Transforming Customer Value Into A Key Business Strategy
When virtually every company today says they are customer-centric, it begs the question, “Really, are we?” — or has customer-centricity become a buzzword that means different things to different people? If your organization is truly customer-centric, how do you ensure everyone on your team has the same definition of delivering a customer-centric experience? How do you actually measure and incentivize it? How can you talk to your customers and prospects about what working with a customer-centric organization such as yours looks like specifically for them? Easy. By focusing on customer value.
Making Customer Value A Strategic Priority
To be an authentically customer-centric organization, it is essential that you deliver real, measurable customer value at every interaction. That means customer value is something you must prioritize and measure throughout your ranks — from the C-suite to the frontlines. For too many companies, customer value is only talked about in the context of the largest accounts and primarily from a prospecting and sales perspective. Without a commitment to value for all customers, it’s virtually impossible to actually be a customer-centric organization.
Value Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
When it comes to determining and measuring customer value, there is only one actual authority on the topic — the customer. Making customer value a central business strategy requires close collaboration with your customers to define meaningful metrics and regularly measure progress. This process should really start early in the sales effort with the building of a business hypothesis that defines what advantages your product or service can add to your customer’s business. Ultimately, these definitions become your benchmark. When renewals come around, you’ll need systems in place to track and measure these customer-defined needs and metrics. When customer success teams have this to draw upon, renewal season is considerably less stressful.
Interestingly, one of the greatest mistakes companies make when it comes to customer value is over-measuring. If your customer doesn’t think a specific measure of value is important, gathering and sharing the data on that element is irrelevant. Your customer is the only one that can define what value means for them. For example, if they’re looking for a reduction in security incidents or support escalations, showing them valuable data about incident resolution times or on-hold times misses what matters. Just because you can measure everything doesn’t mean you should. When everyone interfacing with a specific customer is clear on the definition of value for that customer, sharing relevant, impactful value insights can be that much more efficient and effective.
Infusing Customer Value Enterprise-Wide
To become a truly customer-centric company, customer value must be prioritized and accessible across your organization. Building upon what your customer has defined as the measures of your greatest value, it is vital that your systems and departments can all support this effort. From sales and marketing to user experience and engagement, to finance, fulfillment and post-sale support, delivering value insights is everyone’s responsibility. This means you must have tools in place that are easily accessible and useful for individuals without analytics expertise. This is where digital transformation can truly drive customer-centricity.
The added power of focusing on value and collaborating with your customers to define specifically what it means to them is the resulting client data. Having clear insights into what matters to your customers and how your products or services are measuring up is invaluable. Few companies have this depth of perspective in their customer profiles. The competitive advantage it affords is clear.
Turn Value Into Your End-To-End Advantage
That last point is key. Being able to deliver meaningful customer value, measure it and clearly communicate it to your customers and prospects provides a compelling way to differentiate your company and your offering. Value is the underpinning of loyalty. It can be the foundation for even stronger relationships and the confidence-builder that rallies your team. With value as a core strategic priority, everyone — from your star salespeople and your customers themselves to your customer support agents and even your accounts receivable staff — has a North star and a clear focus for all communications and connections. Because what you measure, you can improve. When it’s as powerful as something like value, it becomes a point of pride that every member of your team can build upon. And there’s no centering point more strategic than that kind of unity in an organization. With customer value as a core principle, being customer-centric comes naturally. – Jim Berryhill
Hakan Ozturk is a Paris-based Customer Success leader with over 15 years of experience in the computer software industry. Passionate about driving growth and delivering value to strategic customers, Hakan has established himself as a trusted industry expert. As the Founder of The Customer Success Café Newsletter and TopCSjobs.com, Hakan provides valuable industry insights and daily-updated job opportunities worldwide in the field of Customer Success. Connect with Hakan to unlock your company’s potential for success.