It’s all about them…
We ran a successful IT services company. After selling the company 3+ years ago, I have had the opportunity to step back and look at what the success patterns were, and just as important, what held us back. At the core of our success was an outcome we strived for, today this outcome has a name, it is called Customer Success. I was enlightened to the concept of Customer Success by the leading authority on the subject, Lincoln Murphy. I have had the privilege of meeting him twice, studied his book (Customer Success), read his blog (http://sixteenventures.com), and have compared these concepts to what works and what doesn’t in the IT Managed Services industry. At the highest level, you know when you are delivering Customer Success when your clients; stay longer, buy more, and advocate for your company. These are the outcomes everyone in recurring services industries strive for. If you are able to achieve these high-level outcomes, most other mundane things tend to take care of themselves; sales, revenue, margins, profits.
As I reflect back to the things that worked in our company, the most important thing we did was help the client achieve what Lincoln Murphy calls their Desired Outcome. We supported IT infrastructure, this means that we built, monitored, maintained, secured, and supported everything IT oriented. Looking back, I have tried to align our behaviors with the two core tenets of the client’s Desired Outcome.
The Desired outcome has two parts; the Required Outcome – what the client needs, and the Appropriate Experience – how the client wants to interact with our company.
Below is what I believe, when successful, we delivered to our clients…
- Deliver reliable & predictable technology outcomes
- Proactive management, maintenance & advice
- Real-time situational awareness
- Timely & capable support
- Constantly expanding, evolving capabilities
- Self-managing, anticipate decisions, issues, and events
- Good to do business with – courteous, polite, non-condescending
- Advocacy – understand client business and goals, trustworthy, thoughtful – act in their best interest, not ours
- Honesty, integrity, good to do business with
These outcomes are easy to write down, but extremely difficult to achieve. It takes tremendous desire, commitment, and leadership to build these outcomes and most important, to deliver them consistently over time.
Think about these concepts and how you are helping your clients achieve their Desired Outcome.