Last week I wrote how, by understanding the patterns of its most successful customers, a business can consistently deliver customer desired outcomes and implement a proactive, repeatable customer journey to drive loyalty and therefore revenue.
Basically, the customer journey is the customer’s desire path and foundation to a customer-centric approach.
In a customer-centric approach, vendors close the gaps that inhibit customer adoption and expansion to create a seamless experience that is relevant to the customer’s needs and timing, and anticipates what they require to be successful so the experience of achieving that is delightful.
The resulting repeatable success and good experience is what drives loyalty.
A customer-centric model is therefore predicated on an understanding of what the customer needs to be successful, when and how.
Once the desire path has been codified, businesses can develop an intelligent framework that supports every step of the customer journey with the requisite actions and skill sets, measures the progress of customers through the journey and observes how the framework is serving or hindering customer progress.
This is the DesiredPath Intelligent Framework™.
Building an Intelligent Framework
In the diagram above, the journey outlines the path customers take with an organization as a result of their observed desire path.
The corresponding Intelligent Framework™ (Playbook, Roles and DesiredPath Metrics™) is completely aligned to the journey, in order to maintain customer-centricity.
The playbook comes from identifying the corresponding activities that are required to effectively support customers throughout the journey.
Then the responsible roles within the organization are determined to best support those activities.
Any activities that do not support the playbook need to be questioned.
What value do these efforts contribute to moving customers forward along the journey?
Finally, the metrics that best represent the customer’s progress as they move through the journey are defined.
These metrics form the “customer funnel” and provide the means with which to measure customer progress through the journey.
Metrics of the Intelligent Framework
The above image outlines how two different companies define their specific DesiredPath Metrics™ for each stage of the post-sales journey and how they are measured in the “customer funnel”.
Co A sells billing software. Its use case to denote successful onboarding is for one billing cycle in production to have been completed. Three full billing cycles indicates healthy usage and that their customers will start to see a reduction in AR (accounts receivable) days. When they do, they are typically ready to purchase the next module.
Co B has a platform that allows car dealers to upload photos of used vehicles. Their use case to indicate successful onboarding is photos uploaded to the system. When no other upload channels are used, Co B’s customers are sticky and ready to advocate for Co B via referrals and testimonials. Expansion occurs through on-going use of the platform therefore Co B actively monitors customer health.
Once a company understands and codifies their specific customer desire path, the metrics that are most relevant and applicable should be determined.
Success Creates Success
The customer desire path, and what customers require to be successful, informs what actions should be conducted to effectively support customers throughout the journey.
Businesses align their operations to drive quick and easy adoption, demonstrate return on investment and realized value for retention, and a path to further expansion for its customers.
There is a narrative for success that allows customers to move through the adoption-retention-expansion journey as seamlessly as possible, and the corresponding alignment of the vendor’s people, process and technology to support that objective.
The resulting desire path from these successful customers in turn, creates the blueprint or desire path to revenue and success for the organization as well.
Successful customers create successful businesses.