SAN MATEO, Calif. and BARCELONA, Spain, Oct. 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Totango Inc., the leader in customer success for the enterprise, today shared its vision for the Customer Centered Economy, where the customer is the primary orientation point for business and all the data from disparate systems is seen from the point of view of the customer at the center. The decades-old monolithic approach to enterprise sales, marketing, service and support is rapidly coming to an end thanks to recent customer centered technology innovations, according to Totango founder and CEO Guy Nirpaz. Addressing top enterprise executives and customer experience (CX) professionals at the SAP Customer Experience LIVE conference, he traced the business, technological and cultural factors which are now in perfect alignment to remove the barriers to operationalizing customer centricity at scale that have been significantly hampering digital transformation progress at the enterprise level, leaving customers dissatisfied and billions in revenue on the table.
Customers want and deserve better service than ever before, and this is the new normal. We expect concierge or personal shopper level service and attentiveness, whether we are buying socks or software. Because of smartphones, generation internet and on-demand everything for consumers, today's customer mentality around increasingly personalized service and instant gratification is here to stay. Born from the business practices of digitally native companies, the paramount importance of the customer to long-term business success is an idea whose time has come; already it is moving into the mainstream enterprise and starting to take shape in the minds of Fortune 500 executives.
The Forces Shaping the Customer Centered Economy and the Role of Customer Success
There are two major trends at play in the Customer Centered Economy. First, recurring revenue models—which have given the customer power to pay per value—have become a central driver for digital transformation and have made customer lifetime value a top business consideration. Second, customer expectations are always increasing and this phenomenon is accelerating as customers interact daily with consumer brands that prioritize the customer experience, such as Amazon and Apple. Given these trends, the industry paradigm shift that is underway places customers at the heart of an enterprise's business results.
Enterprises can digitally transform without paying attention to customer success, but they are less successful because customers will leave them for better experiences, and they are flying blind not knowing when they are at risk. Unable to interpret digital signals or customers' digital clues, they are blindsided by churn and miss upsell opportunities. For complete digital transformation, therefore, enterprises must progress to becoming customer centered organizations, where they learn from the customer data at all levels and deploy that knowledge in every customer interaction, stay current, retaining customers and driving revenue to achieve outsized business results.
The challenge for enterprises is a practical one: how to put the customer at the center of every interaction and business decision. Achieving business success in the Customer Centered Economy—which was ushered in because of a wave of digital technology and its impact on culture and society at large—is impossible without technology than can enable customer centeredness at enterprise scale, in conjunction with a parallel philosophical shift. According to McKinsey & Company, recent trends indicate we are at the beginning of a new era where companies have learned since the early 2000s how to draw on customer success teams' knowledge and "... surface opportunities to provide relevant solutions and expand customer value. A new approach to customer success—one in which it is viewed as a guiding philosophy—may finally help companies achieve their goals."1
Although many enterprises don't have a "customer success" team – their customer experience initiatives may go by another name or be organized around all revenue oriented employees – they are realizing they must be more customer centered to compete in this new era and need a way to easily operationalize this philosophy across their business. In the Customer Centered Economy, where value must be delivered to the customer every day, customer success is about more than reducing churn, it is about maximizing recurring revenue, increasing upsells, improving customer referencing and gathering feedback.
"Customer success is not an isolated function, it's a company-wide strategy – it's the missing link to crossing the digital transformation finish line," says Nirpaz. "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 customer journey. Being 'data driven' is meaningless unless every person in a company has access to the most recent customer data and insights to do their job better and improve their performance with the customer."
Why CRM is Not Enough
Beneath the recent CRM hype around "Customer 360" there's an industry secret: after three decades of promises by CRM vendors to create a picture of the customer journey, they are still focused on creating data visualizations. While integrating data across the enterprise and creating helpful graphics is a step in the right direction, the focus needs to shift from the inputs to translating data into outcomes. It's simply not possible for enterprises to make highly personalized customer-related decisions at scale if the technology they are using doesn't take the next step and guide them in their decision making process, sorting through all the signals in the data and presenting actions in a sophisticated manner. Merely collecting data and creating a "complete view of the customer" only serves to gather disparate data scattered across products, machines and people without delivering business outcomes.
As Nirpaz observes, "The conversation must move from data collection and visualizations to extracting outcomes and delivering business results. Enterprises don't need more data, they need more data in context. You can't be customer driven if you're drowning in data. It sounds subtle on paper, but in practice it's the difference between hundreds of thousands of wasted employee hours on mundane, manual tasks that can and should be automated. A customer-centered solution must go beyond visualizations to surface what to do with what a CX-minded professional is seeing. Data must be used to bring the customer to life, describing who the customer is with color and context. It's not about the information but the meaning of the information and what to do with it at the exact right time in the exact right way to meet and exceed a customer's expectations."
The Customer Centered Economy Requires Customer Centered Technology
Enterprises need a customer centered solution that facilitates the extraction of insights from data across the customer lifecycle, making it actionable to accelerate customer lifetime value and drive long-term business results. Totango's customer centered data model provides unified access to customer data and operationalizes actionable insights to unlock value from this data, enabling teams at all levels of an enterprise to act and thus drive renewal and upsell opportunities.
"While others focus on data collection and making pictures, Totango is unequivocally focused on building the best possible technology to deliver business results, quickly and easily across large global teams. Data integration and visualizations are table stakes. Operationalizing a universal, company-wide approach to customer centricity is what delivers competitive advantage to enterprises in the Customer Centered Economy," says Nirpaz.
With Totango's Spark and Zoe innovations, enterprise organizations can quickly operationalize their customer processes across the organization using a modular approach to deliver results without the risk of a long, monolithic project. Totango's approach, which builds customer success best practices in at every step and is not offered by other platforms, means organizations can deliver results fast. Instead of having a customer success team focus on lagging indicators, such as retention and revenue, Totango has broken down the customer journey into modules to help enterprises determine where a customer stands at any given time.
Totango today also announced its go-to-market partnership with SAP, as well as general availability and new features of its Spark platform.
Totango is the leading Customer Success solution for the enterprise. Our platform provides access to all customer information, best practices, and relevant metrics so enterprises can proactively and intelligently operate their company around their customers. Leading customer-centric enterprises such as Dimension Data, Monster and Zoom use Totango to drive customer adoption, retention, expansion and advocacy.
1 "McKinsey & Company "Introducing customer success 2.0: The new growth engine" January 2018 by Charles Atkins, Shobhit Gupta and Paul Roche