I’m surprised more organisations haven’t cottoned on.
Focusing on making customers successful with the use of your products or services.
Understanding that this success drives your success. Understanding the drivers of success and amplifying these.
You’d think organisations would have armies focused on this.
They talk about it enough. Think of product demo’s you have seen. Or comparison ads. How a product works for best results or beats another.
Subscription economy companies with their customer success teams get it. They understand: drive successful use > create value and great experiences > win loyal customers.
Other organisations are waking up.
This site set up to support the new eBook / trend report I’m writing has much more on the subject.
I recently wrote that The Future of Customer Success is not Human.
It emphasised the role of automation, AI and bots.
I did specify though that humans’ still have a role. I said it would outweigh that of technology in impact terms.
The recent debacle with Bodega shows that the human touch still counts. It drives connectedness and well being. It’s a prerequisite for business success.
Humanity operates in the mind. The heart has a strong role but thats for another post.
And for the foreseeable future, humans are still masters over machines. To what purpose we apply technology and what we create of value through it is still in our hands.
What mindset we bring to the game determines how we enact our purpose. I’m riffing on all this as part of the introductory chapter in my new eBook.
Herein lies the rub. Often we neglect to think about this even when it is in our grasp.
What most determines success is often least addressed. It’s easier to spend time twiddling knobs, tweaking features and functions.
Human affairs are messy.
Yet what we get out depends on what we put in.
What we put in, in turn, is dependent on our thinking. Our thinking determines how we act. This becomes ingrained in habits and the culture of the company.
Here is the flow:
- Mindset and purpose influence employee action
- Action creates habits and builds experience (supported by process, technology, etc.)
- Experience drives customer satisfaction and loyalty
So a pretty important area of business to address you would think.
Where to start?
The top is a good place. Digital transformation success is often dependent on leadership. Leaders mindset’s influence organisational behaviours and cultures.
Having a growth mindset is in fashion. The CEO of Microsoft emphasises growth mindset versus fixed mindset.
It’s a great starting point when it comes to customer success too. Not least because customer success manager’s are also growth hackers.
Customer centricity is a worthwhile business goal and a state of mind. It has to involve the whole organisation and often starts with leaders. At least it’s entrenched or enforced by them.
So lots to think about but mindset is nothing without action. I thought these steps might help:
1. Have a simple and measurable approach/method. One for creating, reviewing and iterating on purpose, behaviour, culture and outcomes. Customer experience maps are a great way to align all these things toward a common goal.
2. Take time to infuse this into all parts of the organisation and operations. And it will take time. Great purpose is not realised overnight. Team games, ping pong tables, slides and bean bags are optional extras.
3. Inspire and appeal to common human yearning. I love what Phil Knight from Nike has said in his new book. I have co-opted it to be a customer success manifesto. This was not enshrined in a plaque for a wall. But you can tell it was and still is a living, breathing directive for the company.
4. Empower, measure and transfer. Rinse and repeat. I would start small. Start with a success team focused on this area. Get them to do it right then transfer the success, mindsets, behaviours. Go big. McKinsey capture this approach well: How a digital factory can transform company culture.
These steps, indeed the entire list, are very simplistic. You’ll find much written about this area. How to create or reinvent a great culture and make behaviour change stick.
I love this great case study on Aetna over at HBR: Cultural Change That Sticks.
This post was only a way to think out loud and explore the topic for my first chapter.
Thanks for reading. Did I miss anything or get anything wrong? Please let me know in a comment.