When it comes to putting their service money where their mouth is, Sage North America has done the deed. This provider of software solutions primarily caters to small and mid-sized businesses on a global scale. To learn firsthand what their customers need from their software solutions, Sage took their show on the road with their first national RV tour designed to spend time with as many of their customers as possible.
Through their 50 days of travel, Sage employees learned plenty about how to forage positive relationships with customers on a variety of levels. The UK-based company decided to launch the tour to increase their brand identity in the U.S., while meeting some of their current customers at the same time. During those 50 days, the company met with more than 50 customers in 16 U.S. cities to learn more about their needs and what makes them tick.
Benefits of Visiting Customers in Person
One of the most significant lessons learned by Sage employees during their tour was the value of moving outside the four walls of their company to visit with their customers in person. Representatives of the company recommend that other small businesses take the time to have lunch with a customer regularly – and not just when it’s time to renew a contract and the lunch feels more like a sales call. Meeting regularly gives you the chance to identify customer needs firsthand and lets the customer know how important they are to your business.
Don’t limit customer visits to your sale representatives and agents, either. Sage took 30 employees on the road for their tour, including some of the top leaders in the company. A commitment to customer service begins at the top of the corporate hierarchy, so executives must lead by example.
Seeing from the Customer’s Perspective
When you take the time to visit with customers personally, you gain the opportunity to see the world from your customer’s perspective. When you see a customer in his own environment, you discover insights about that customer you might not otherwise learn. This perspective allows you to more effectively meet customer needs by identifying needs on a firsthand basis.
Customers also appreciate the chance to provide feedback directly to businesses. When a company takes the time to visit with a customer on this level, the customer feels valued and appreciated. The company gains information about the customer that might not have been obtained through regular service channels.
Advocate for Your Customers
Finally, Sage employees learned the value of becoming an advocate for their customers. In addition to patronizing their customers’ businesses, employees of Sage were also in a position to recommend their customers to other consumers. In this specific instance, Sage was encouraging the public to buy local, which supports the small businesses in their customer base. By supporting their customers in this practical fashion, the company earned the trust and loyalty of their own expanding customer base.
Sage North America has a commitment to its small and mid-sized business customers and it shows. By launching a national tour, the company demonstrated its priority of service in very tangible, practical ways.