The term Industry 4.0 encompasses a promise of a new industrial revolution—one that marries advanced manufacturing techniques with the Internet of Things to create manufacturing systems that are not only interconnected, but communicate, analyze, and use information to drive further intelligent action back in the physical world.
Customer-centric digital transformation
Making customer success integral to the new organization
How can an organization keep customers—rather than technology—at the center of a transformation effort? This article, fifth in a series, explores the benefits of developing a proactive customer success capability.
Indeed, customer expectations and demands are creating critical challenges—as well as opportunities—for employees across sales, services, support, and product functions. To successfully ride this wave of change, companies need to continuously evaluate how digital disruption is changing customer behavior, rethink their customer engagement model to leverage disruptive technologies, and redesign employees’ roles to form customer success (CS) capability that maximizes value for customers and enables an enhanced experience for them.
In short, we believe that organizations must make customers central to digital transformation and activate the virtuous cycle. Figure 2 illustrates how building a customer-centric organization ties into our overall digital transformation framework.
From churn reduction to value generation
The ever-changing technology landscape—currently shaped by technologies such as cloud computing, anything-as-a-service (XaaS), and the Internet of Things (including industrial IoT)—has solidified the need for businesses to adopt a customer-in mindset, shifting focus from selling a product to nourishing a customer relationship: understanding expectations and maximizing customer value from offerings.3
B2B companies that invest in a CS function are looking for a range of gains, including lower cost to serve, higher willingness to spend, increased loyalty, and brand advocacy. Unsurprisingly, good customer success capability execution brings tangible benefits:
- Spend. Sixty-two percent of B2B customers have purchased more from a company after a good customer service experience.4
- Tenure. After building a relationship, customer spend grows alongside trust. Eventually, loyal customers spend 67 percent more than new ones.5 Over the course of a year, experience-driven businesses grew revenue 1.4 times faster and increased customer lifetime value 1.6 times more than other companies.6
- Cost of service. Maximizing satisfaction with customer journeys has the potential of lowering the cost of serving B2B customers by as much as 20 percent.7
- Referrals. After a positive experience, 83 percent of customers would be happy to provide a referral if asked.8 Questions such as, “How likely are you to refer a friend or colleague?” can help customer service managers identify which customers to ask for referrals.
In the cloud era, the CS function has evolved alongside B2B business models (figure 3), originating with the industry’s movement from businesses dependent on reducing churn to XaaS companies with delivery and monetization models that focus on customer retention and value creation.9
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