Advice from Cisco and Westcon-Comstor to Build a Strong Customer Experience Previous item News Roundup: SMB Tech... Next item Social Media Marketing –...

Customer experience has become a hot topic for any industry, but for Value-Added Resellers (VARs) it can have a significant impact on business. In today’s environment, VARs can no longer focus solely on providing technology, but must also provide a positive, memorable experience that will make their customers want to return. To aid in creating a strong customer journey, IT leaders from both Cisco and Comstor have advice for VARs on their journey to a successful customer experience.

Customer Experience is More Than Business

The security landscape is constantly changing, which is why it is more important than ever for VARs to be prepared with security tools and customer service. For a customer facing a threat, it is reassuring to see a familiar face or chat with a longtime support person who can help solve their issue. It is not only important to have a security strategy, but a customer service strategy, as well.

“[The customer] sees us as their partner and that we will be with them throughout the entire process. That’s from pre-sales all the way to implementation, design, planning strategy, and post-sale tuning and then the ongoing success of it,” said Anne Woodley, Cyber Security Sales Specialist at Cisco.

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Shifting to a Customer Experience Mindset

Rhonda Henley, Sales Director for Cisco’s Public Sector Partner Organization, recently spoke about customer experience at the Comstor Executive Federal Summit. She shared that 25 percent of all customers who have a negative experience will not return for their next purchase, and of those 25 percent, over 86 percent will never return.

With those statistics, it’s time for VARs to embrace a customer experience mindset to keep customers coming back. “Why are we changing? Customers are expecting it. They demand additional consumption models, flexibility, and a partner that understands and anticipates their every need,” Henley said. “The customer expectation has changed, and we have to change how we deliver what they consume. It’s certainly an evolution for Cisco, and we want to ensure that our partners, big and small, understand where we are going.”

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Building Customer Experience

For years, Cisco has been helping customers discover and implement technology that solves tough problems. Today’s IT environment is more complex than ever and requires more than just new technology, it requires partnership. With Cisco Customer Experience, customers can rest assured that Cisco is supporting them every step of the way.

“We’re keeping the best of what you love about Cisco today, but mapping this into a streamlined model for engaging with you, customers, and partners,” writes Maria Martinez, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Experience Officer at Cisco, in her recent blog. “Our commitment is simple: To help you get more value from technology, faster.”

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The Evolution of Customer Experience

Although we may not realize it, customer experience has been on the minds of many organizations for years, according to Dan Forbes, Sr. Director of Field Sales at Westcon-Comstor. “Customer experience is probably the latest IT catchphrase and for many partners, it has been part of their go to market for years,” he said.

Implementing call centers or contact centers was the initial stage of what we think of as customer experience today, “how you take technology and apply it to interactions,” said Forbes. “The customer experience becomes really important because there are so many ways to interact and finding a way to capture all of those avenues under one platform and then mining the data from that one platform can have real power.”

To learn more about the evolution of customer experience, watch this video.