smiling woman
Change your company mindset from a sales focus to a customer focus and see the results PHOTO: Pietro & Silvia

Stop obsessing about sales and start obsessing about customer value along the specific stages of the customer journey.

That's when your organization will be fully committed to customer experience and creating lifetime value for your customers. 

Jeanne Bliss, founder and CEO of Customer Bliss, shared these tips on a CMSWire-Medallia webinar, “5 Tips to Build a Customer-Driven Growth Engine.”

Create Customer Connections

"Earn the right to grow by changing what you do for customers," Bliss said. "Be the uniter across all of your silos."

Too many organizations have "well-intended people doing their own work separately." Stop creating projects or sending valueless customer surveys that ask the same questions and produce volumes of data you're unsure how to even leverage.

This is about customer lifetime improvement, delivering desired experiences and establishing an emotional connection with customers where they want to repeat experiences and tell other people about it, Bliss said.

"It's not just about being reliable or being efficient," Bliss said. "It's how someone smiled when they took care of you when you checked in. Not only should customers get what they need but they need to be treated as a human and have that human connection."

Forget Sales and Think Customers

Know the value of lost customers. What is the value of the customer experience you deliver? What is the value lost from missed customer opportunities? 

Talk about the volume of people walking away from your business to give your leaders agita, Bliss said.

Get employees to care about the "why" in terms of customer experience and shift attitudes from "getting growth" to earning it by understanding how your company impacts people.

Establish a one-company customer asset metric. Not a sales metric.

Engage leaders to fearlessly share and use that number. Leaders need to use that number at the beginning of every town hall, Bliss said. 

Did we earn the right to grow?

Align Around Customer Experience

Build experiences around each specific part of your customer's journey. Create accountability by each stage of the customer journey.

"Use the power of the journey and the journey stages initially to start driving change," Bliss said.

Take a look at how the Smithsonian staff views the stages of their customer's journey: Consider going. Organize trip. Arrive at campus. Arrive at building. Experience a building. Leave a building. Exit campus. Back home.

"They rebuilt journey stages based on the customer’s life," Bliss said. This wasn't, she said, a journey of "prospect," or something like "potential sale."

"You need to name it based on a customer’s life," Bliss added. 

Build into those journeys what you will and won't do for customers with a company code of conduct.

Put Yourself in Customer's Mindset

Screenshot from medallia-cmswire-customer bliss webinar

Know what drives value and where improvements can be made to avoid value erosion.

Adobe, Bliss pointed out, has its leaders live in its customers' shoes. They take calls. They take actions they ask customers to make. 

"They have to be immersed in the lives of a customer," Bliss said. "Their leaders need to be personally engaged in caring about the 'why.'"