Why customer insight must be a top business priority
Most companies strive to run a customer-centric business: One that delivers positive customer experiences provides optimal value and earns long-term loyalty. Stating that goal is easy but achieving it on a continuous basis is not.
Today, your customers are more self-sufficient—and more in control—than ever before. Subscriptions, renewals, and repeat customers are totally dependent on delivering both immediate value and a differentiating experience, where one not-so-perfect exchange could lead a customer straight to your competitor.
The winning businesses will be those that engage customers directly and in a personalized way at every touchpoint in the business, across both the front and back office. But while many organizations claim to be centered around the customer, the customer experience proves otherwise.
What can you do to help your business be more customer-centric?
1. Put an end to internal silos
Within many organizations, disparate and unequally distributed innovations have disconnected sales, service delivery, customer success, and finance, locking up key customer information, inhibiting your decision-making, and ultimately hampering the customer experience. For example, if services margin data lives in one application and product margin in another, how can you evaluate the performance of existing offerings or monitor the lifetime value of every customer? How can you truly understand what’s creating positive or negative outcomes for customers and your business?
The impact of having front and back-office data siloed in their respective applications is a lack of visibility across the organization throughout the customer journey. Individuals are only able to see through a small window into the process based on the information available to them.
Consider this typical scenario: Your salesperson builds a relationship with your future customer who gathers valuable intelligence, uncovers critical needs, and learns how they will use your solutions. But that information doesn’t make its way to the professional services team in an actionable fashion to help with the implementation. The customer has to answer all the same questions from the prospecting stage. The same happens for the customer success team post-implementation who must rely on the customer and professional services to fill in the knowledge gaps, creating frustration and lowering utilization rates – wasting time and money.
Is this helping the customer experience? No.
What does help if you are able to tear down department silos, operate from a single dataset across your business, and ensure your business stays in sync to help deliver positive customer experiences and outcomes.
2. Create a single lens across your business
To build a business that supports customer-centricity and retention, you must be able to manage the entire customer lifecycle on one system and eliminate the risk of losing critical data and insights.
FinancialForce solutions are purpose-built to accomplish this and more. Our ERP and Professional Services Automation solutions seamlessly connect the front (CRM) and back-office unifying data across customers, operations, services, and finance to achieve a true Business 360 view – all structured around a master customer record. Every conversation, every transaction, every request, and every documented customer interaction can be accessed from one place.
This single view provides powerful insight into customer profitability and lifetime value. Any employee can go to a single account record, know exactly what is going on, and have the opportunity to drive positive engagement.
With the unified system, teams also use common reporting and analytics tools and align everyone around customer success metrics – product adoption rates, project status, usage rates, and service call patterns. This helps signal future rates of renewal, churn, and expansion, so you can take the right actions at the right time.
3. Consolidated customer insights
This single lens visibility is expanded further with FinancialForce’s Spring 2021 release and the introduction of the Customer Engagement feature.
The solution now consolidates key customer information from every stage of the customer journey, providing different perspectives on the health of a customer. Users can see the customer’s impact on revenue and profitability from all revenue streams–product, services, and subscriptions–in a single view. The feature is proving an essential tool for real-time understanding of customer lifetime value and thoughtful customer management.
A path to customer-centricity
By unlocking more customer insights, establishing a master customer record, breaking down silos – you are well on your way to achieving real customer-centricity. Not only can you experience a true 360 view of your customer, enabling you to maximize customer lifetime value (CLTV), but you will experience unprecedented insights into your organization unlike you have ever seen before.