While it may seem like large, global companies have it easy when it comes to customer references, everyone struggles with getting customers to participate in public reference activities.
But did you also know that few global companies give discounts in exchange for reference participation? In fact, money is not always the best motivator, according to findings presented at the recent Customer Reference Forum in Dallas.
So, what does motivate customers? Very simply, access and involvement. Your customers want access to executives, and involvement in your product roadmap. Business titles prefer meetings or events with the chance to interface with your executives, while technical titles prefer participation on technical councils where their product suggestions are heard.
It’s all about listening to them and their needs. In exchange, many will reward you with reference participation.
As we prepare to start a new year, consider how you will give your top customers access and involvement in the coming year. Have the CEO call or visit your top 10 customers, or invite your top 10-12 to an advisory meeting. Most of all, getting customers to go on record for you is a process of relationship-building.