Alisa Bartash, head of marketing at 2600Hz reveals the secrets to successful financials
With more and more solution providers entering the unified communications, contact center and customer experience arena, competition for clients has never been tougher.
Add to that the increasing mergers and acquisitions in the market and the battle for customers soon hinges on price rather than service or discernible features. In short, once you’ve seen one communications and collaborations platform, you’ve seen them all.
But with a saturated market of solutions that lack differentiation, holding on to customers, which is as vital to the end of year results as finding new ones, can be a challenge. “From our perspective, brand loyalty is becoming more important to businesses, and it’s a pretty highly talked about topic as well” said Alisa Bartash, head of marketing at 2600Hz. “In our industry we’ve seen a lot of mergers and acquisitions which has led to the consolidation of solutions.
“But as the market continues to consolidate, we’ve seen that a lot of cloud communications platforms are becoming less indiscernible. They all have the same features and functionality so keeping customers is much harder and there’s no distinction setting you apart from your competitors, which results in a race to the bottom on price.”
Building that affinity with customers is a way to avoid that race to the bottom. In fact, according to Alisa, focusing on brand engagement and customer loyalty will open the door for upselling opportunities and more consistent renewals.
“There are a few key elements that I would say are really important for businesses to focus on when they’re looking to build that brand loyalty and help keep their customers from leaving,” said Alisa, “the first I would say is to offer exceptional value and focus on the perceived worth of your product or service in the eyes of your customers beyond that transactional value. A key way to add that value is to give the impression of a personalised service, by building a customized communication solution with unique feature sets and functionality that fits the specific needs of your customers.
“Giving the perception that your company cares about its customers and is always there to help and support them is also important as a poor customer experience is one of the main reasons why your customers might leave. Just one bad interaction can lead the customers to look elsewhere if they don’t feel like they have any loyalty to your brands or any real reason to stay, which is why customer support is super important, especially in the current market.
“The last key point to focus on is a positive end user experience because that helps with end user adoption. The more people that use your product, especially in the communications space, the more likely it is to catch on and the harder it would be to make a decision that they would leave and go somewhere else because they have all of these end users who are using the product.”
Alisa said that building this brand loyalty should be a priority, adding that strong communications is key to enable the value, customer service and user experience that is needed.
“Effective internal and external communications really help strengthen customer relationships” said Alisa.
“That builds trust and offers a level of transparency that can be used to communicate with your customers to work out their needs, better find out any friction points they have with your product or services, but also keep them informed about what’s going on at your organisation”
“Letting them know about new features that they can utilise as they come out, what is going on at your companies so that they feel like they have a window into your business. That can go a really long way when it comes to building a strong relationship with customers because the more that they know about what’s going on on the inside, the more comfortable they are with your business as a whole.
“That brings a level of closeness with a lot of decision makers and in turn means that, if they do have an issue, they feel comfortable reaching out to your business instead of taking to social media like Twitter and expressing their frustrations. That saves time and effort on more than one front so it’s really important to put in the time and effort to get to know your customer base and what their needs are so that you can better serve them and they’ll keep coming back.”