Understand Your Customer & Improve Customer Growth

customers as assets equals customer growth image

Using survey scores alone to quantify and drive action puts CX work (and your role) in the “leap of faith” category. The connection between improved scores and improved customer growth is not always clear. That means ‘Customer Focus’ is a top agenda item of the organization, but it’s not easily quantified.

How to Earn Customer Growth

Embracing customers as assets shifts the attitude of leaders and ultimately the organization. The purpose is to earn the right to customer growth by improving the life of customers. When you improve the life, the score will follow. It will. But the shift is to start the work with the customer life, not the score. And that is no small shift.

Use the Surveys & Feedback to See What’s Trending

Taylor Rhodes is President & CEO of Rackspace. He was previously Senior Vice President & Chief Customer Officer. Rackspace® is the #1 managed cloud company, delivering open technologies and powering hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide.

Taylor Rhodes: “In our maturity of using surveys for many years, score chasing can drive fatigue in improvement efforts. When our survey was new and fresh understanding the score worked to galvanize people and give a target. But now that we are mature in our process, it is fatiguing.

The emphasis should be on understanding customers and taking action rather than being motivated by increasing the score. Rather than focusing on the score as the thing to watch and see value in, we want people to learn and be invigorated by using the verbatim comments to understand at a more human customer level, what are the issues.

For example, we use these with product managers to show here’s what’s trending. At this point, we focus more on challenging “Rackers” to identify the things your customers are talking about and if they love or hate. We still recognize greatness, but we recognize different things – the behaviors. Did someone listen to their customer and solve the problem? Getting good at using this verbatim feedback from surveys, from regular interactions, from within our product usage and on social media is where we need to get better.”

Best Measurements: Customers as Assets & Customer Stories

Rhodes continues: “At the end of the day, our highest reward from customers is did they stay with us and continue to realize value, did they buy more and tell others. To that end, we are tying growth of our install base, the customer asset to people’s bonus and career path as our ultimate goal. This moves the score as one indicator of how we are performing, but not the ultimate motivating factor for our work.”

Conclusion

Shift conversations about your customer experience from the survey score, to caring about customers’ lives.

When competency 1 (Customers as Assets) is embraced and communicated consistently across leadership shed a new light on why you are in business. In their simplicity, the customer metrics drive action. You either keep or lose or grow customers or you don’t. Caring about that will change your leaders’ behaviors. It will help you transform your business.

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