Sigma Thermal’s CEO, Jeff Ackel, Featured on the Thomas Industry Update Podcast
In any market, having an excellent product is only part of what you do as a business. Many industrial businesses rely too heavily on their products and not enough on the customer experience, resulting in dissatisfied customers with no understanding of what went wrong and no clear path for how to make it right.
Jeff Ackel, CEO of Sigma Thermal, has shown how great B2B service can revolutionize a company, and he believes other businesses should be adopting a similar customer experience model. He was invited to speak with Tony Uphoff on the Thomas Industry Update Podcast about his pioneering efforts.
This biweekly podcast with Tony Uphoff, president and CEO of Thomas, features insightful conversations with industry leaders as they share their unique perspectives and best practices. Listeners receive tips and actionable advice they can use to help them with their own businesses and careers. Sigma Thermal is honored to have Jeff Ackel on the show.
The B2B Customer Experience
As Ackel explains, customer experience in the B2B space is different from B2C. With B2B, the buyers are professionals—they make purchases for a living. They want clear information about what will be best for their own businesses in terms of cost and quality. They’re not making emotional decisions like B2C customers often are, so they don’t need the same stories and types of personal connections you would strive to offer a B2C customer.
Further, in the B2B space, several individuals may represent one customer. You’re selling to all of them, and the experience should be uniform, transparent, and positive. They need to know you care about their business and that you’re offering them all the information they need to make an informed decision.
The Sigma Thermal Approach
Ackel recognized the importance of creating a tailored customer experience that meets the needs of B2B buyers. The tricky part is that it’s hard to gauge the value of your service. Uphoff calls customer experience “squishy to measure”, especially because it’s often considered on a sliding scale of one to 10. What’s a 10 for one person might qualify as an eight for another and a five for someone else.
Ackel’s mission at Sigma Thermal is “converting the squishy to the black and white” by recognizing that customer experience can be defined as positive or negative.
Part of this is using surveys to see if your own beliefs about your service is on par with the customer’s take on the experience, though it’s important to note that customers often only bother to fill out a survey when they’re upset. You don’t get an accurate picture of how many satisfied customers you have.
At Sigma Thermal, we conduct surveys twice during the sales process, and because a salesperson or project manager contacts the customers directly for a conversation, the customers don’t even realize they’re being surveyed. Ackel says, “We feel like we’re getting better results because we’re getting a more even view.”
The B2B customer experience is important to us, and Sigma Thermal is proud to be a pioneer in our approach and commitment to creating positive experiences for our customers. To hear more insights from Jeff Ackel, listen to the full podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, or Stitcher.
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