profit numbers.

It is a big short-term win.

And that is why most business leaders focus on that.

But there is so much more to it than that …

A new technology in your organization is a complete business transformation resource …

It can optimize your business processes.
It can drive competitive advantage.
It can create new revenue opportunities.
It can skyrocket your customer satisfaction scores.

But when you are only motivated by the efficiency excitement, you miss all of that.

Because your focus narrows down.

And the strategic thinking that would lead to these benefits is lost.

So … what is YOUR motivation for implementing that new shiny tech in your company?

Think about it 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you benefit with CRM technology in all the areas of your business, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 8, 2022

Waiting and Watching

If you are a business leader or a business owner … and during the early days of the pandemic if you had decided to not move quickly … and instead to wait and watch what your competitors did before taking any action … what would have happened?

Your business would miss out on months and even years of business … and might not have even survived.

You had to take action … and fast.

That’s the next assumption we are going to shatter …

Assumption #3 – Wait and watch what others do

Covid-era has shown us that there are times when we have to move fast, sometimes even to just survive.

And at other times, as I mentioned in my last week’s post, speed can also be a disadvantage.

So … what works??

Should we go fast or slow??

The answer again is … It depends … depends on your situation.

Move at the pace that works for your business and your customers.

Move at the pace that allows you to scale effectively and learn quickly.

Maybe move fast to test innovations.

And once you figure out the right approach, move at your own pace to adopt those innovations in the different areas of the business.

Bottomline ..

There is no easy answer.

No one size that fits all ..

But then again … isn’t that how life works? 😊

If you would like to know more about how ConvergeHub can help you drive Digital Transformation in your company by helping you execute better at the speed that is right for your business, talk to us.

Or, if you like to check it out yourself, go ahead and create a free ConvergeHub account here.

September 1, 2022