Customer strategists must anticipate all the twists and turns and ups and downs that can derail their customer strategy. This was the topic of my last blog, which encouraged customer strategists not only to create effective plans, but to anticipate the things that can derail them. Following up on that, here are three tools that can help keep you on track:
1. Have a good ROI statement. Nothing is more powerful than being able to show the value of your program with a succinct description of the return on investment. If a new executive arrives, there is a reorganization, or budget cuts are looming, justifying your program in financial terms will be the most effective way to ensure you sustain momentum.
2. Show that customer information is being used. One of the sharpest arguments for inadequate customer strategies is that nobody takes action on customer insights. Smart customer strategists will make sure they track the way people in their company use customer insights. They build an infrastructure to show that people not only receive reports, but there is accountability and action that pays off.
3. Have great stories. The first two items appeal to the rational side of the brain. But there is an emotional side of the brain as well that can be much more powerful. People love to hear a good story about how an employee used customer insights to make an important decision that paid off. It could be an account manager who turned a strategic account around. It could be an engineer who implemented a cost-saving process change. Or, it could be an executive who shifted strategy to provide a competitive edge. Great stories stick with people.
As a customer strategist, if you experience these common items that frequently derail programs, be armed – have a good ROI story, show that people put customer insights to use, and have compelling stories that will showcase how the use of customer insights makes a difference in your company.