In one of our recent blog posts, we explained how important it is to try and achieve a customer-first culture. While it seems like a straightforward process, it can be a daunting mission for companies who are busy with everyday tasks. That is why Microsoft suggests developing a “Customers for Life” strategy before it’s too late. To achieve this, you must consider the amount of “Operational Excellence” you are offering to your clientele. To begin your journey to the top, you must improve your efforts in four key areas: digital maturity, leadership, customer relationships, and data analytics.
1. Digital Maturity
You’ve probably heard the term digital transformation before, but what about digital maturity? It’s the process of your company learning how to respond appropriately to the everchanging digital industry. Microsoft partners can help their customers achieve this through the involvement of digital transformation initiatives every day. However, if partners are introducing these ideas to their customers, they must be implementing the same practices themselves. One way to get started is to consider which tasks can be automated within your company. Microsoft gives the example of building quality assurance into the software development lifecycle to mitigate bugs and security issues. Your team must stay on top of digital trends so that everyone continues to adapt at the same time.
A customer-first culture can only be directed from the top down. However, it should be executed from the bottom up to ensure true success. Your front-line workers should be able to solve conflicts and be open-minded in order to achieve operational excellence. These are the Consultants or Solution Architects who are speaking with your customers and forming relationships daily. They are the ones who will become your customer’s confidant and go-to source.
3. Customer Relationships
This one may be obvious, but it is vital that Microsoft partners are constantly working on relationships to make them even better. In a “Customer for Life” strategy, your end goal should be to turn every customer into a brand advocate. It sounds like a marketing term – and you aren’t wrong about that! The best way to accomplish this is to collect valuable feedback from your clients through digital channels. Whether through your website, social media accounts, or meetings, you should figure out a way to promote how your customers feel about you. If you want to ensure positive reviews, you must go above and beyond to give customers the most positive experience.
4. Data Analytics
Using the information that you already have about existing customers to obtain more business is a smart move that you can get started on right away. Microsoft uses the example of creating look-a-like customers based on existing customers’ characteristics so that you are marketing to those who are most likely to buy. You can also leverage AI to create helpful chatbots to ensure a personalized experience for those who visit your website. Last but not least, by breaking down important metrics like the Average Revenue Per User, or ARPU, you can better segment your target audience and provide more relevant products and services.
As you can imagine, “Operational Excellence” isn’t an overnight transformation. It definitely takes time and is a team effort. You can start today by transforming and optimizing repeated processes, streamlining your leadership hierarchy, emphasizing the importance of customer relationships, and personalizing experience through data analytics. If you are ready to take your business to the next level, adopting a “Customers for Life” strategy can turn you into the global success, you’ve been striving for.