How to deal with unresponsive clients?

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Aci Amar
Aci Amar Member Posts: 3 Seeker
edited August 2021 in Strategy & Planning
Hi All,

I'm currently working with clients from the US and SEA. Along the way, I realized that I have to approach each client differently, especially since each region has its own behavior and habits. I'm still trying to find the pattern, but it would be nice to hear your experience and how you approach them when they give you a cold shoulder.

Thank you in advance!
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  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, CS Leader Posts: 109 Expert
    First Comment 5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited August 2021
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    This is a tough one and happens for almost every company.

    First thing we do is have a kickoff call with each client. Goal of this is to introduce yourself so they put a face to the company and are comfortable with you. Then we get a scheduled call and we try to keep the client on the calendar until they see first value.

    The best thing we have found to combat ghosting is to get multiple points of contact at each customer. This way you have different people to reach out to.

    If ghosting really is happening we have found success in rotating: Calls, Emails, Texts.
    Jordan Silverman
    jordan.silverman@usestarfish.com
    (914) 844-5775
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordansilverman/
  • Andrew Shoaff
    Andrew Shoaff Member Posts: 25 Thought Leader
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    edited August 2021
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    Hi Aci,

    I agree with Jordan that its key to have multiple contacts.  In doing so, build relationships at different levels within a client hierarchy.  Make sure you have contacts at the end user, middle mgt and executive level.  That way if an end user is ghosting you it's possible to go up the chain.  Also push for exec to exec level contacts.  Again, if you are getting ghosted your VP/CCO/CEO can reach out to his/her counterpart.  If they already know one another it's much more likely you will hear back from the customer.
  • Brian Hansen
    Brian Hansen Member Posts: 75 Expert
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    edited August 2021
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    One additional thought, which is data. Some customers don't respond to requests for calls because they either a) don't think that the call is worth their time or b) feel like they'd be pressured to buy something new. With that in mind, being able to share data with insight for "partners/customers like you are seeing X, Y, Z, and what that means to them is 1, 2, 3." might help to get them to pay attention. You're now providing something they hopefully didn't know prior and that's valuable. The data needs to be relevant to them of course, so you need to be selective about what you share and the outcomes you're looking to demonstrate.

    Perhaps also leveraging a scheduling software like Calendly might help, too. That puts the customer in the driver's seat as to when a call will happen - providing a feeling of power.

    Like most things in CS - and in life really - it's all about how the parties FEEL. If you can create a feeling of gratitude and giving towards the customer, chances are good that they will reciprocate with feelings of interest and, dare I say, excitement. (OK, "excitement" is definitely hard to reach, but that's the goal!).
  • Aci Amar
    Aci Amar Member Posts: 3 Seeker
    edited August 2021
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    Hi Jordan,

    Thank you so much for your input. I totally agree with everything you've mentioned here.
    Since you've mentioned rotating the approach, it's difficult for US clients because they prefer to have communication only via emails. Have you experienced this before? If yes, would you mind share your approach?

    Thanks!
  • Aci Amar
    Aci Amar Member Posts: 3 Seeker
    edited August 2021
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    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for your feedback!
    The client is actually a small brand with only 4 persons so most of the time I talked to the executive level which is also the main user.
    But yes, I haven't asked my VP/COO/CEO  to reach out to them, this will be my last one. Thanks again!
  • Jordan Silverman
    Jordan Silverman Member, CS Leader Posts: 109 Expert
    First Comment 5 Likes Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited August 2021
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    Absolutely agree with you that US prefers emails. We mix in LinkedIn messages too as required. 

    The fact that the customer prefers emails means they probably get a lot more emails. And it helps a call or text stick out. 

    If this is a strategic customer have you thought about adding them to your Slack in a dedicated channel? Pros and cons to this but another good communication route if they are already using Slack internally.
    Jordan Silverman
    jordan.silverman@usestarfish.com
    (914) 844-5775
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/jordansilverman/
  • Erika Villarreal
    Erika Villarreal Member Posts: 41 Expert
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    edited August 2021
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    Hi Aci,

    I 100% agree with @Brian Hansen here! Although having multiple contacts can be helpful, and its a way to go around people ghosting you I've found that people sometimes don't answer communication because they don't see any value in it. Things I've done in the past that I've seen work very well is address your communications to what their challenges and outcomes were in the beginning. Then, I tease them with additional information of how things are going.

    So, if you're reaching out to schedule a meeting with them, try sending them information of value that they might not get from your product already. KPIs, trends, graphs on product usage for example, or writing the email based on what they said was of interest from the kickoff call.

    Hope this helps!
    Best,
    Erika
  • Brian Hansen
    Brian Hansen Member Posts: 75 Expert
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    edited August 2021
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    The "How it Started/How it's Going" meme-style. I like it, @Erika Villarreal!
  • Erika Villarreal
    Erika Villarreal Member Posts: 41 Expert
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    edited August 2021
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    @Brian Hansen oohh never thought about a meme... that could work even better!!! hahaha.

    And hopefully, your product is adding value, cause if you're worst than how you started.... well... ALERT ALERT ALERT! ?
  • Erika Villarreal
    Erika Villarreal Member Posts: 41 Expert
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    edited August 2021
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    Also @Aci Amar, you should check out this webinar from Client Success's CSM Summit. @Dan Ennis has a lot of great tips to re-engage customers, especially those who ghost you.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgbwoWWShbY
  • Brian Hansen
    Brian Hansen Member Posts: 75 Expert
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    edited August 2021
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    Yes, that Alert would be terrifying to see!
  • Dan Ennis
    Dan Ennis Member Posts: 2 Navigator
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    edited August 2021
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    We've done something similar to this with our data @Erika Villarreal. In the initial email outreach to a non-responsive customer we send over a preview of how they're doing in three outcome areas based on the data of their utilization and industry and goals, and include a brief one sentence insight on each to tease out what we'll discuss in a call.

    They've often found the graphic we send helpful and it has been intriguing enough to start a conversation.
  • veronica lane
    veronica lane Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited August 2021
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    When you say a preview, is this a description or an actual graphic? If a graphic, how are you generating this?