Should sales own the customer experience?

A recent whitepaper summarized in Forbes magazine indicated that just nine per cent of marketing professionals felt that customer experience was the most important measurement of their own Return on Investment – in other words the marketing people don’t really feel that keeping the customer happy is how they should be measured.

So is it really the job of the sales team?

This is what the Forbes writer is arguing. Marketing see their job as creating the opportunity, the branding and visibility. Then the support team is focused on making sure that whatever product is purchased actually works – they have a technical focus on operational functionality, not experience.

So it looks like the sales team really should start considering the entire customer experience and managing it beyond sales alone. A customer that buys a product and is then happy with the entire product lifecycle from delivery to installation to use to support and finds that the same sales team manages all of this process will probably be a repeat customer.

But what if the sales team is only rewarded on sales, not experience? Why would they waste valuable sales time on chasing up the satisfaction of customers who bought products a long time before?

This is a dilemma. Any company with a grand strategy to encourage ownership of customers throughout the entire sales lifecycle cannot succeed if the team is remunerated only on success in their small section of the lifecycle.

Pay people to sell alone and they will sell, but wont take any interest in the quality of any follow-up support – it’s only natural. Making customer experience work is about more than just asking the sales team to manage it. Your entire team from the COO down should be aware of what the other parts of the team are doing, and be rewarded for taking an interest in creating happy repeat customers, not just earning a sales commission today.

sale Meddens


Photo by Gerard Stolk licensed under Creative Commons

This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Customer Service, Human Resources and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Should sales own the customer experience?

  1. Dee Roche says:

    As you say delivering the end to end customer experience has to be a team effort, bringing together everyone from sales, marketing and customer service. The first step is to actually measure the customer experience – otherwise no-one will know how consumers view you or what you need to change.

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