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Today’s consumers seek better service and enhanced personalization more than ever before and business leaders across all industries are feeling the demand. In fact, 86% of consumers say that personalization impacts their buying decisions. This is why some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies have adopted customer-centric business models that use the latest technology to drive personalization. Warby Parker integrates unique data points to help customers select the right frames now and into the future; Sephora hosts virtual product try-ons; Amazon continues to accelerate seamless shipping and returns. All of these strategies focus on creating the most attuned and attentive customer experience.
The challenge of putting the customer at the center of every interaction and business decision is a practical one. To achieve a customer-centric solution, businesses must be able to extract meaningful insights from data across the customer lifecycle, thus making data actionable in accelerating customer lifetime value. In this sense, customer success is about more than just reducing churn rates; it’s about delivering value to each individual customer every day to maximize recurring revenue, increase upsells, improve customer referencing and gather useful feedback.
Forbes Technology Council member Guy Nirpaz is the founder and CEO of Totango, a leading customer success enterprise software company and a pioneer in the customer success field throughout Silicon Valley and Israel. Totango enables companies to structure themselves around customer centricity in order to drive adoption, retention, expansion and referrals, increasing customer loyalty and lifetime value. Its platform is a vital tool for companies creating exceptional customer experiences, such as Zoom and Monster.
Nirpaz attributes the success of Totango to the consistent pursuit of customer feedback. In March of this year, Totango established a Customer Advisory Board that serves to provide strategic advice as it develops customer-focused technology and services. On a quarterly basis, the Totango CAB brings together select influential industry leaders from companies including SAP, Google, Zoom and Commvault, who represent new and long-time enterprise customers that have advanced industry-wide innovation and customer success best practices.
“The direct feedback from key customers will enable us to continue developing customer success solutions that will empower enterprises to achieve their customer-focused goals. Learning from our key customers’ candid feedback on existing and future products, services and the entirety of their experience has been integral since Totango’s inception. We built Totango to scale; today it’s used by customers in over 50 countries, with more than 80,000,000 daily triggers, 5,700,000 customers and over 27,000,000 users,” Nirpaz says.
Nirpaz, who authored the customer success book Farm, Don't Hunt, advises leaders to approach a recurring revenue business with the mentality of cultivating customers as opposed to hunting for them. “Customer-centric goals should aim to provide value based on a solid understanding of the individual customer,” Nirpaz says. He believes that customer success, when properly conceived and implemented, is not an isolated function, but a company-wide strategy that is often the missing link in completing digital transformation.
While 23% of organizations say data quality is a top barrier to customer-centric personalization, data silos prohibiting organization-wide insights and integration are often the main culprit. According to Nirpaz, data democratization is the foundation of successful modern customer-centric companies. “I firmly believe that democratizing customer data across an organization – so that all employees can be customer champions and make every customer touchpoint a stellar experience – will help enterprises achieve accelerated customer lifetime value and quick business growth,” he says.
When company leaders empower all of their employees across an organization with access to customer data, as well as the training necessary to operationalize that data and quickly iterate on new information, they clear the way to create the most seamless, fully-integrated, omnichannel customer experience. Unlocking the secrets to a strong company-wide customer success strategy is imperative to the overall growth of an enterprise. Nirpaz sums it up best: “Every person within a company should be powered by data, as it is the only way to ensure your customers have the best experience in all aspects of their journey.”
This article was originally published in Forbes