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10 lessons from Salesforce expert to make 2019 your customer focus year

Tips from Tiffani Bova, Salesforce’s Customer Growth evangelist

“I have an appreciation of the pain we (businesses) put customers through on a daily basis.” – Tiffani Bova, author of Growth IQ

Why do we really choose Uber?

When speaking on stage, Tiffani Bova asks audiences to raise their hands if they had used Uber recently. When most of the room have their hands up, she asks those who remember how much they paid for their ride to keep their hands in the air.  

Most hands go down.

Tiffani makes the point that people remember experiences long after they remember the money spent on the experience. Most people choose Uber because they prefer the experience.  

“Everything is a job, like going from point A to B. Why do I pick an Uber? Because the job would still get done in a taxi. Well, I don’t have to think about currency, it links to my expense report, and people will know where I was last. It’s a totally experience- led decision. I will actually spend more to ride Uber,” she explains.  

B2E: Business to Experience

In her words, experience is now the product. Everything is B2E: Business to Experience.

With that in mind, here are 10 ways to make 2019 your most customer-focussed year yet:

  1. Customer experience – Tiffani emphasises that you have to make sure you keep the customer at the centre of every decision you make, regardless of what you do, or sell. Look at events with free coffee, how many will go off site to buy a coffee? Free vs $4 – it is all about the experience.

  2. Uncover the art of what is possible.  Bova says you need to take advantage of tools online to give the customer the best experience they can have. She says we cannot be afraid of the fact that technology changes the way we act and buy as consumers. Tiffani shows this by asking audiences “How many of you went through the training on how to buy on Amazon?” When nobody puts up their hands, she explains that it’s a trick question, because buying on Amazon is so easy there is no training. How can you compete with this?

  3. Insight on the experience: Tiffani says she cannot overemphasise that we must understand who our existing customers are. Who’s our perfect customer, and why did they choose us? How do we take that and weave it into our marketing? Tiffani insists we capture it somewhere so we can get more intelligent about who we’re working with. She says different results and insights are gleaned if we do the research ourselves, rather than hiring a third party to do it. Once we find out what they like or don't like about us, we must lean away from what they don't like.

  4. Customer base penetration. Tiffani says most companies get stuck in the constant hamster wheel of “I need get new customers, new customers, new customers.” Instead, she suggests we ask customers who've already bought from us why they bought from us, and ask customers who didn’t buy, what was it that didn’t resonate with them? She says just before you go blazing out and trying to find new customer, say ‘hold on, am I paying enough attention to the customers I have?’ Find ways to extend the lifetime value of the customers you have.

  5. Look ahead. Be where your customers are going to be, and greet them when they get there.  “I need you to be a half a year, (to) a year ahead,” Tiffani recommends.

  6. Look inside. Millennials say they want to buy from brands or people who agree with their values. Are you socially conscious? If you are going after millennials especially, what is your give-back strategy?

  7. Look before you leap. In Growth IQ, Tiffani shares the example of McDonald’s launch of the all-day breakfast menu. The kitchens were not built to cook breakfast all day, and the menus would have been too big. So, before launch, they had to rebuild the kitchens. They also had to reduce the menu, because they had to get the drive-through lines waiting time down to under one minute. They had to fix all those things to ensure great customer experience before they could offer all-day breakfasts. 

  8. Word of mouth: Tiffani says the subtle side of people advocating on your behalf is key. It has to be a natural conversation, she says, not blasting out what someone says about you. (For more on this, members of The Growth Faculty can watch our fascinating interview with word of mouth expert Jonah Berger, author of Contagious).

  9. Give them information they don’t already know.  65% of buyers are through their buying journey before they pick up a phone. Make sure that if you’re selling a house, you’re not explaining it has three bedrooms, because the customer will already know that. Offer unique information that differentiates you from the competition.  

  10. “Sales is the last mile. It is the moment of truth.” Tiffani reminds us that it’s not about us, not the inside out. This is because customers are drastically different than they were even three years ago. They can buy or leave a brand at one click. That experience when they decide to give you money, is one they will remember. Anybody who is looking to grow has to think that their customer is totally different than they used to be. A donut shop has to think gluten free. A buyer might now be a team of buyers. The customer is far more disrupted than anything we can do ourselves.

“Having sold for a long time, I bleed sales blood I think.”  – Tiffani Bova


Interested in Sales and Marketing? The Growth Faculty has two events in 2019 that will be especially interesting to you.

Our exclusive  livestream interview with Tiffani Bova, available to members of The Growth Faculty On Demand business book club, will take place on February 26 at 8.30 a.m. Members who log in can access the interview on the day by clicking here

To become a member, and receive discounts to live events, click here

"Jack Daly stands above all others. His energy is matched only by his genius and understanding about what makes the best sales organisations. "Simon Sinek

Global sales guru and bestseller author Jack Daly presents an all-day workshop Winning Sales Strategies, Driving Sales - Boosting Profits in Melbourne on 22 July 2019, Brisbane on 24 July 2019, and Sydney on 26 July 2019. For information and bookings, click here.