Partner Programs can be powerful alliances that push your company forward and open a variety of doors to opportunities you may not have had otherwise. Companies can rely on them for revenue, APIs, technology, etc. So, a robust Partner Program that details out the agreement between the company and the partner is paramount. However, these programs often neglect how the partner should handle the company’s customers and that is a big mistake.
Why Is It Important for Partner Programs to Focus on Customer Experience?
At the end of the day, it is your customers your partners will be handling and the experience they provide to these customers should be an extension of your company’s experience. When developing a partner program, there needs to be as much focus on customer experience and its metrics as there is on revenue generation and software sales.
At the end of the day, if the customer is not happy with the partner, they will, usually, come to the company and complain. The company needs to explicitly establish the level and form of interaction the partner will have with the customer. A partnership that cannot keep your brand’s reputation and damages your company’s status with your customers is not a good partnership.
Luckily, there are 2 simple rules to follow when you are developing a partner program that can elevate your revenue and customer experience.
1. Be Clear on How Your Partner Treats Your Customer
The first rule, I hinted at above. The level of experience you provide your customer, your partner must replicate almost exactly. The Quality of Service, your methodology on handling customers, and the way you interact with customers must be followed and mimicked by your partner. You must be aligned when it comes to this. It is key to a successful partnership.
Just like when you onboard a customer, have an onboarding process for your partners. Provide prescriptive steps, a sandbox of your software environment, and a playbook of business processes and guidelines that detail out your methodology and provide tools and examples for handling different situations with the end customer.
2. Treat Your Partners with Care and Empathy
Handling your customers with care and empathy is important. Treating your partners in the same way is equally important. The alliances you forge through these partnerships can be extremely beneficial to your organization. Don’t neglect them and focus only on the customer experience.
Build a Journey Map from your partner’s perspective and identify the Moments of Truth. This will help you identify what your partner has to go through as they do business with your company. This way you can look at the processes you already have in place to see if they need adjusting to align with your partner. The journey map will change depending on the type of partner (Integrators, Value Added Resellers, etc.) you have. Make sure you hire partner success managers to help your partner and measure the quality of the service the partner provides. Work with your partner on an individual basis to maximize revenue while keeping a uniform, robust, and positive end user experience.
With over 20 years of experience in the space leading Customer Success, Customer Care, and Program Management teams, Emily Drenis is taking her passion for working with customers and launching her own consulting firm, Dodone.
Through Dodone, Emily uses a fine-tuned blend of her wisdom and passion for a great customer experience to help companies develop robust, efficient, and rewarding Customer Success Programs. When it comes to customers, the best way to retain them is to exceed their expectations and add value to their company. If you have the right engagement system and appropriate culture in place, the money will follow and the customers will stay.
Dodone exists to help companies develop and deploy a Customer Success strategy with deep empathy and a tailored methodology, based on their business plan and objectives, that will nurture the relationships with their clients and make them trusted advisors for life!