Founder & Head Coach/CEO, The Funds2Orgs Group.
Tech and digital tools upended how businesses operate, compete and sell their products and services. As a result, it’s prompted many to declare the end of experience as a company’s primary selling point—or that of its talent. The belief seems to have risen as buyers have much greater access to information online, and the importance of experience has diminished.
The world has changed, but our human needs remain the same. People still want to trust that the businesses they deal with are trustworthy, high-quality and responsive to their needs. In other words, experience—whether in person or online—still matters.
Companies must understand that consumers do not buy just a product or service. Companies should realize that people often buy because of how it makes them feel about themselves. And during times of inflation, companies need to do more to make clients feel special.
What is the value of experience in business?
Experience is an essential part of any business. The times have not changed this reality itself, only the way in which the experience is now delivered.
A decade ago, potential customers visited a car dealership or a travel agent to learn more and make a purchasing decision. Today, more and more buyers research a vehicle online, and then, if they decide to buy, often interact with dealerships online or by phone.
How has this change affected the role of experience in your own team? One key difference for those in sales is that buyers now have more information about a product or service.
But for other professionals as well, knowledge and experience continue to bring the wisdom and ability required to connect the dots. Sure, business leaders want and need younger generations. But you also need people on your team who have experienced similar issues in the past because of the critical insights they can bring to what has worked in the past.
Why are marketing and selling about relationships and experience?
Customers want to be heard and understood. They want a company’s products or services to fit their needs and lives. And they want the company to be there for them, whether for service issues or future purchases. Of course, all of this costs money, which is why companies must ensure their customers continue to buy what they offer.
As we know, most companies invest in marketing and sales. Both functions build on customer relationships and deliver a company experience to customers, encouraging those customers to buy what you sell.
But you also need a team with the expertise to make meaningful strategic decisions from the perspective of your business intelligence output. In other words, it’s not enough to create reports. You need people with business acumen to make decisions—and that takes experience.
Why is experience still important to business?
As the best leaders know, it’s all about relationships. But experience is the glue that holds these relationships together. Experience helps your company to deliver on its promises to customers and builds trust between your company and its customers. It also helps put the right people in the right jobs for your company. Sure, you want to get tech-savvy people. But you also want people with essential soft skills specific to emotional intelligence. The reality is your business can’t excel if you have people who don’t understand both technical information and nuance as well as other people.
Which means more: Tech or experience?
When deciding which skills to focus on and which investments to make, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of experience. Sure, digital tools help companies deliver a great customer experience. But those tools can’t replace human relationships and expertise. A company needs both to win over customers.
Digital tools can help in terms of lead generation, marketing, operations and sales automation. But you also need people who understand how to use the tools when it comes to interacting with customers. A skilled team of people can make any tech tool effective—and even create new ways to use the resources. Today’s organizations require curious people who can make connections between seemingly disparate things.
How can leaders leverage their company’s experience and talent?
Your company’s experience can help you retain customers and find new ones. Here are a few ways you can ensure your experience is relevant to your customer journey.
• Identify the experiences that matter to your customers.
• Carefully select which experiences and skills you will leverage to meet customers’ needs.
• Match the right people with the right experiences and skills.
• Make the most of your company’s expertise and talent.
Experience is as relevant to your organization as ever.
By focusing on experience, you can optimize your company’s internal operations—as well as your relationships with customers.
• A focus on experience helps you build a team aligned with your company’s goals and mission.
• It can help you find the best ways to interact with customers and build trust.
• It can help you utilize digital tools and other modern technologies more effectively.
• Using experience effectively will allow you to stay competitive in your market and win new customers.
Ultimately, experience can be the key to making your company more effective and efficient in serving its customers. By focusing on experiences and playing to your team’s strengths, you can better serve your customers, whether virtual or physical.