Forbes Council Member | Jim Berryhill
When virtually every company today says they are customer-centric, it begs the question, “Really, are we?” — or has customer-centricity become a buzzword that means different things to different people? If your organization is truly customer-centric, how do you ensure everyone on your team has the same definition of delivering a customer-centric experience? How do you actually measure and incentivize it? How can you talk to your customers and prospects about what working with a customer-centric organization such as yours looks like specifically for them? Easy. By focusing on customer value.
Making Customer Value A Strategic Priority
To be an authentically customer-centric organization, it is essential that you deliver real, measurable customer value at every interaction. That means customer value is something you must prioritize and measure throughout your ranks — from the C-suite to the frontlines. For too many companies, customer value is only talked about in the context of the largest accounts and primarily from a prospecting and sales perspective. Without a commitment to value for all customers, it’s virtually impossible to actually be a customer-centric organization.
Value Is In The Eye Of The Beholder
When it comes to determining and measuring customer value, there is only one actual authority on the topic — the customer. Making customer value a central business strategy requires close collaboration with your customers to define meaningful metrics and regularly measure progress. This process should really start early in the sales effort with the building of a business hypothesis that defines what advantages your product or service can add to your customer’s business. Ultimately, these definitions become your benchmark. When renewals come around, you’ll need systems in place to track and measure these customer-defined needs and metrics. When customer success teams have this to draw upon, renewal season is considerably less stressful.
Interestingly, one of the greatest mistakes companies make when it comes to customer value is over-measuring. If your customer doesn’t think a specific measure of value is important, gathering and sharing the data on that element is irrelevant. Your customer is the only one that can define what value means for them. For example, if they’re looking for a reduction in security incidents or support escalations, showing them valuable data about incident resolution times or on-hold times misses what matters. Just because you can measure everything doesn’t mean you should. When everyone interfacing with a specific customer is clear on the definition of value for that customer, sharing relevant, impactful value insights can be that much more efficient and effective.