Aligning with your Customer

December 11, 2020

I’m starting to write about what’s often missed when providing a software service or product: the customer. For a SaaS business to be successful, companies need to make sure they’re aligned with the customer, having them mind for every part of the business.

While thinking about the customer, I often remind myself of what’s said in The Nordstrom Way:

Nordstrom doesn’t determine what good service is; the customer does.

Some departments chase internal business metrics while ignoring the outcomes of those metrics. A customer support team could have an SLA of 48 hours for a reply and all conversations resolved in under 6 replies. A team can meet these goals and celebrate that the metrics look good. But if the customer defines good service as an SLA of 2 hours and 4 replies, then they’re not going to think the service was good.

Extrapolating this, many organizations silo themselves, with different parts reaching the customer in different ways. Customer Success will provide a different level of service from Customer Support. Which is different from the level of service that Sales provides. Worse, other parts of the organization forget there’s a customer to serve.

In this Customer Alignment thinking, companies need to ask “How can we make sure there’s a uniform experience, no matter who the customer is talking to?” Instead of asking “How can we improve our NPS score?” they need to ask “How can we improve the renewal experience?” By aligning the experience around the customer, good metrics will follow.

In my first post of the series, I dive into The Problem with Delight.

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