Executive Forum

Customer Success is Everyone’s Business

Alexander Group’s recent Executive Forum, 24X7 Customer Experience, The Next Chapter, demonstrated how industry leaders create a successful revenue growing organization by ensuring everyone is involved in delivering value to the customers. Here’s what industry leaders had to say.

The 24X7 Customer Ecosystem

Customer Success is no longer assigned to Sales but requires the integration and commitment from everyone in the organization. Customers want sellers to demonstrate value to their organization and need information and support before, during and after the sale. Customer demands require selling companies to create a cohesive organization that:

  • Increases customer awareness through precision marketing
  • Focuses on value-based outcomes for the customer
  • Follows up with service, support and expertise to ensure product adoption
  • Provides Customer Success to secure the ongoing relationship

Companies must build teamwork across Marketing, Sales and Service functions, binding them together in an ecosystem that enables innovation, agility and laser-like customer focus.

Data Investments Help Revenue Leaders Achieve Goals

Davis Giedt, director at the Alexander Group, shared that Alexander Group’s research shows that deploying end-to-end customer tracking is imperative, from first contact to sale and post-sale support. Companies now make data flow investments that include fully integrated systems supported by data lakes. When combined with data literacy and adoption, this allows information to reflect accuracy. Backed by C-level decision-makers, companies accelerate their revenue goals.

“From our most recent digital research, we’ve found that leaders were the furthest along and three times more likely to meet their revenue goals.” Davis Giedt, Director, Alexander Group

Anticipating Customer Moves With Analytics

Chris MacDonald, head of AI & Analytics, Digital Transformation Solutions, at PTC, believes firms need to anticipate customer moves at different points on the buyer journey, with AI and analytics being a significant investment to stay competitive. Tracking how customers use products drives new business models and contributes to product improvements. Providing value is essential, but monitoring that the customer receives that value is imperative.

“We want to align our offerings optimally and reduce friction. We want to minimize the pain of buying and understand how they’re using our products. We want to see where they have issues and how we can make it easier.” Chris MacDonald, Head of AI & Analytics, Digital Transformation Solutions, PTC

Starting On the Inside to Build a Customer-Centric Approach

Tiffani Bova, global growth & innovation evangelist at Salesforce, reminds leaders that the best way to get customers to love your brand is to make sure your employees love their job. In a tight labor market, being a go-to firm that appreciates employees is a win-win-win for employees, the company, and the customers they serve. It means that the entire company must spread an outcome-centric, customer-first approach across all departments. When employees enjoy their work, it is easier to connect across the organization.

“You want customer-facing teams to be connected. If your customers view you as different organizations based on who they reach out to, it’s a huge problem.” Tiffani Bova, Global Growth & Innovation Evangelist, Salesforce

Winning Hearts, Minds, and Wallet Share

“Success isn’t possible unless there is a positive experience with the purchase.” Lori Harmon, VP of Global Digital, Virtual and Renewal Sales, NetApp

Lori Harmon, VP of global digital, virtual and renewal sales at NetApp, notes that customers must understand and value the benefits of a solution. However, customer engagement is about how you make people feel, not what you sell. Customer Success is a long-term strategy that focuses on meaningful relationships as sellers help buyers achieve their goals. Winning customers’ hearts, minds and wallets depend on delivering an exceptional experience throughout the buyer’s journey.

Quality and Speed For Results

During the pandemic, the healthcare system was stretched to the limits and desperate for vendor assistance. Warren Stone, president of the Americas at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, realized they had to redefine their capabilities to keep serving customers when they needed it the most.

“Being bigger and better than the competition is no longer enough.” Warren Stone, President of the Americas, Ortho Clinical Diagnostics

Ortho Clinical Diagnostics maximized instrument activity and developed remote resolution and AI capabilities that reduced issue resolution down to 26 minutes by focusing on quality and speed. In addition, they kept reordering simple to reduce hospital administrative burden and developed new products in four to six weeks to meet accelerated demand.

Creating a Culture That Values and Respects Diversity

“Equity and inclusion are not emotional end states. Employees need to be seen, respected, valued and protected.” Tara Jaye Frank, DEI Strategist, C-Suite Advisor, Author & Former Multi-Cultural Leader, Hallmark Cards

Companies are ready to invest in the right skills and labor to grow their organization, despite being hampered by labor shortages. But it is no longer just an issue of money but making sure employees feel heard and valued.

Tara Jaye Frank, DEI strategist, advises CEOs on how to achieve Customer Success by creating a culture that builds employee relationships and helps them be seen, respected, valued, and protected. For companies dependent on creativity and innovation, leaders must set the stage to respect employees for their perspectives, ideas and contributions. Diversity drives business results, but people participate more when they see diversity as both a moral and business issue. One study found a 40% revenue advantage for racially and gender diverse companies, coming primarily from innovation revenue.

Customer Success Means More Revenue

Growing revenue requires new ways of connecting across your organization and the investments to support them. To prepare your organization, get the answers, and take away actionable insights you can leverage at the Alexander Group’s 2022 Forum Series: Enduring Leadership.

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