What is the key to a successful relationship? Is it how we treat (our) customers? Are their concerns resolved on time, or is it because we spend time understanding our customers and what their real needs are?
In this interview, Jamey Jeff, Chief Customer Officer at Cortex Building Intelligence, talks about the importance of keeping customers engaged and involved when designing successful business outcomes as the fundamental aspect of a successful relationship.
Jamey said, provide value first and exceed customer expectations. Organizations must focus on customer needs before achieving company goals. Customers will remain loyal if their needs and challenges are met and resolved first.
Background and Career
I began my consulting career at Accenture. Some of the noted principles embodied in this role, Jamey points out, are being hyper-focused on the needs of the business, client challenges, and you must continually deliver value (even if that value means solving problems or giving good advice).
I have been [involved] in the B2B SaaS world for nearly ten years. I have seen how Customer Success has evolved in two ways. (1) Focus on providing more value (2) Collaborating with customers to understand their growing needs and challenges.
To frame the how (the principles of achieving the business goal/s), organizations must understand the customer what (the pain points they are seeking to solve, or the impact of the solutions on their business bottom line). In doing so, organizations can tailor the service or solution to show the core value of the product throughout the customer lifecycles.
The prevalent and fitting changes
Over the past ten years, we have seen the maturity of this role (Customer Success), the industry itself, and its function (purpose). Jamey points out that there are economic values driven by the business model shift from a transactional economy (perpetual license) to a subscription economy (consumption model).
One of the many economic values; (CS) leaders has been gaining an unquestioned seat at the executive table, as CEOs and investors acknowledge that Customer Success is just as important as other departments such as sales or marketing teams.
Jamey recalls that one of the first challenges to its establishment (CS team) was to move away from the legacy mindset (such as support or customer service). Creating its own identity and why this group is so different (from those in the organization) is a great test.
The transition from a reactive mindset [firefighting] to proactiveness [fireproofing] provides a different way of delivering value to customers. Customers immediately see the direct impact of the business value.
Designing successful outcomes
Successful (CS) organizations design successful outcomes based on customer insights and feedback. Why? Because customers have different needs and challenges that they face and meet. Besides, they have different experiences in their interactions with organizations.
The other economic value Jamey noticed was how organizations segment their customer base. For example, you have expert customers and novice customers. Both of these are in customers of all sizes and industries.
It is essential to tailor the customer experience in recognition of the varying needs of the “expert” vs. the “novice”: experts may want you to get out of the way quickly, whereas novices will seek more handholding and best practices.
Jamey provides a simple process that will help organizations to create a long term partnership and deliver successful outcomes. He introduced a basic technique called the KEEP model!
K - Knowledgeable. Understand your buyer industry, pain points they are seeking to solve, the impact of those pains, etc.
E - Empathetic. Understand your customer challenges. Are they seeking a promotion? What keeps them up at night?
E - Easy. Be easy to do business (with). Respond quickly. If you do not know the answer, find out. Bring the right person to them.
P - Principled. Keep your promises and do what you said you would do when you said it would be (done).
Jamey says by following this method, (CS) organizations will stand differentiated. This method can become a continuation of excellent service, product value, and brand experience.
At the end of the day: the brand experience should be unique. Whereas, the customer experience needs to be reinforced in every interaction or touchpoint, while the product value grows based on customer appreciation and perception.
Since we have different products on the market, each of them has unique ways to determine the impact they are giving and offering. But one thing remains, every customer wants to make their life better by using your tools and platforms. They are not buying tools for the sake of it (tools), but they want to achieve success when they use it.
Today's customers are fully aware of your competitors' strengths and what kind of solutions you offer. Whatever the customer achieves when working or partnering with us is the ACTUAL value of our brand, our service, and our commitment to their success. We can’t provide a well-rounded experience or good product experience if we don’t involve or engage customers on their desired result/outcome.