Tuesday, July 16, 2024

What Is Meant by Customer Stakeholder, and What Are Its Types?

Have you ever considered who has the most influence in your business? You are the owner of your business, but your customers are its stakeholders. Your products or services are highly influenced by your customer stakeholders’ needs. Around 47% of B2B companies in Germany consider their customer stakeholders responsible for sustaining their business.

But what exactly are customer stakeholders? Are they the end users, shareholders, or employees? Let’s clarify our concepts around customer stakeholders and discuss how customer stakeholders have a stake in your business.

What is a Customer Stakeholder?

Stakeholders are those who have a financial and personal stake in your company to gain mutual benefits. In a customer organization, there can be multiple stakeholders, each with unique priorities and objectives.

Customer stakeholder is the term that is frequently used in business-to-business (B2B) relationships. It refers to customers as a business and the customer stakeholder as the leading player who influences the decisions in that business.

Still confused? The next section will help you clarify by discussing the types of customer stakeholders.

4 Types of Customer Stakeholders

There are four major types of customers as stakeholders in a B2B relationship. Each type has unique goals and interest levels. So, they directly impact your company and its operations. The details of these four types of customer stakeholders are as follows:

1. The Buyer with Financial Power

As the name suggests, this type of customer stakeholder holds the power in finances. They have every right to approve a contract and make purchasing choices. They are mostly senior executives who also have bigger responsibilities and duties.

The size of the contract determines where they are positioned in the organization. However, if the deal is minor, the manager with financial discretion can handle it. On the contrary, the chief financial officer (CFO) will make decisions for bigger deals.

2. The Buyer with Utilization Power

The people who use your service or product are another category of customer stakeholders. They view every product or service from a functional point of view and see how the product/service will affect them.

Assuming you are offering software for sale as a vendor, their first concern will be if it simplifies their work. They determine the degree to which your software is helpful to their company.

3. The Buyer with Technical Expertise

Another important type of customer stakeholder is the technical buyer. They are usually responsible for managing or supervising the integration of a brand’s technical offering.

Technical buyers frequently have a set of requirements that they use to evaluate possible vendors. This indicates that they can reject a product if it doesn’t meet the company’s specifications.

Suppose we consider the previous example again. Then, the customer’s company will only purchase from you if your software’s features align with their technological structure and requirements.

4. The Coach

The instructor or coach may not play the role of decision-maker during the procurement process, but the coach will vouch for your company in the customer stakeholder groups. That’s why they are also considered one of the customer stakeholder types.

They guide other businesses and additional stakeholders regarding the potential benefits of your product or service that promote the growth of your business. This shows that despite not being part of the primary decision-maker, the coach can still impact decisions.

Importance of Identifying Your Customer Stakeholder

It is important to know about your customer stakeholders and the trigger elements that motivate them. Identifying the needs and challenges of your customer stakeholders can give you the upper hand and let you make informed decisions to provide the perfect experience to your partners.

If you want to know what role your customer stakeholders play in taking your business to the next level, then keep reading.

1. Their Challenges, Your Solution

When you sell your products or services, you should know who you are selling to. How do they want to reach their goals? Are they ready to invest in your business? How will you help them achieve their goals through your products or services?

You can map out their requirements, design your products, or improve your services accordingly. There are different ways to map stakeholders’ requirements, but one emerging way is using AI chatbots, especially for the second type of customer stakeholders, i.e., “the buyer with utilization power”.

Shulex VOC AI Chatbot is one such ideal AI chatbot. As an alternative to Intercom, it offers an intelligent AI-powered chatbot that can easily train on your provided data and offer instant and authentic responses to users’ queries through interactive chats. On top of that, it also offers insightful analytics from its interactions, which can help in decision-making. This makes VOC AI Chatbot a modernized approach to learning about stakeholders and also a reliable alternative to Zendesk.

2. More Targeted Sales Processes

It is vital to comprehend the characteristics and motivations of your customer stakeholders. It is similar to determining the identity of the person you speak with and their goals. This way, you can make the sales process more targeted and practical.

3. Competitive Advantages

You can gain an advantage over your rival by tailoring your sales strategy according to your customer stakeholder’s goals. For instance, you can customize a plan for every stakeholder, proving that you are going above and beyond to understand the customer’s organization fully.

4. Build Trust and Transparency

Building trust is easy when you realize that your customers as stakeholders are also people with their own goals. You can then align your product or service according to their needs and concerns. Trust and transparency are critical in the sales process, and this method cultivates both. Developing rapport with each individual within the customer’s organization is essential to improve relationships.

Wrapping Up

Customer stakeholders are real people with real needs, feelings, and aspirations. That is why it’s necessary to develop a relationship based on mutual trust and transparency. You need to come up with strategies and plans that support your business as well as theirs. Sweat the small stuff about your customer stakeholders and provide it to them exactly how they want it.

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