LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner just revealed surprising new research about the state of job skills in the U.S. The number one 1 “skill gap” in the US workforce, according to Weiner is communication skills.
“Not surprisingly, there continues to be an imbalance with regards to software engineering. But somewhat surprisingly, interpersonal skills are where we’re seeing the biggest imbalance. Communications is the number 1 skill gap,” says Weiner.
The list of demands for this skill set is a mile long, but why is it in such short supply? Why is there a gap? How is this effecting your customer experience? Your account retention and your new business growth?
The MeritDirect Marketing Experience (MDX) in Austin, TX last month covered a number of these topics and more. An enlightening presentation on this topic came from Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of VisumCx on “Delivering Customer Experience in the Age of the Digital Customer”. Some of his findings included:
This dedication to the customer is critical, imperative, really. But, how do you get there when there is an enormous gap in communication skills? It puts the customer experience responsibility on just about every employee and forces management to ask: “What characteristics should I be looking for in account management? Or my new digital sales hires or UI guidance?”
I’ve built successful sales teams in the financial markets sales and digital advertising sales. Both industries are a “live” environment, fast paced and in need of accuracy at the same time. You buy a stock at the wrong price, or wrong amount of shares from what you have quoted a client and you “eat” the difference out of your commissions. One error forces you to pay attention and be accountable.
That same level of accuracy is required in digital marketing today, excellent customer service plays a big role in defining and understanding the optimal audience with no second chances. Programmatic B2B advertising at MeritDirect operates on accuracy: delivering premium B2B data, creating customized segment targeting to engage with select B2B audiences at scale in real time. No coloring outside of the lines.
Here are my thoughts on the key characteristics you need to emphasize in your hiring process. We all need to deliver the best Customer Experience in the age of B2B digital marketing.
Responsiveness: Artificial Intelligence, chatbots and voice assistants are at the ready for all consumers. You must have a sales mentality to respond quickly. The data shows that 86% of customers who have had a good experience may consider your service again. A key ingredient in your communication strategy needs to be speed of response. Speed will show you care. Speed will build trust. Responsiveness breeds loyalty.
Accountability: How do speed and precision work together? How can you keep accuracy at an accelerated pace? By…Listening! Show an active interest in creating solutions for your customer. When you communicate with transparency and empathy, your value to your customer skyrockets. In an age where there is a shortage of accountability being communicated to customers you can close that gap and provide a memorable experience. Hire for responsiveness and accountability every time!
Creativity: You will come across situations that are very difficult to deliver upon. Demonstrate integrity. This is where your personal style will allow you to earn trust. Tap into creativity to resolve an issue, reward a customer and make a difference. Don’t wait! Respond with the confidence that you have earned the trust to be creative… It always delivers a dynamic human customer experience.
Enthusiasm: It drives repeat business. Optimism and positive energy generate new ideas and the ability to handle pressure. It is a legit approach to business! How many hours do you dedicate to your clients? Enjoy it! The FUN Factor is very underestimated in business.
Responsiveness, Accountability, Creativity with Enthusiasm!!
It’s very possible that Customer Experience may one day overtake product and pricing decisions as the key brand differentiator. Are you ready!!?? Get into the R-A-C-E and Win!
For more thoughts on B2B targeting, Digital or Data-Driven Marketing, let’s connect and have a conversation.
Senior Director, Digital Services
Accelerate Growth with MeritDirect!