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Transmission Talks: Customer Obsession. Episode 2

Transmission Talks: Customer Obsession. Episode 2


It’s putting the customer at the center of everything that we do. End to end I think everything from product
development through to what we do in the channel what we do in the marketing space,
the sales space and then obviously looking at supplying customer experience
as well. It really is everything end to end. And it’s putting the customer’s needs first. It’s not about putting the organisational needs first. So Customer Obsession is what you learn, the insights and the analysis you make of the data to inform your customer experience and the tweaks you might want to make to ensure that experience is perfectly aligned with what you’ve learned. Customer Obsession to me means is this an integral part of your value set? Is it woven into your values? Is it something every employee who works and joins the company realises that this is a fundamental way that they’re going to be measured. We need to look at how do we differentiate ourselves And I think we see that with all of the key digital disruptors coming into the marketplace
and changing the experience and really changing how the customer wants to be
served so the demands and expectations are changing and I think initially we’ve
always just assumed well that’s in the consumer space but what we’re actually
seeing is research shows us that B2B is actually – the experience of purchasing products online for B2B – is two times more emotional than a consumer. Customer Obsession drives both new customers because, every new prospect always wants to see your existing customers to see, do your values, do your sales values actually stack up once they become a customer? So I think Customer Obsession does two things. It drives new business there’s no question about that because everybody wants to hear from a marketing platform about customers who have been successful and you hear that, you think, great, I want to be part of that community. Secondly, if customers are successful, they do three things firstly they buy more from
you Secondly, they tell their friends, family contacts in the industry their spouse whenever they go, I use this product or this service and they’re wonderful. And thirdly, what we found a lot Salesforce is should they move on to another job guess what they call you and they say “I’ve arrived at another company, we’d like you to come along and potentially bid for our business”. So it’s a self reinforcing virtual model of you get more customers, you get more success, you get more revenue so you can grow more. Yeah, at Salesforce, one of the core values for the 20 years, that I was, pretty much the 20 years I was there was customer success. It was a core value around the business. So was growth, so was innovation, but customer success was a core value. And what does that mean? What it meant was that we built all of our plans, our company plans for the year around those three values. How were we going to grow? How were we going to innovate? But more importantly how were we going to deliver customer success? And so that plan from the executive team, would cascade right the way down so the most junior person in the company would have a plan that included customer success. That then wove that obsession into the fabric of the company. It takes a lot of patience and guts really to get the organisation to see the world through the customer’s eyes and to move away from what we have done from a legacy perspective for, for many years So we’re in the process of rolling out a digital transformation, across the organisation. We’re starting with marketing first, so looking at how we can architect a new technology architecture
but at the same time looking at how we bring people along on the journey and
also look how we optimise process in order to be successful in the space. So
as a tech company we have to move tech to the enabler and not the front and
center of everything that we do and put our people first put our customers first
and then look at how we can optimise that relationship over time. it’s hard to find anybody who’s seen you
who doesn’t believe that custom obsession is a good thing right but
believing it in doing it are two different things as we all know so if
you can use a method where you get the senior people around the table to say is
custom obsession something that we are all united on as a team sales marketing
customer service are we united on that if if sales says well we’re not united
because we just had to need to hit some numbers or marketing say well we don’t
care as long as we run some marketing events then you have a problem because
you will not be a customer of obsessed organization if you don’t weave it in at
the senior level and then cascade it down it won’t happen trust me people
will say the right things they will not have be patient these things don’t
happen overnight a traditional quarter-to-quarter
campaigns where you can measure and report back those days are gone as we
move into these new developer markets it takes time to build relationships it
takes time to be part become part of communities become trusted by those
communities and be the kind of company they come to for advice so hang in there
be patient it’ll work out really the paradigm shift for us to be able to move
from product centric to customer centric and it requires a big change in culture
and I think as you know it’s a challenge to get people to change mindsets when
they are used to doing things one way I mean were a company that’s 80 years old
and people know and enjoy the direction that we have today so there’s a lot of
questioning about why would we change if something’s working how do we why do we
need to do things differently and so that’s the first thing we need to focus
on I think in order to be successful in getting customer to session really
entrenched in the organization and it needs to become part of our being
it needs a part of my DNA that fights traditional customers
are the enterprise customers we think we know quite a lot about that we’ve been
working with them for a long time we interact with them on a regular basis
and they tell us we’re doing a good job however f5 is moving towards a software
and multi cloud solution set and this is really interesting because it opens us
up and means we need to target different types of customers we’re moving into the
field where DevOps are the ones consuming our future products it’s a
market that’s new to us we have some experience in it but these communities
are all digital communities they live in a different place
they don’t necessarily engage with traditional marketing tactics and
approaches so we have to define our marketing strategies around that now
we’ve got to go find where they hang out their meetups who’s influencing them and
find out more about them so we can make that approach seamless we have not
perfected this by any means if it’s early days but the bare-bones that we
have today are really delivering better numbers I think that we can ever even
have expected so you know we’re starting with the bare-bones imagine when we kind
of start to add more meat onto the bones over time and I think what we are doing
really well now is engaging with sales so we we had a relationship with sales
with wall marketing and then you have had a good relationship with sales but
it’s even better and it’s they are more open to kind of meeting with marketing
and discussing the opportunities for nurturing and how we can potentially
push some of our hot leads down the the purchase manner faster
and so all I know what I think you know everybody’s on board across marketing
and sales to kind of look at how we can win in this space which is not something
I would have said you know ten months ago
another example springs to mind about how customer obsession in the early days
of the company where it it shocked the company that which way do we go or we do
we stick with our value of customer obsession or do we or do we trade it in
for another value which was growth so around about 2006 we had the company was
small we’re just getting going we are having some success with what we were
doing and we had the customer Deutsche Telekom actually prospect who came along
and said we want to buy 60 thousand users from you which is fantastic this
was an enormous potential order for us however they wanted to take our software
and really on their own computers now for 60,000 uses when we only have a
hundred thousand this was like double almost doubling the size of the company
overnight and we sat around the table the executive team discussed it and we
said this is not the value to our customers this we run the risk of
customers having different versions of Salesforce and we held true to what we
felt is the right thing to do around cloud computing but what I mean by that
is you don’t have different versions of Google right you don’t have different
versions of Amazon but we could have split at that time because it wouldn’t
obviously increased our growth and allowed Deutsche Telekom to run a
version of Salesforce we didn’t think they could run that due respect as well
as we could and therefore their customers who were using Salesforce
would have a poor poorer experience and we just debated and discussed it as you
can imagine sales wanted it to happen for the part of the company did not as
an executive team you said no this is going to challenge our customer
obsession because we think some of our customers are going to get a lesser
service so we can’t do that so we walked away from the order
I would say it’s an art and a science I think it’s an emotionally-charged
area of the business that really is based on a lot of emotion and the
connection with the customer but you need the data in the insights and the
foresight and analytics to be able to determine you know how we optimize that
experience for the customer over time those real challenges are around
becoming becoming customer obsessed when it’s easy to say and hard to do and as
we ought as we all know and so when the challenge comes along to make more sales
or to look after the customer which do you do and it’s a much in my mind you
have need to build in the culture we built used to build in the culture if a
customer’s having a problem don’t do another sales call go visit the customer
and fix the fix to fix the problem don’t build more private more pipeline when
you’ve got existing customers who are who are struggling we used to monitor
customer churn intimately and to find out if a customer left us why did they
why did they leave us what did we do wrong why did they leave could we have
could we have prevented them from from leaving at Salesforce we had a fantastic
advantage because we could see what our customers were doing on the computers we
couldn’t see their data but we could see whether they were using the the the the
software so if a customer for argument’s sake had bought 500 uses from us and
only 50 users were using the system we knew we had a potential problem
downstream so don’t wait until the customer churns go visit them go find
out why ever you bought 500 but only 50 are using let us help you get more value
we’re not gonna charge you any more well I could look for any money so we set up
our programs where we would go and visit the customer the customers were shocked
by the way that people would come and visit them from the software industry
and not be asking for orders and not be asking for incremental revenue we wanted
to come and say we want you to get more value out of what you’re spending
how do we help you get more value out of your spend and they were the vast
majority customers was delighted that somebody would come down sit with them
and say okay I bought the vision but I’m not getting the value help me we know
that there is a direct correlation between customer satisfaction and
revenue so the first thing we look at is how do we measure customer satisfaction
it was an interesting journey for us because we obviously had NPS and MPS’s
is generally the key metric that most people use to measure customer
satisfaction but when we started off hard it was generally a smaller subset
of of the NPS audience and so we’ve had to look at ways to kind of measure that
customer satisfaction I think over time we will continue to explore
opportunities to really enhance our measurement and just gain one
understanding of where the customer is and also obviously using a lot of the
data that we have to really understand what parts of the journeys need to be
optimised better

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