They say it takes months to find a customer, but only seconds to lose one.
In today’s highly competitive landscape, customer needs are changing with the blink of an eye, and businesses are fiercely competing to grab the largest customer base. But to acquire customers, retain them, and deliver stellar customer experience, you need to be adaptable to change. How else do you think Apple and Netflix and Uber redefined their industries? That’s what makes Enterprise Agility so crucial. Enterprise Agility builds the foundation of customer success and allows you to devise your goals such that you can react and respond to change as quickly as possible.
Customer Success in the Digital Age
The business world is transforming at a massive pace. With an ever-changing market, business, customer, and regulatory dynamics, ensuring Customer Success has become an urgent and strategic priority.
However, Customer Success in today’s fast-paced digital age is not just about offering products that meet their needs. It is also about collecting relevant data about customers, extracting actionable insights, and devising strategies to proactively and intelligently engage with the customer and provide the best experience – at every step of the customer journey.
For this, companies need to ensure Enterprise Agility, so they can view and operate on the multiple streams of the customer journey and quickly make iterations as customer needs change.
Using an agile-based approach to Customer Success is vital to ensure retention and enable innovation. With the right tools and the right approach, enterprises can quickly learn and improve upon their customer-centric strategies and continuously improve the customer experience.
Enterprises are organized uniquely to their business context
In a typical product organization, it takes a large number of cross-functional interactions and feedback loops to deliver excellent customer experience:
- The product management team undertakes market research to understand the voice of the customer and gather competitive info.
- Based on the data collected, the team then builds a product strategy or business case and shares it with the business executives.
- Based on how strong the business case is, executives allocate a set budget and resources.
- The product management team then builds a product roadmap, gathers requirements, builds personas, and finalizes priorities.
- The engineering team puts in the required effort and uses a range of technologies to build the product.
- Once the product has been constructed, the engineering team shares the software product and knowledge base with the service team.
- The product management team shares the marketing strategy, target segments, customer persona information, value proposition, sales strategy, and training material with the sales and marketing team.
- The sales and marketing team, with the help of ads, social media posts, demos, and blogs reaches out to the customer.
- When the customer shows interest in a purchase, the sales team sends an order fulfillment request to the service team. If there are any custom requests, the sales team shares the info with the product management team. If there are no custom requests, the service team delivers the product to the customer.
- If the customer has any queries, she contacts the service team for resolution. The service team looks for helpful articles within the knowledge base or makes contact with the product management team in case of any field issues.
|In addition to the product, sales and service functions, typical organizations also comprise an array of other functions such as Human Resources, Finance, Legal, Supply chain, and more. Enterprise Agility across these functions is a critical success factor in delivering stellar customer experiences.|
For this, businesses need to keep the flow of customer deliverables continuous. Value Stream Mapping is one technique that allows organizations to analyze, design, and manage the movement of resources and data required to bring a product to a customer in a way that ensures Customer Success. It enables teams to identify functions, tasks, or items that add value and those that don’t – allowing them to focus on tasks that are most critical to Customer Success.
|By introducing lean principles into the development process, Value Stream Mapping provides visibility into how value is created, and what needs to be done to optimize this value – to provide great customer experiences.|
Challenges in delivering a stellar customer experience
Despite being aware of the importance of providing stellar customer experience, organizations still face multiple challenges:
- With different functions of the organizations having competing business priorities, customer experience often takes a back seat. For example, while the product team would like to devote more time to make the product bug free and ensure high quality, the sales team would like to deliver the product as soon as possible to outdo the competition.
- In a rush to bring products to customers as quickly as possible, the lack of planning and prioritization makes customer experience lackluster. With no proper roadmap and with teams not knowing which tasks to take up first, the result is often prolonged development that is sure to miss milestones and overshoot the budget.
- IT continues to enable organizations to streamline business processes, build products, and deliver them to customers. If there is no alignment between business needs and delivery, the end product will never be able to meet the needs of customers – that again will result in poor customer experience.
- Although organizations today are driving several efforts in amassing customer information, they are often not sure how to unearth insight from it. With no customer insights, the product team does not know what features to integrate into the product and hence comes up with something that doesn’t add value to the customer.
- In the absence of collaboration between teams, customer experience is bound to suffer. For example, the product management team needs to gather inputs from sales and marketing to define the next set of features that could deliver the maximum economic value to the organization. However, without collaboration, this value can never be achieved.
- If enterprises do not have an Agile mindset, they end up building a product that, although it meets the current requirement, does not take into consideration future demands or needs. The lack of continuous improvement also affects the customer experience in a big way. Since customer feedback is not integrated back into the product, the result is unsatisfactory customer experience.
In today’s digital age, Customer Success has become a defining factor of agile organizations. Delivering Customer Success without enterprise agility is almost impossible. Hence, it is essential to embrace the right tools, technologies, and processes to compete with digital disruptors and drive value.
With the right tools across DevOps, lean processes, and Agile, you can drive enterprise agility and also devise a culture of innovation so you can react and respond to changes with ease. You can move faster, become more adaptable to changing business dynamics in the digital age, and deliver Customer Success – today and tomorrow.