In my last post, we looked at where legacy business operations go wrong. The very names—marketing, sales, product management, and even “business operations” itself—suggest an inward business orientation. The objectives that most firms pursue are clearly misaligned with customer needs throughout the customer journey. While business objectives are necessary, they shouldn’t be the primary focus. That’s the essence of the transformation to the Total Customer Experience, which requires:
- Changing the primary focus of TCE ops to customer needs.
- Engaging existing customers robustly in the delivery of the TCE.
This will pleasantly surprise your customers in two ways. First, more of their needs are being met. Plus, they’re affiliating in desirable ways with their peers more often throughout their journeys. That greatly improves your business’s personality in the eyes of your consumers.
That being said, both of these initiatives are challenging. Becoming truly customer-centric requires that TCE operations determine what customers’s needs are throughout their journeys, allocate responsibility for meeting those needs among the relevant TCE ops, measure how well they’re doing, and use this information to learn what levels of performance they need to drive such objectives as customer acquisition, retention, and expansion.
This is a major challenge. Imagine, for example, getting product management and professional services to agree on who’s responsible for the customer experience during deployment. However, they’re doable with sufficient C-level seriousness. The key step is to select an implementation team of perhaps six to eight exceptional leaders from key TCE operations, such as marketing, sales, product management, services and so forth— that will lead the firm toward an exciting, and more meaningful, future.
Hire Your Customers
Customers have long been a source of untapped, wealth creating potential.
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Too many firms treat them as living ATM machines, for use when a sale might be made or a contract is up for renewal.
But the pressures of delivering something better to today’s customer are changing this, and the insertion of existing customers into important TCE activities is now an area of great innovation. Among all your resources for growing your businesses—talented executives, capable employees, thought-leading agencies, and consultants—existing customers are your most valuable.
The business case for deploying customers more and more into marketing, sales, product innovation, delivery, services and so forth is overwhelming. In my next post, you’ll see why.