— July 8, 2019
These days, customers expect personalized service. Whether they’re shopping for software or a way to increase sales, they expect you to be right there next to them searching for every potential edge that will help them grow their business.
The digital transformation of business means that customers can easily leave a professional relationship that isn’t working for them. Enterprises need to keep customers happy because it’s never been easier for them to find alternatives.
As a result, the most important customer-centric goals for an enterprise exclusively focus on knowing customers, delivering value, and doing so in a repeatable, annual cycle of commitment and recommitment.
Constantly Deliver Value
Customers expect high standards. Delivering clear value makes you critical to your customer’s success and future growth. The loyalty that inspires pays off in the form of recurring revenue.
To realize customer lifetime value, you should target these five key customer-centric goals:
- Understand your customers
- Deliver value early
- Nurture customer growth
- Proactively engage customers
- Build the enterprise around the customer
By striving for these goals, you put the customer at the center of all your business’ actions and decisions. There’s no better way to provide a great customer experience than by surrounding them with attentive, responsive, and personalized service.
Understand Your Customers
All customers are essentially seeking the same thing: ROI on investment and to achieve their personal business goals. Still, you need to know more in order to build a highly responsive and personalized service.
Start by gathering all the information you can about how a customer uses your product and how it links to their core business. Every customer interaction, demographic profile, product usage statistic, article of feedback, and feature adoption rate contains insight you can share across your enterprise to inform future engagements. You want to connect the dots of relevant customer data and turn it into actionable insights by creating a contextually relevant digital representation of your customer.
If a customer reaches the seat limit on their license, you should know. If a customer stops using your product for a week, you should know. If a customer has to wait on an escalation request, you should know.
The more you know about the actions your customer takes, the more proactively and effectively you can serve them.
Deliver Value Early
Realizing value is the heart of the customer relationship. And the sooner you can demonstrate value and help customers meet their goals, the sooner you can deliver on the promises made during the sale.
So, onboard rapidly and efficiently, making sure customers have all the information they need to hit the ground running. The first step is to focus on your customer’s goals and helping them achieve them by driving the right engagement behavior. It’s also helpful to operationalize your engagement model so you can proactively and intelligently engage customers. The goal, after all, is to familiarize them with the product so they can integrate it into their daily workflows and start seeing ROI.
Nurture Customer Growth
In order to help your customers grow, you need to effectively engage with your entire customer base throughout the whole lifecycle. This means adjusting your engagements depending on what stage of the customer journey a customer is in, whether it is onboarding, adoption, or renewal.
You should also constantly monitor customer success metrics that link directly to business results. Look for answers to these three questions:
- Is the customer using the product?
- Is the customer getting value from the product?
- Is the customer enjoying a positive relationship with your enterprise?
To uncover those answers, monitor customer success metrics that measure active time spent within product, license utilization over time, fluctuations in customer feedback, and outcomes such as free trial conversion and survey response rates.
Personalize Engagement Model by Modifying Best Practices
Use your deep knowledge of your customers to predict future events and take action. This could mean anticipating potential bottlenecks in the onboarding process or providing educational opportunities for new features before a customer asks for help. If you know your customer’s goals, you can create a personalized guide to future growth.
By closely monitoring customer progress, you should be able to recognize repeated product patterns. Take a hierarchical look across your accounts and anticipate your customer’s future needs based on what others have and are currently experiencing.
Build the Enterprise Around the Customer
Every time a customer engages with your enterprise, they should feel like the only customer on your books, like you know everything about their experience. Responsive, personalized service stems from genuine customer understanding. You have the customer data and product knowledge to make every engagement worthwhile.
Another strategy is to share your customer knowledge across the entire enterprise. This way, you encourage team members to log every interaction and fill each customer engagement with personalized knowledge. Every member should be empowered to access customer data, participate, and play a role in impacting customers’ business outcomes.
Customer-Centric Goals that Produce Results
All customer-centric goals should aim to provide value based on a solid understanding of the individual customer. Like personal shoppers that know what a customer will like based on previous experience, enterprises must collect customer data with an eye toward using it to improve the customer experience.
The digital marketplace challenges us to sustain our customer relationships over time in order to generate recurring value that is ultimately far more important than a single sales event. When you deliver lifetime value, you can reap lifetime rewards.