Becoming a truly customer-led organisation

For most organisations, understanding the customer is a stated strategic goal. A genuinely customer-centric strategy starts with a fundamental understanding of the business challenges facing customers or users and the needs that arise from them. It asks the key question:

“How can we understand and solve customer problems, and by doing so, help create value for their business and for ours?”

This understanding is the critical starting point for organisations to create compelling propositions, build an enduring go-to-market strategy, and become truly customer-led.

For B2B information and software businesses, this is especially important. Here, the right combination of data, tools and functionality can create tangible value. This requires an understanding of the customer organisation, the user of the product, and how these interact.

What is ‘Strategic Voice of the Customer’?

Strategic Voice of the Customer:

A well-designed Strategic Voice of the Customer programme can transform how an organisation approaches its customers. Importantly, it is the first step towards creating a truly customer-led organisation.

An insight-driven approach

Achieving an intimate understanding of customer value requires more than simply listening to customer or user feedback and tracking a standard set of performance metrics. This is particularly the case in B2B information or software businesses, where there may be multiple decision makers, influencers and user groups, and potential for significant complexity.

Strategic Voice Of the Customer requires a process which combines and builds knowledge and understanding from every angle and available data source, not just from customers themselves. This should include, but not be limited to:

Understanding the whole customer universe

To develop a strategic view of how needs could change, it is critical to apply a market and competitive context.

Key questions include:

Identifying opportunities for growth

An important outcome of a Strategic Voice of the Customer exercise is a quantified and segmented map of the whole market based on the defining behaviours of each segment. This not only helps you understand and better serve the customers you already have but also identifies opportunities outside what is already known.

Most importantly, it provides the basis for business unit leadership teams to identify the most attractive segments for future growth and develop the propositions and capabilities required to win in those priority segments, now and in the future.

Driving strategic change

Strategic Voice of the Customer is the necessary foundation for a truly customer-driven go-to-market strategy. This powerful tool can provide insight, drive change, and ensure effective strategy implementation by:

Achieving greater closeness to the customer

Overall, there is a direct link between the upfront investment in customer and user understanding and the ultimate outcome. The deeper and more insightful the fact base, the greater the relevance and richness of the solutions, and the higher the likelihood of strong engagement and successful implementation.

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