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While technologies like AI and IoT are top of mind for many value-added resellers, customer experience should be, too. At the Comstor Executive Federal Summit, speakers from both Comstor and Cisco focused on the importance of customer experience for VARs and their customers.

“Customer experience. These two words are being used and invested in heavily by Cisco,” said Jay Denton, Vice President/GM, Comstor NA, in his session at Federal Summit. In today’s world of digital, the traditional tactics aren’t going to cut it. “We have to adapt and move fast.

By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the brand differentiator,” Denton shared.  “Customer experience isn’t just about drawing people to your business, it’s about keeping them there. Because of this, the focus for both Cisco and Comstor is customer experience and how they can help VARs achieve a positive customer journey.

“Companies that embrace the customer experience ideology will see large growth rates. At its core, it is really going to be about being able to translate technology to a business outcome for a customer.”

VARs are likely to fall into one of three categories while embracing customer experience, Denton explained. The first will be sellers who don’t even try to embrace customer experience and continue using their traditional tactics. The second, will try but need a significant amount of help to implement customer experience. The third will evolve their business and buy into the customer experience vision.

For VARs to be successful, they need to “go beyond the transaction” to position technology, make a sale, and follow-up continuously to keep customers coming back. “The customer experience is now intertwined with the go-to-market model,” said Denton.

VARs must adopt and expand, making sure they understand the functionality of what they are selling and make it an integral part of their customers’ business. To help VARs on this journey, Comstor offers the EDGE program, Engage, Develop, Grow, Extend, which helps improve both sales and interactions.

VARs must engage by determining their service and relationship, develop by deepening skill sets and specializations, grow to position themselves for bigger opportunities, and extend their portfolio. This progression can help VARs on everything from data center solutions to building a memorable customer experience model.

To learn more about the EDGE program, click here.