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Do You Know Your Customers? There May Be a Disconnect.

Updated: Apr 24, 2020

Holistic Customer Approach
Photo by John Salzarulo

Ask a company whether it knows its customers and you get a resounding yes.

Ask a company to show you how they drive repeatable success and you may see a well-developed engagement model that centers around product education, onboarding and usage.

Ask a company how its customers leverage the product and what quantifiable results they realize, and there is generally an awkward silence.

The Disconnect

A disconnect exists between what a vendor thinks the customer wants, how that manifests itself into an engagement model, and how the product is actually integrated and used within the customer’s environment to realize business outcomes.

What a customer wants is business results.

What vendors tend to blindly focus on is product usage, leaving how to actualize the desired business use case via the product up to the customer to figure out.

This works well when product usage is easy and ties directly to business results, but what happens when leveraging the product to drive outcomes is complex and not readily known?

When a vendor does not understand how the value proposition it sells is actualized within customer environments, it leaves that up to the customers to figure out increasing the risk that it is not easily determined.

Enter the Holistic Customer Approach

A holistic customer approach uses a deep understanding of what customers are trying to achieve and how that is best achieved within customer environments.

They look at product leverage through the customer’s point of view.

Then they design an intelligent framework that supports repeatable value.

That is, companies align their business – their teams, playbooks and customer funnel – to their customers’ to drive repeatable success in the most efficient and proactive manner.

A Holistic Customer Approach is Important

A holistic customer approach is important because it allows companies to use a true understanding of their customers to develop an engagement model that not only supports product integration and learning, but operationalization as well.

That latter being that which is ultimately required to achieve results.

In other words, to achieve their desired outcomes, a customer needs to not only know how to use the product, they must also know how to use the product within their environment.

Companies that have this holistic view of its customers are better able to service, retain and expand customers to this end.

Focus on The Right Things

When companies do not use a holistic approach, they tend to focus on the product and miss the bigger picture of adoption thus getting caught up in reactive work when customers need more than product support.

This neglected focus produces poor customer experience, can cause an over or under servicing of customers, increases churn risk and causes poorer employee experience.

A holistic approach ultimately uses the customer perspective to accurately align everyone’s objectives allowing for more targeted, successful and efficient effort to help customers.

Real-World Insights: Reduced Gross Churn 38%

A customer of DesiredPath was designing its intelligent framework in order to understand, holistically, what it needed to do to support repeatable business value.

In mapping out its customer journey to determine this, they came to realize that they could only outline problems customers were having, they could not identify a single successful customer.

They of course had successful customers, so finding the patterns was possible, only they did not recognize any.

How could they define an engagement model to drive repeatable success if they themselves did not know or understand the path to success?

A definite “AHA” moment resulted and finding the patterns of success amongst their most successful customers became their number one priority.

Once they did that, they were able to define a playbook that would support the desired path for all current and future customers.

Plays were added, modified or removed to better align with the customer’s desire path.

By thinking from the customer’s point of view and understanding how they best leverage the product within their environment, the company was able to align accordingly to better serve them with relevant support and deliver repeatable value.

This led to a 38% reduction in gross churn within 6 months.

Bottom Line: Opportunities are Created Through Your Customer’s Point of View

Many organizations believe they understand their customers but really, they have outlined an understanding for themselves of how they believe customers should use the product, not how they should leverage it for business results.

When companies understand their customers holistically, they are better able to design engagement models that deliver customer outcomes in the most proactive, repeatable and efficient manner.

A holistic customer approach that unifies both the vendor and customers’ objectives creates opportunities to ensure that everyone wins.

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