Two things companies get wrong about customer-centric growth models
December 20, 2022
Leading enterprise organizations understand they are in a critical make-or-break moment right now. Companies are selling to prospects that are slower to make decisions, more critical of the value they expect, and know they can leave for another option at any time. To make sure they hit revenue targets, successful organizations are shifting their strategies to existing customers.
And for good reason. Existing customers are more likely to spend more than new customers. What’s more, research shows that companies who focus on customer experience grow revenue 1.4 times faster than those who didn’t. The ROI just makes sense.
What isn’t as clear to companies is how to operationalize this customer-centric obsession. Companies who implemented solutions to create a digital-first model did so without considering the processes and systems needed to optimize these solutions.
Today, we can see the impact. Bad processes are leading to customer churn, internal team burnout, and unnecessary spending. Add to that the pressure of a recession, and executives are starting to worry.
While there is certainly a need to solve this process problem quickly, you don’t need to panic. The answer is much simpler than you might imagine.
Let us explain.
Successful digital transformations require a leader
Early in the customer experience conversation, everyone agreed that the silos between departments were bad business. That philosophy still holds true. But a byproduct of more collaboration has been blurred lines of who owns what.
Think about your QBR process, for example. Who owns the preparation process for those meetings? Is the same for each of your audience segments? How are the next steps assigned? Most importantly, how confident are you that your process is the most efficient way to work?
For years, organizations used bandaids and placeholders to build their processes and procedures. But the stakes are different in today’s market. Efficiency is the key to not only surviving the economic downturn, but also to steady growth that will help you outlast your competition.
Efficiency isn’t just switching every process to an automated process. It means finding the right strategic balance between workflow automation and human brilliance. To strike that balance, you need one leader who is responsible for understanding each step of the customer journey.
This person must understand which efforts create the biggest impact on the entire organization’s business goals, figure out best practices that are both cost-effective and scalable, and be able to implement new procedures across all customer-facing teams when they’ve mapped out these best practices.
In other words, breaking down silos was only the beginning. The real value is created when those teams come together to execute a single strategic vision.
Data eliminates the complexity
To build the right vision, you need visibility into all your workflows—and that is the second reason we’re seeing enterprise organizations struggle to create value from their digital transformations.
Each new product you add to your tech stack introduces a new set of data and activities that your team needs to track. Often, that data set and reporting style differs from the rest of the products in your tech stack. Multiply that across multiple teams, and you have a complex network of information and no clear view of what’s working and what isn’t.
As you might expect, complexity is often the enemy of efficiency. Not only does it create separate, often disconnected goals for your team, but it also dilutes each individual’s impact on your north star goals. For example, if your customer success team can only report on metrics like customer health score or NPS, they may start to lose faith that their efforts drive revenue.
But if you can connect each effort to your goals, and the greater strategic vision, you have a simple cause and effect for each individual on the team. Companies who are making the most of their new customer-centric models know to simplify reporting. They invest in a single source of truth for how each team is working and impacting each customer segment. Most critically, they use data that is accurate, comprehensive, and easy to understand. If one of those three elements is missing, your team risks making bad strategic decisions, compromising efficiency, or creating a bad customer experience.
Invest in what works for your team
The truth is creating a customer-centric business model is hard. Customers evolve, their needs change, and often, enterprises spend a significant amount of time playing catch up. What works for your team now will look different in the future.
But, when you make the right investments in data, automation, and a team of creative, extraordinary practitioners, you will succeed.