In this interview, Matthew D. Tucker, an independent consultant helping companies looking to achieve greater customer success and growth, talks about the importance of seeing things through the eyes of your customers and understanding their perspectives.
Customer Success is finally taking the business world by storm. As technology shapes each area of the business, it becomes more challenging for customers to navigate increasingly in crowded and saturated markets. Customers now move faster than companies can, and today customers are setting the tempo.
What does this mean for the organization? It means they need to focus on commitment, trust, openness, and a long-term perspective in achieving a sustainable business relationship. This is the conversation I had with Matthew D. Tucker, of Breakthrough Consulting.
Background and Career
“My time has been mainly in healthcare leading brands and portfolios in medical devices and pharmaceutical that were used by medical professionals and patients. I’ve managed small products you’ve never heard of, all the way up to huge brands like the EpiPen. Now I work with small startups to bring best in class customer-focused strategies to help them grow faster for longer.”
Any kind of growth that you’re looking to achieve must be built on the foundation of Customer Satisfaction. True [customer] success, Tucker notes, “only happens if the value they [customers] get out of the product or service exceeds the cost they have paid for and time they invested finding it.”
Purpose-driven organizations [continually] re-evaluate their customer’s needs, their challenges, and keep evolving their customer interactions to remain relevant as customers’ expectations change. Hence, achieving mutual success and satisfaction comes from understanding customer’s needs and fulfilling them.
Creating a sustainable business relationship
Understanding the way customers see success is crucial to achieving a competitive advantage. To create a sustainable relationship, Tucker shares two things an organization should do (1) Encourage the feedback loop from customers and share it across the organization (2) Create a sustainable cycle where customer facing team members mine customer interactions for continuous improvements and best practices that have worked (both from old customers to new customers).
Remember, the competition is fiercer than ever, and customers can find alternatives much easier than before. If you’re not focused and heavily invested in the success and satisfaction of your customers, someone else will. What’s unique in today’s environment is the ability of new competitors to come into the market and change the economy faster than ever!
Hence, “If your organization is not grounded in CS, you CAN’T stand out from the crowd of competitors”.
Understanding customer’s learning style
An organization must translate the position of their product and its capability based on the customer’s learning style.
Organizations need to consider the following: How much hand holding and support does the customer need to become educated? How often should CSMs and other teams meet to ensure that customers are seeing the value in using your product? Is there proper educational or instructive content? How will you measure the success [in the first 30-60 days] of using your product?
Remember, people have different learning curves, patterns, ways, and styles. There are three types of customers: (1) Functional customers (kind of customers who do research first and want to understand how the product works at a high level) (2) Analytical customers (kind of customers who want to know what will happen if they do certain tasks. They want to discover what other things they can do with the product). (3) Emotional customers (kind of customers who want to validate if they’re doing the right thing or looking for a product to make them feel a certain way). Determining your typical customer type will help you tell your message in a way they are optimally receptive to.
Understanding customers' perspective
Focusing on improving customer experience, and the value you’re delivering and gaining feedback to continuously improve, has an ultimate impact on this very long sustainable relationship.
Therefore, understanding customers, Tucker points out, “start at seeing things from their point of view.” In other words, you can’t just tell your customers that you’re a CS centric organization and your focus is on delivering a high-value outcome. While that is all good and commending, you must back it up, and stand behind that promise with actions.
Otherwise, if your customers find out that you don’t, it will result in distrust and relationship abandonment.
Tucker notes, “For CS, the proof is in the pudding”. It helps shape the business to become collaborative and develop a lifetime and lifelong relationship. Put simply, “It is just as much about the intent as the actions. Without the intent, the actions won’t happen long-term.” You can have and design all sorts of things, but failing to live that expectation or on that intention, customer success can’t be achieved. Remember, CS is the differentiator [for companies] as long as they can deliver their brand promise and commit the organization to fulfill it.
Takeaways: “Don’t approach customer success half-baked.” Why? Because customer success is the core and the reason why your business exists. As a matter of fact, your business as a whole depends on [customer] successㅡif done right, it drives your business to continue growing.
About Matthew Tucker
Matthew has held executive leadership positions in large multi-national companies and startups in the healthcare space such as Baxter, Mylan, and Highmark Health. He has led over 25 different brands and has been nationally recognized as a Brand Trailblazer by the magazine PM360.
Through his consulting practice, he partners with companies by joining them in long-term roles such as Chief Marketing Officer or in short-term advisor roles. He works to center their efforts on the needs of the customer and to help accelerate growth.
He is also the author of ‘The Selfish Career’ a book found on amazon.com. He is on the board of directors for Facing Forward in Chicago, IL, a non-profit with a mission to defeat homelessness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.