B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast
B2B Growth: Your Daily B2B Marketing Podcast

Episode 2056 · 3 months ago

Minimizing Customer Frustrations the Right Way


In this episode, Timmy Bauer talks with Mark Montgomery about how to minimize customer frustrations and how to do it properly. 

Yeah. Hey everybody, welcome back to anotherepisode of B two B growth. I'm your host, Jimmy Bower and my guest today isMark Montgomery. He is the chief marketing officer at Crane wear. He isan avid fan of fantasy sports and the history of religious cults and theirimpact on people, not the topic we're talking about today and he's apassionate mediocre golfer. Mark, welcome to the show, tim. Thanks forhaving me. It's great to be here. I'm excited to talk to you. You've been onour show before, but for listeners who are hearing you for the first time,give us a little context of your company, yep, we're Crane wear PLC, andwhat we do is we provide software and services to us healthcare providers sothey can maintain strong financial performance that allows them to pursuetheir healthcare mission awesome. In our last conversation, you saidsomething really interesting to me, you said the best customer testimonialsinclude how the company can improve. Why do you believe that, Mark? Well, Ithink it shows the relationship is strong, right? So you want strongrelationship. It's a personal or professional relationship. I thinksometimes the best feedback and recognition isn't always positive,right? It's here's what you're doing well, but here's where I think we canimprove or you can improve. So I think that's one of the big reasons why itshows the strength of the relationship and it shows the candor and thestrength and the fact that there is a commitment there to the relationship onboth parties that they can continue to invest in one another because there isa mutual need for both to be successful to continue the business relationship.So I think those are a couple of key reasons why it's important. Yeah, Iagree. I think I think it's obvious sometimes when you're looking atratings or reviews or testimonials and you can tell when it's just somebodythat was either paid or asked to hype up that company or that product. Youcan't do an infomercial, right? We have to just have the candid feedback andit's great to get that candid feedback...

...in front of other prospects andcustomers, right. Whether it be a speaking engagement at a, at a webinar,whether it be a user conference, whatever it is, when other customersand prospective customers here, the real nous, uh, hey, these four thingsare going great, but we haven't gotten to the five and six yet and we're stillworking to get through that. I think those are the type of messages thatresonate with the audience. For sure. Why do you think that there are so manythat don't believe this philosophy? Well, I can't speak for everybody, butcertainly you want to put your best foot forward. I think sometimes there'sfear of fear of uncovering our vulnerabilities. I mean, a company islike a family, you sort of know what's what's working and not, we're workingwell internally, but sometimes you don't want to expose that to theoutside world. But if it's done the right way and then the right audience,and it's more importantly, if it's done with the right spirit in the tone ofgenuine contributed, help to let's get this thing better and let's let's makeit better for all of us, then that's when it becomes real and relatable.Yeah, let's talk about that. What is done the right way? I think it with nomalice with no anger, right? Sometimes, look, we all have customers that come.Sometimes you can get frustrated, right? And we try to minimize that. And wecertainly try to address what's the concerns to get customers back to agood place. But I think the right way is in the context of just a candidconversation or a download of this is what's working well. Here's the thingsthat we can do better as a, as a customer and here's the things that arevendor partner can do better to help us become better to achieve what our goalsare. And I think at the end of the day, what we're looking for is focus on whatare the outcomes were looking for. And if we can keep our focus on theoutcomes and not the individual behaviors or the individual hang up,then I think we get to a really good place a lot quicker and and we staythere a lot longer. Yeah. And you're saying that those honest customertestimonials are not just good internally, but they're good externally.What do you mean by that? Like in what...

...way are they good externally? I mean wehave annual user uh you know, summits where we bring in uh customers, we usedto do it live now, we do it virtually of course. But where we have customersspeak on some of our applications or our services and I think that's wherethey have the chance to to have those conversations with our other customers.Sometimes we have prospective customers and on those audiences just to hearthat and it's relatable. I think that's maybe a good word to say. It'srelatable because we all have business relationships where for the majoritythey're really, really good. But there's always things that can improve.And I think the best companies are the ones who drive a standard of highcustomer satisfaction and high loyalty with their customers. But they'realways have their ears open and their eyes open to how we can improve becausethe bar keeps changing and once your customers reach a certain set ofexpectations with what you can deliver, you are no longer than adding valuebeyond what their expectation is. So you have to keep raising your standardof what you're delivering, whether it be a service of product relationship tomake sure that you're continuing to drive that loyalty in that relationship.I think in this day, you know, with cloud based applications across anyindustry that you have now, the ability and the barrier to entry is a lot lowerthan it used to be. I mean, there are competitors who want our customers andwe want to make sure we're doing everything possible, relational e andfrom a business transaction standpoint to make it difficult for them to wantto leave us. Hey everybody Logan was sweet fish here. If you're a regularlistener of BTB growth, you know that I'm one of the co hosts of the show,but you may not know that. I also head up the sales team here is sweet fish.So for those of you in sales or sales ops, I wanted to take a second to sharesomething that's made us insanely more efficient lately. Our team has beenusing Lead I. Q. For the past few months and what used to take us fourhours gathering contact data now takes us only one where 75% more efficientwere able to move faster with outbound prospecting and organizing ourcampaigns is so much easier than before.

I'd highly suggest you guys check outlead I. Q. As well. You can check them out at lead I Q dot com. That's L E A DI Q dot com. All right. Let's get back to the show. So walk me through theprocess how somebody can successfully use customer testimonials that arehonest, that even include the things that the company could do betterexternally and use those well externally. Like what is this? What isstep one to doing that? There's a number of ways. I mean in relation tohow crane, where does it? We we have a couple different methods. We have anongoing, I'll call it an ideation and enhancement requests process that ourcustomers can can lean into and give us the feedback. We have formal structuresaround what we call the crane where customer advisory council where we haveproduct advisory groups by product, where they meet on a quarterly basisand we get to share with them where the product is headed. Perhaps like alittle preview if you will like a preview to what's coming in the roadmap, but at the same time we listen and we take feedback from what's workingwell, what features or functions or direction of the product um is doingwell, but also what isn't right and how can we do that better? So it's acontrol group, but it's an open microphone if you will. So they havethe built in the freedom to share what their thoughts are. And usually ifyou're a customer in that group and you you're struggling with certain problemand other people maybe identify what that challenges, it helps youarticulate better the impact that it's having on your business. And so we trywe try to set that up for me. So there's group settings like ouradvisory council settings with our product advisory groups. There is alsoindividual opportunity to just have one on one conversations with our supportteam, with our care partners with our sales organization, whomever therelationship uh is most solid or is available to them. And we havedifferent points of contact throughout...

...a customer lifecycle with the customer.And they're always given the opportunity to give us one on onefeedback. And then we proactively the third way tim is we just proactivelyreach out and say, look, we're trying to further market this application,You've been using it, here's some of the success you've had. Let's talkabout the business impacts and let's talk about the organizational impactthat's had for you and how we can do that better. And in those moments wecan use webinars, we can use education sessions, we can use podcast, we canuse different methods to do that. And in those moments they had theopportunity to identify what we hope for the vast majority of things thatare succeeding for them, but also to identify the areas of improvement andmutual growth that we still have to go through. Yeah, I'm just thinkingthrough like it would be a really self serving podcast but it could beinteresting to interview customers on GDP growth and literally have the focusof the interview be like what is sweet fish doing well for you and in whatareas are we sucking like where do we need to improve? That's a great idea.Take customers from any industry and ask them to pick your favorite vendor,right, What are the attributes they have? Right? Or pick maybe a mediocrevendor are less mediocre vendor and what are the attributes they have? Andhow do you avoid that or how do you grow the good attributes? I thinkthat's that's a great idea in terms of just because a lot of these attributesare transferable, regardless of the market you're in, regardless of theproduct or service you deliver. These are the types of conversations that arevery healthy and and every organization that wants to grow and get better hasto have their ear open to how we can do it better for our customers. Yeah. AndI think it would tell our listeners like a pretty clearly if anybodylistening is ever considering having us do their podcasting, they would tellthem like we really care, we genuinely care about knowing where we need toimprove and that's part of the benefit. I'll just say with our advisorycouncils and with our user summits, that's part of us bringing everybodyinto the group and and show that, show...

...that, care that attention and show thatability to keep the relationship strong. Can you think of any ways that somebodylistening could try to follow your advice and get it wrong? I would say itwould be more difficult to do that, you know, look in any relationship personalprofessional, if you feel like somebody who genuinely cares about your successand want you to have good outcomes and they're willing to listen to help youget there, I think that's important. I I think uh maybe one way to get itwrong would be to not create a circle of feedback around those inputs, right,and just have it feel like a dead end and nothing happens. That would be oneway. What do you mean by a circle of input? An ongoing dialogue versus justin a I say more of a process versus an event where you bring in maybe you havea user group and you have one time they meet and then they never hear back fromyou again. That that probably wouldn't be optimal to do it that way. But tokeep them in a circle, you know, we have a basically a two year life cycleon our memberships and our advisory council product groups, and so theyhave the ability to maintain some longitude and some some momentum withthe conversation so they can see progress going on the other way. Ithink it would wouldn't work in and for anybody, this is important. The qualityof the product, right? The quality of the product has to be focused, it hasto be maintained and it has to be improved as you go forward. I mean, youcan be a great listener, but if you're not delivering quality service orproduct, whatever that product is, then obviously that would be one way to getit wrong as well. I love it. Mark, how can listeners connect with you? Listen,I'm at uh m dot Montgomery at crane wear dot com. I'm on twitter at atcrane where CMO and certainly can reach us through our website at crane weardot com, but we'd love to hear from you and answer questions and maybe I'll aska few questions back. I love it. Thanks so much for being on the show. Damn,Thank you, appreciate it. One of the things we've learned aboutpodcast audience growth is that word of...

...mouth works. It works really, reallywell actually. So if you love this show, it would be awesome if you texted afriend to tell them about it. And if you send me a text with a screenshot ofthe text you sent to your friend meta. I know I'll send you a copy of my book,content based networking, how to instantly connect with anyone you wantto know. My cell phone number is 4074 90 33 to eight. Happy texting. Yeah.

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