Thursday, October 30, 2014

Make Customer Success Part of Your DNA

By Jeb Dasteel and Amir Hartman

We are without a doubt living in the age of the customer. Today’s customers have more control of the procurement process and are more demanding and knowledgeable than ever. They are being given greater responsibilities, and are more aware of how their purchasing decisions affect their organization’s bottom line.

Winning in this new age-of-the-customer economy will in large part be connected to your ability to quickly anticipate their needs and deliver measurable business outcomes to your customers.

How does that happen? By enabling your customers to very quickly deliver measurable business outcome to their customers—and in every other way advance their business objectives. In other words, we believe “customer success” must become part of your organization’s DNA, and it should influence every customer interaction you have.

Does your organization truly care about customer success? Can your customers articulate how you help them create measurable business outcomes? These are just some of the questions you need to ask to find out whether you can “walk the talk.” If you can answer the following five questions with a strong “yes,” you’re well on your way.

•         Do your account teams truly understand your customers’ business and what’s top-of-mind for their executives?
•         Does your team know how their customers measure their own success—and how they measure your success in working with them?
•         Do the majority of your customers look at you as a strategic partner and trusted adviser?
•         Does your organization have a repeatable and scalable process for measuring customer value delivered?
•         Is the vast majority (more than 75 percent) of your sales and marketing content focused on customer business outcomes versus product and solution features?

By making customer success an integral part of your ongoing agenda, you’ll be in a great position to thrive in the new age of the customer.

Jeb Dasteel is Oracle’s senior vice president and chief customer officer. Amir Hartman is co-founder and managing director of Mainstay, and an international best-selling author.

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