The Urge to Converge: ‘Swim Lanes’ for Service, Sales and Customer Success

This blog presents ideas for how to design a cultural path to sales and service integration in a customer-centric environment.
Begin with a Customer Journey Map
Customer-centric means everything your company does begins and ends with the customer journey. I cannot stress enough how important this is. In the past, business models, organization charts and workflow maps were organized around the path to revenue, and often ended there. This one idea changes everything!

My point is reinforced by Gainsight’s diagram based on TSIA’s LAER model (Land, Adopt, Expand, Renew). Gainsight examined the steps of the customer journey from the vendor view and the client view. Here are my personal favorite examples of common disconnects:
Expand
Vendor view: Ask for upsell.
Client view: Limited adoption.
Onboarding
Vendor view: Change services point of contact.
Client view: Repeating themselves.
Tell me you haven’t been there in your personal experiences. Do I really have to explain it all again? I call you with a problem and you try to sell me more?
Begin by designing a customer journey map. Then, meet with your top customers (and, if possible, a few you lost) and ask for candid input on how the journey went from their perspective. Use the data discovered to determine what is vital to an exemplary experience in your environment. Companies that really want to shine will complete this process with every customer as part of the renewal process.
Design Swim Lanes for Sales, Service and Customer Success
Using your customer journey map, list every potential customer touch point, from preparing for an initial sales contact to customer advocacy. Now determine which role is best suited to that action: sales, service or customer success.
Example:

Finally, construct an optimum outcome that delivers customer value, and if possible, attach a metric to measure success.
“Whatever your vision or objective, collect the right metrics and constantly measure and assess your progress. At TELUS Digital our focus is on the customer and it only makes sense to collect the right metrics to have a constant pulse on the customer experience.”
Shawn Mandel, Chief Digital Officer, TELUS

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