As a sales manager, you are responsible for growing your revenue. However, unlocking your company’s true potential relies on building a customer centric organization, not just a top notch sales team. At ToutApp we admire customer centric organizations and aspire to be one ourselves. It’s a never ending process but here are some ways we found effective in building a customer centric business.
Build Customer Feedback Into Product Development
The first step in delighting your customers is the realization that you need to build better products. We’ve all been frustrated with software that’s counterintuitive or lacking in key functionality—and ultimately adds to our problems rather than solving them.
As Head of Marketing, one of my key responsibilities is to bring our engineering team closer to customers, so that we can build products that exceed our customers’ expectations. Before each product launch, we start with customer validation which includes a prototype demo of the new feature to a handful of key customers. Through this customer validation, our team gets direct feedback on how to build the feature in the most intuitive and optimal way that meets as many uses cases as possible.
The customer validation doesn’t stop with the demo, we then go through a few iterations and invite the same or similar customers to an early access program to use the product for a month. During the early access program, we hold weekly feedback sessions with each customer to get real-time feedback. Each feature goes through this scrutiny before we collectively, with our customers, decide that the product is ready for launch.
Keep Your Customer Support In House
Many organizations see customer support as a cost center and outsource the role to cost-effective locations. While this may work for some organizations, for many, the customer support organization is not incentivized to empower customers—but close tickets, fast, based on the script they were handed. Even worse, while those scripts may close out “the problem,” the organization misses the opportunity to incorporate that customer feedback back into the product.
At ToutApp, we keep Customer Support in house. In fact, they sit right next to our engineers so there’s always a direct line of communication to resolve issues fast. Instead of relying on scripted answers to close out tickets and run the risk of turning your Customer Support team into robots, take the extra time and leverage your support team’s in-depth product knowledge to specifically respond to customer’s questions. Then, once the customer support team resolves customer’s questions—that customer feedback and information should be directly fed back into product requirements and help shape your organization’s product roadmap.
Unleash The Power of Customer Success Teams
Focusing on growing revenue, without investing in customer success will lead to high churn and eventually bad reputation. Customer Success is one of the most important roles for enabling growth: they are key in creating long term value for customers.
At ToutApp, we’ve created a successful Customer Success organization by developing content and curriculum for both our self-service and enterprise businesses. We rely on welcome email series, in-person trainings and weekly webinars to onboard and continuously educate our customers. Our Customer Success Managers analyze the usage of the platform over time for each of their customers and tailor their in-person trainings based on their findings and feature adoption levels.
In sum, being customer centric is more than offering good service but coding it in your organizational blueprint so that you are setup to succeed as an organization. Some of the seemingly small organizational decisions you make around where your customer support team sits or the background of your marketing hire can steer you closer to a customer centric culture.
I hope you found these tips helpful. What does your organization do to create a customer centric organization? Let us know in the comments.