Gerry Brown
Gerry Brown (CX Research Director)

IDC held a webinar on March 30, 2021, for European tech and telco industry professionals on transforming CX into customer success and loyalty. This is clearly a super-hot topic — nearly 100 sales, marketing and CX managers attended, and there were nearly 20 questions in the Q&A. All of the 30+ attendees who filled in the post-event survey considered customer success a top business priority. So, why is customer success so important for tech and telco vendors?

Customer Success Complements CX Initiatives

CX has three main management challenges:

  • Accurately defining CX in the context of your own operations
  • Deciding where to get started (top-down/bottom-up/departmental/divisional, etc.)
  • Measuring your CX progress accurately

Customer success provides a solution to these challenges by defining and quantifying desired customer outcomes so that CX initiatives can become purpose driven and measurable, ensuring all stakeholders are committed and accountable.

Customer success does not replace CX — it enhances and complements CX, making CX more tangible and deliverable. If customer success and CX are working well in harmony, your customers will expand and renew their annual subscriptions; if they are not, the risk of customer churn looms. Good CX alone will not save vendors from customer churn — enterprise investments need to deliver ROI and tangible business results by combining CX with customer success.

The prime accountability for customer success is the customer success manager (CSM). This title should not be just a rebrand of the customer service manager title. The CSM needs to be at the centre of the customer-centric organisation, orchestrating and facilitating sales, service, marketing and product development to work in harmony to deliver customer value. The CSM is a pivotal role in a truly collaborative enterprise that delivers frictionless CX.

Loyalty Is a Deliberate Strategic Play

“Loyalty is for Labradors” is an old joke in marketing circles, especially in the digital world where a competitive alternative is just a click away. However, loyalty and lifetime customer value (LTCV) are critical to the modern sustainable and resilient enterprise.

Without these assets, business planning and resource allocation become uncertain. Loyalty and LTCV are strategic plays — and they do not happen by accident. For example, the incredible long-term success of the Tesco Clubcard resulted from an extremely well-planned and resourced strategic loyalty programme. CX alone is not enough to deliver loyalty and LTCV — they must be earned through dedicated programmes that direct customers towards shared value and mutually beneficial co-existence.

Loyalty and LTCV start to become real when customers move into the noncompete repeat mode of buy-experience-advocate. This is the “loyalty loop” that locks out the competition from encroaching on your customers. Amazon Prime is a great example. Loyalty and LTCV is when you have achieved true strategic competitive advantage, customer intimacy and a real customer-supplier partnership.

Combining CX, Customer Success and Loyalty Delivers Enterprisewide Value

  • From a marketing perspective, you gain strong word-of-mouth recommendations and advocacy — the strongest of all marketing assets. This translates into lower customer acquisition costs and better response rates from your marketing campaigns and communications.
  • For sales, salespeople will benefit from easier and faster deals, and the opportunity to expand your revenue footprint and account share, with high probability of account retention and annual subscription renewals.
  • Senior executives and the business gain a revenue growth engine, a strong and relevant brand image, and the confidence to invest in future growth assured of resilient revenues streams.

 

Future IDC research will focus on how tech and telco vendors can better understand how CX, customer success and loyalty are applied in a B2B setting, and how CX, customer success and loyalty can be best measured. Look out for more IDC research insights into customer success by checking into our CX web portal and/or register for our end-user digital customer success conferences in the Nordics (April 27) and Benelux (April 29).

 

If you want to learn more about CX or if have any questions, please contact Gerry Brown or head over to https://uk.idc.com and drop your details in the form on the top right.

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