By Vinayak Datar, Chief Product Manager at Persistent Systems
“Help customers grow, then you’ll grow along with them,” that is the basic premise of customer success.“Proactive Intervention for good” is the first step towards that. To achieve that, business needs to understand user habits very well, so that each user can get highly personalized experience.
In last decade B2C companies have really relished availability of unprecedented data and they have changed business model on following principles.
1. Subscription Model: No need of long-term commitment, no big upfront investment and easy exit path if users don’t like the product or service.
2. Usage Metrics: Sales numbers are important but equally important are user metrics. Activation rate, churn rate, daily active users, monthly recurring revenue, cost of customer acquisition, renewal rateand more specifically usage of each feature, reflects how users are either embracing or rejecting the product.
3. Hyper personalization – With usage tracking of each user, these companies are able to supportHyper-personalization. It may surface in the form of “Recommended for you”, “Customers frequently bought together” or “your daily playlist” but it is basically,a customized menu for each one of us.
These B2C companies were born digital. They were born on Cloud, designed to scale and always leveraged product usage data as strategic asset. They were also helped immensely by the rise of smart phones, which helped in the last mile to reach customer.
Fortunately, same cloud technology is available for everyone.It will provide lower TCO, on-demand scalability and lower IT overhead to all businesses.However, traditional B2C businesses and most B2B businesses have legacy on premise systems that can’t scale on demand. These businesses need to work with partners, suppliers, vendors for many last mile activities.
So,what they need is –business culture change driven by technology. Let’s look at both the aspects one by one.
Business Culture Change
There are 2 fundamental changes in thought process that can help change the culture.
1. Know the Customer:
Traditionally after sale, customer Support is the main customer touchpoint and others may be NPS Surveys. But it’s reactive way to listen to customer. Damage may be already done. There should be a pro-active way to listen to the customer needs.
Business should read signals from every digital touchpoint. It’s not just product or service or support request. But every website visit, every training event, every feature used, every marketing event, every purchase, every interaction with customer need to be captured & analyzed. If you want to win the heart of the customer, you need to read the pulse.
2. Be Partner for life
Your engagement with customer doesn’t stop at selling product or service. It begins at sale and blossoms later only when customer uses the product or service. For that, you have to be an Integral part of customer’s success
Does your product or service help your customer’s business grow?Does it help to meet their KPI or OKR? Learn from each customer and apply common success metrics to all customer to help them grow.
Driven by Technology (New Age Data Platform)
Whether B2B or B2C, all businesses understand need for data driven decision making. But they need to design system in such a way that every digital touchpoint informs you about “moments of truth” about user.
For that, business needs to build a robust, scalable, resilient and future proof data platform. A data hub that can easily integrate with heterogenous systems and provides a homogenous data view. A data platform that can keep data at centrally available and allow all personas (Data Engineer, Data Analyst, Data Scientist or Business User) to access & process required data. At the same time, platform should also be aware of user data privacy, governance and compliance constraints.
A range of Cloud native, SaaS, Pay-as-you-go data products will help you in this journey. A new normal is to leverage broad selection of cloud native products or services and compose a data platform.
So, you may need to bring together best in class commercial and open source tools to compose such a data platform. It should have Cloud Datawarehouse at the centroid, supported by Data Products (BI, ETL, AI-ML tools), Developer Tools (Scheduling, Lineage, CICD) and ring-fenced by “Health & monitoring” tools and “Security & Governance” tools.
At the end, each business is unique and have unique challenges. But a modern data platform would act as a catalyst to embark on customer success journey.
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