How to Drive Better Outcomes for Your Customers

July 23, 2020

With data-driven market research, holistic customer profiles and trend analysis at their fingertips, it can be tempting for customer-facing professionals to predict what customers want. But for a foolproof answer, they recommend just asking.

“This advice may seem simple, but most of the things that ensure success go back to doing the basics right,” Lisa Collings, an SVP of client development at adtech company Epsilon-Conversant, said. 

And, according to the following customer service professionals, perfecting “the basics” begins with finding the customer’s “why.”

Customer Success Director Lyndey Brock, who works at DialogTech, said answering this question helps her team determine how to build a unique course of action with each client.

“Why will the customer buy? Why will they grow with us? Why might they churn?” Brock said. “Finding out these “whys” helps us determine how to drive value for our customers and their consumers.”

Once the customer success team understands why a client is partnering with their company, frequent communication and demonstrated value delivery are critical.

“Communication and collaboration are also cornerstones, but if we are not centering our relationship on the value we are supposed to be delivering, the other pillars would be a bit off-balance,”  Kristen Lyons, VP of client development at Syndigo, said.

 

Lisa Collings
SVP, Client Development

“You would be surprised how many companies just don’t execute the basics well,” Epsilon-Conversant SVP of Client Development Lisa Collings said.

For Collings, the “basics” include clear KPIs, assumptions, targets and strategies that will drive the program and be part of the evaluation process. If your customer-facing team isn’t nailing those outcomes, the client relationship will likely flounder, she said.

 

What strategies do you employ early on in a customer relationship to ensure they'll see positive results from using your products or services? 

This advice may seem simple, but most of the things that ensure success go back to doing the basics right. You always document outcomes and goals. Early in a client relationship, as you develop strategies, it is easy to miscommunicate or use different language to discuss outcomes.  

We always make sure we are working toward an agreed-upon brief that outlines clear KPIs, assumptions, targets and strategies that will drive the program and be part of the evaluation process. Additionally, we always develop a 90-day, 120-day, six-month and one-year roadmap that lays out how the relationship will progress and what we believe is the best path to grow the partnership. These are standard best practices, but you would be surprised how many companies just don’t execute the basics well.

You always document outcomes and goals.”

 

How do you course-correct when a customer isn’t seeing the types of results they expected? 

If you have a clear brief with stated outcomes and a sense of how and when you’ll achieve those outcomes, it becomes very easy to course-correct early. You have already laid out your assumptions and expectations with a timeline. It’s all about having a plan, monitoring your plan and communicating with your clients early and often so they know what might be normal “bumps” versus challenges that need course-correction. This approach will enable you to make any agreed-to changes that are warranted. Planning is essential. 

 

How do you leverage data to better predict whether or not a customer is on track to see the types of results you aim to deliver? 

Data is part of our DNA. It is almost impossible to not leverage data to predict outcomes and then develop processes that drive those outcomes. For example, when we forecast expected outcomes for a client, it is based on over 10 years of data and insights for various verticals, like clients in similar programs. All that historical data is used to build a pro forma with expected results. When it’s time to message a client’s customers, machine learning is used in real time to leverage harvested data across billions of ad calls to determine when, where and what ads to serve to each consumers in an effort to drive the best outcome for every client campaign.

 

Kristen Lyons
VP Client Development

Clients’ needs change. To stay on top of their evolving goals at Syndigo, VP of Client Development Kristen Lyons said it’s important for customer-facing team mates to schedule frequent check-ins to make sure clients’ needs are still being met. 

 

What strategies do you employ early on in a customer relationship to ensure they'll see positive results from using your products or services? 

A critical piece for my team is always ensuring that we have a true understanding of why clients are partnered with us, and what they are trying to achieve. We ask if those goals change over time. We really focus on delivering value as a partner, and it is part of our culture to constantly be checking in on our alignment to what clients need.  

Communication and collaboration are also cornerstones, but if we are not centering our relationship on the value we are supposed to be delivering, the other pillars would be a bit off-balance.

How can we learn from this experience and elevate our execution for clients?”

 

How do you course-correct when a customer isn’t seeing the types of results they expected? 

Again, we constantly try to check on the expected value of our partnership as our compass in all engagement, but in the event that we have not hit the nail on the head, we use the strategic planning tactic, SWOT analysis, to reflect on our processes and our engagement model. How can we quickly drive to the outcome the client needs and expects, as well as systemically fix any engagement gaps that we noticed? How can we learn from this experience and elevate our execution for clients?

 

How do you leverage data to better predict whether or not a customer is on track to see the types of results you aim to deliver? 

In building something new at Syndigo, we’ve added a level of transparency in our product reporting that clients have never had: reports that show when data is delivered and processed to retailers; content health scores to audit what work has been done and continuously improve; and session and impression data from content engagement. 

All of this information combined helps our clients understand what works in engaging consumers. These are all tools that our account teams can use to make sure that our clients get the visibility and continued optimization in the e-commerce content they deserve. It’s been an incredibly timely tool since e-commerce has become so significant to our clients and our brand partners are getting spot-checked by their CEOs daily.

 

Lyndey Brock
Customer Success Director

Tying revenue to how the customer uses DialogTech’s technology helps Customer Success Director Lyndey Brock clearly illustrate how the company, which uses AI to create marketing insights from inbound phone calls, drives value for clients’ businesses. This strategy also helps illustrate how DialogTech can continue to grow the relationship. 

 

What strategies do you employ early on in a customer relationship to ensure they'll see positive results from using your products or services?

From our very first interaction with a prospective customer, our team is pushing ourselves to get to the “why.” Why will the customer buy? Why will they grow with us? Why might they churn? Finding out these “whys” helps us determine how to drive value for our customers and their consumers. 

We build relationships at every level, so we’re engaging with our day-to-day team members as well as the executive and technical team members. We engage early and often in executive communication between our leaders and our customers’ team leaders, which fosters a stronger bond between our two teams. We also make sure that our technical teams have the ability to build a relationship and rapport with our clients, which puts our customers at ease with the implementation and QA process.

Now more than ever, engaging with customers’ media agencies, advertising platforms and CRM and analytics systems is key to building a solid foundation that delivers the maximum value. 

Open and honest communication is essential to customer success.”

 

How do you course-correct when a customer isn’t seeing the types of results they expected? 

Open and honest communication is essential to customer success. If something isn’t working, I’m quick to set a one-on-one meeting with customer stakeholders to delve into the root of the issue.

Following the stakeholder meeting, we’ll enact an action plan that details the steps we’ll take toward course-correction. For example, this action plan can include developing a new product feature that fits their needs or inviting them to be in a beta program for early access. We’ll also have the client meet directly with our product and data science teams to give them a “peek behind the curtain” into our platform.

If we’ve missed expectations during the sales and onboarding process, the situation is only exacerbated if we don’t take responsibility. We focus on solution-oriented resolutions because we’re dedicated to building sincere and transparent relationships with customers. 

 

How do you leverage data to better predict whether or not a customer is on track to see the types of results you aim to deliver? 

It’s important to compare the individual customer’s experience to the customer average for their industry. We use a benchmark system to understand where the customer is in their product utilization and how we are delivering value. 

For example, we use revenue per lead as a benchmark for one of our customers, a leading senior living provider. With this benchmark data, we can report on the revenue the customer saved by using DialogTech’s dynamic call routing. When we tie revenue to how the customer uses our technology, we can clearly illustrate how we drive value for their business and how we can continue to grow the relationship.  

 

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