Revenue protection is expensive, time consuming and never goes away.
When done poorly, customer-focused efforts will lead to ineffective spend against customer retention and hold a company back from focusing on driving customer revenue growth.
When done well, Customer Success is a key strategic differentiator in not only improving customer loyalty, but in expanding their product usage as well.
Retaining customers is therefore an on-going exercise in effective Customer Success execution and discipline to ensure work performance leads to efficient adoption and growth.
For this to occur, a company must be able to measure the progress of its customers through the customer journey funnel, as well as how effectively its operations are at moving them through it.
In other words, they need to employ a results-driven approach.
They need to measure how aligned the enterprise is to supporting the customer desire path and use the insights gained to continuously improve operational effectiveness and drive the most efficient revenue generation.
How One Company Uses Metrics to Drive Better Adoption, Faster
While creating its Intelligent Framework™ a DesiredPath customer that sells billing and OSS software realized a key gap in its customer operations.
They spent most of their time working with clients during initial onboarding to ensure that billing could be executed, but they were not spending any time with the customer’s accounting departments to help them adapt their work processes to fully take advantage of the solution.
Because the focus was on implementation, they were naturally concentrating on product use (i.e. feature usage know-how and education), not educating customers on how the product could be leveraged to drive business outcomes.
This meant that the solution was implemented and ready for use, but customers were having a hard time deploying it to the rest of the organization (for ongoing usage) because they lacked the knowledge of how to leverage the application in practice.
So to speak, the car (i.e. “product”) was prepared for optimal performance but the driver (i.e. “customer”) not only didn’t know how to drive, they were not getting any driving lessons either.
To rectify the solution, the engagement model was expanded to support customers throughout the entire customer journey funnel and DesiredPath Metrics were defined to monitor customer progress and used to notify the vendor when they needed to assist next.
By measuring the first successful billing cycle, the company knows their customers are ready to deploy the solution out to the rest of their respective organizations.
When they see three complete billing cycles they know their customers are on the way to healthy adoption or, if not, to jump in proactively with the appropriate assistance.
Benchmarks Extend Proactive Monitoring to End-Users in the Channel
The ability to monitor and measure adoption progress is critical in a channel model where vendors rely on partners to drive customer success and have little visibility into how that is going.
A customer of DesiredPath that supports the transmission of health information depends on its channel partners to drive end-user adoption from health care professionals.
Before they had benchmarks in place, the company was measuring how its partners were implementing the technology into their solutions but they had no visibility into the adoption progress of the end-users who ultimately drove consumption.
If consumption was good, there was no problem.
However, when they started to deploy new products to the market they experienced significantly lower adoption rates than their flagship product, but they had no idea why.
Without any insight into what the issues were in preventing adoption, they had no way to address the root cause.
The entire customer journey framework was therefore mapped to include end-users, not just the channel partners, to gain visibility into the complete adoption picture.
It turned out that although the company was focused on driving product implementation with its partners, it was not enabling those partners to, in-turn, support end-user adoption.
End-users were simply not aware of, nor where they receiving any know-how on, the products in order for them to take advantage of them.
A holistic engagement model including the enablement of end-users in addition to partners was developed to address full adoption.
This paved the way for the company to define a measurable, customer journey funnel benchmark that could be used to monitor end-to-end adoption of the products by both partners and end-users.
With this benchmark in place, they now proactively monitor how the various stakeholders are progressing along the customer journey stages and know proactively, when to jump in to help and where improvements can be made to drive customers to value more efficiently.
Bottom Line: Measure Your Progress to Smarter, Faster Revenue Growth
Measure your progress to smarter, faster revenue growth by monitoring how close your operations are to supporting the customer desire path and using the insights gained to continuously improve them.
When companies measure and optimize the value of their customer-focused efforts, they know not only how customers are progressing through the customer journey funnel, but how effective their operations are at moving them through it.
With revenue protection optimized, the effort previously spent on reactive firefighting can be transferred to focus on strategically growing customer revenue.