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What Are You Missing Because You Don’t Know Your Customers?


Photo by Ben Hershey

Most companies will tell you that they understand how their customers are using their products and services but do they?


It is one thing to know how your customers ought to use your product (login – do A – press button B – see result C), it is an entirely different thing to know how they are leveraging your product to drive their business forward (get result C – make informed business decision D – generate X% increased revenue).


An intelligent customer approach is one that learns from the patterns of your most successful customers and uses that to consistently deliver and improve customer outcomes.


Why An Intelligent Customer Approach Is Important


By learning from the patterns of success, businesses can create a prescriptive approach to customer management that allows for repeatable value realization.


Why?


Because vendors that know what the path to repeatable customer success looks like know how to effectively assist customers through that journey to attain their desired outcomes.


On the other hand, companies that do not use an intelligent approach to customer management cannot help but react to customer requests owing to the fact that they must wait to see what the customer needs because they do not already know it themselves.


At best these companies are forced to execute ad-hoc engagement models (or “Random Acts of Customer Success” as I call them) with the hope that increased, labour-intensive customer interactions will flag risks early enough to rectify them in time.


You know these random acts: customer meetings based on time intervals not relevant to when the customer needs them, Customer Success Plans that do not take into consideration the customer’s business timing, 120-day renewal programs that only engage with the customer to clean up the mess before the renewal date, etc.


The random acts where vendors are doing Customer Success at, not for, the customer.


By not mapping out and observing the ever-changing patterns of its most successful customers, a company cannot know what the journey to success for its customers looks like nor can it observe or manage them along that journey.


Your Business and Customers are Constantly Evolving


A company that does not understand the patterns of its most successful customers also cannot keep up with its constantly evolving customers.


A prescriptive engagement model additionally allows companies to continually observe its customers progress, aggregating and learning from the feedback, thus empowering them to make further improvements to this proactive customer journey.


An intelligent customer approach anchored on the ever-changing success path of its customers – one that learns and adapts with the way products are bought, adopted and used – ensures that a company evolves as its customers do preserving reproducible value realization and helping to mitigate disruption risk to the vendor’s business.


Real-World Insights: 200% Resource Capacity Gain


A customer of DesiredPath in the financial industry was struggling not only to get their customers onboarded, but their implementation team was backlogged with over one year’s worth of effort to get these customers started.


In other words, the services team did not even have the resources to start on a newly signed customer for one year!


Obviously telling a new customer to wait that long was not an option so instead they started to spread resources out thinly across the entire base not effectively driving success for any one customer.


You can imagine how well that was going.


It was a mess for everyone involved, not the least of all for the vendor’s employees who were stuck in the awful position of certain failure.


By understanding the patterns of its most successful customers, our customer outlined a prescriptive approach for its customer engagement model.


Because the company was able to codify what customers need to do to achieve success, it is able to do away with its bespoke, customized and complex project engagements for each individual customer and institute a repeatable method that it used with every customer.


By understanding the patterns of its most successful customers, they were able to drop wasteful and time-consuming work and increase the value driving work two-fold.


In essence, DesiredPath’s customer was able to realize a resource capacity gain equivalent to 200%.


Bottom Line


An intelligent approach learns from customers and uses that insight to continuously improve how desired outcomes are reproduced.


When businesses know how its customers leverage their products, they can more productively manage customers to their desired outcomes and regularly improve their engagement model to continuously adapt to and evolve with their customers.

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