Guiding the New Micro-Entrepreneur: The Importance of Engaging and Empowering Distributors in the Direct Selling Industry
Why Distributor and Customer Experiences Are Key to Success in Direct Selling
When it comes to direct selling, Betty Perez has been there and done it. By the time Betty was 19 she was co-founding her own direct sales company after having built first as a distributor in the field for years prior. From 2010 to 2019 she helped grow the company she co-founded and today she is the President of North America for Jeunesse Global.
Perez believes the pandemic has only ‘sped up’ a transition that was inevitable for the direct selling industry owing to increased use of tech in the daily lives of ordinary people. She points to the gig economy as a huge factor in creating improved ‘access’ for customers and distributors which gives them a level of control not previously enjoyed. The way Uber has created an app that delivers excellence in CX via real-time information, gamification and the ability for customers to instantly order or cancel at the touch of a screen will be extended to other areas of consumer facing businesses.
But the gig economy, she says, has not only helped drive improved CX – it has been instrumental in changing the way distributors behave too. Many roles in the gig economy, she says, don’t rely on distributors being instructed by the company. Of course, there are guidelines and regulatory requirements. But Perez says the opportunity to create their own working hours and choose to be paid quickly is a huge step forward in ‘empowering’ people.
Moving forward, this sense of empowerment is crucial according to Perez. One of the biggest challenges facing organizations across all sectors is how they use the tech boom to ‘create systems in which (distributors) are empowered.’ Perez believes leveraging these technologies can help bridge the gap between the first sale a distributor makes to supporting an ongoing relationship the distributor, company and the customer. As a former distributor herself, she believes maximizing customizations in communication streams would ease some of the challenges and frustrations distributors encounter in the course of their working days out in the field.
Incentives and recognition play a huge role here, says Perez. She says everybody wants to be recognized and likens recognition programs to compensation schemes. Both,, can be used by organizations to show individuals what they should be focusing on. After all, distributors and the organization they represent share the ‘same agenda.’
But understanding distributors is only half the challenge. Returning to the issue of CX, Perez recognises the importance of creating a personalized experience. Once again, she asks the question of how organizations can create that. Her experience in the field and in the boardroom both tell her that customer retention is key to business success – but it requires more than just top quality products or services. The key to getting that experience right is to combine experience and knowledge with data. A digital marketing plan should focus on customizing the experience for each customer and focusing on action-based triggers to guide them through their journey.
Some of the examples she uses are loyalty programs, smart delivery, affiliate programs and apps for customers which give them ‘control’ over their experience. And at the heart of that experience is a ‘deep connection’. Perez is convinced that, for all the advanced tech available to organizations, they cannot take their eyes off the fact that customers place increasingly high value on buying from organizations that not only understand them and the way they want to interact with brands, but that share their ‘values and philosophy.’ Podcasts, inspirational videos and other online tools offer organizations the chance to show the ‘meaning behind the brand.’ This connection is a huge feature of customer retention – building that brand loyalty is a continuous and creative process. Customer acquisition is tough – which makes retaining those customers even more important.
Now, more so than ever, Perez says, ‘the world is ready’ for ‘something else’. The trick for organizations is to understand their market and work out what their audience wants from a brand. She puts Amazon’s success, in part, down to the fact they work out what their customers want even before those very customers know it themselves. This level of understanding about their audience is what will define companies that successfully navigate the digital transformation. There is good to be found somewhere in every situation, Perez says. And those that find it, embrace it and run with it will be the future of work.
The future of work and the future of CX lie in personalized experiences to help drive loyalty. To find out how Rallyware can help personalize your distributor and customer experience, request a demo.
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