Avoid the trap many companies fell into with TQM (Total Quality Management), where they went for quality at all costs, without thinking as much about profit as they should have. The same thing could happen in the rush to provide a great “customer experience” or to make sure that all customers are successful.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t treat all customers well. It does mean paying attention so that the promises you make and the processes you put in place are appropriate for the customers’ profitability level. That makes for a relationship that is profitable for both you and the customer. And for mutual “customer success.”
Get down into the Customer Success weeds with Value Creation Mapping: We start at the end point to map what the customer experiences. For example, an “installation” or “put-in-service” process would start at the point of the customer using the product or service for the first time. It would then step backward through registration, hook-up, assembly, unpacking, and receipt of product. In each step back in the correlated relationship/ product/service lifecycles, we map what happens to create value. The purpose of the Value Creation Map is to account for everything the company and its people do to create value for the customer. It raises the questions of what you may be able to get rid of or stop doing certainly. But more important it points to areas where you may be able to build in additional value.
Analysis of the Value Creation Map: Once the value creation map is completed, it is analyzed from several perspectives. One analysis categorizes each step into one of two categories–value-enhancing or value-diminishing for the Customer Experience.
In many cases the company discovers that the steps where value is added are under-resourced. When a company gains a clear perspective on which steps create value and which destroy value, they can begin to align the company’s organization, measurements, and assets so as to optimize value creation.
The value-diminishing steps are analyzed to determine how they can be eliminated from the process. The steps may still be necessary for good business practice, but they should be removed from the main flow of the value creation process and relegated to business administration processes. If the steps cannot be eliminated, they need to be streamlined to be as fast and accurate as possible, thereby minimizing the loss of value.
Focused Value Creation Maps: Value creation maps for the entire enterprise can provide insight into HOW all of the divisions and departments of the company align to work together to create and deliver value to the customer–or as often is the case, how they work against each other. That is where we hope you will eventually get to, but we recommend starting with critical interaction processes affecting top priority customers and customer segments with profit improvement potential.
Customer Experience Wisdom: Sustainable Customer Success is when the relationship is profitable for both the customer and the company.
Questions: Are you resourced to create value for customers?
Are your teams aligned to deliver value to customers?
Are your Customer Success efforts focused on both your customer’s success and yours?