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But why such a strong focus on the customer? Surely they come and go? Nope and nope. Due to digitisation and the increasing democracy of customer choice, less customers are coming and more customers are going. You probably haven’t heard of the Hatter’s Law of Marketing: The quality of marketing execution is inversely proportional to the buying power of the market, but our take on customer success is a remix of it: The importance of customer success is inversely proportional to the size of the market. This means that, because our customers have loads of choice, we need to be as conscious of their journey as we can be.
“Nothing is more important to Salesforce than Customer Success.” — Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff
For all of our startup and scale-up clients, aspects like customer-acquisition-cost (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV) are very important metrics and we help them to design their products and digital platforms with those in mind; however, we also need to start concentrating on aspects like the cost of retention and churn. Our clients realise that the cost of acquisition is expensive, so their digital platforms need to be designed to retain their customers and cross-sell products or services.
As I’ve recently mentioned, putting customers at the forefront of product development is a winning strategy. We need to be having deeper discussions around our client journeys, what their likes and dislikes are, where their pain is and what we can do to help that.
Jeff Bezos, world’s richest man and founder of Amazon, is obsessed with customer success and says that this obsession is a safeguard against having his company disrupted. A quick aside on disruption here: we’ve all seen those anecdotes about Netflix, Apple and Uber who came about, not solely because of innovative technology, but because they fixed a critical pain point in the customer journey.
And so, the key takeaway: designing your product, your business process, your brand and your service around the customer is a surefire way to create a great company.