In the northern hemisphere, early September is a natural time to take stock and to set priorities. As our kids go back to school, we adults find ourselves in the same mindset: excited about learning new things, accomplishing something important, and having fun “playing” with our colleagues and customers. So, it’s a natural time to set some goals and priorities. Why not start by taking stock of how to improve your customers’ end-to-end experience of using your products and services, in doing business with you, and in doing their jobs.
I was reminded of how important this is as I listened to a long-time client, the CEO of a high tech company, recount how valuable he found an off-site strategy meeting to be. He used the Blue Ocean Strategy method to lead his team through a strategic planning session. “The most valuable part for us,” he reported, “was thinking about what’s going on in our customers’ lives before they learn about our products and after they’ve been using them for a while. When we really drilled into those customers’ (users, decision-makers, influencers, maintainers) contexts, we realized how much more we could be doing to make their lives easier.” As a result, his team created a much more targeted partner “shelf space” strategy, changed their account reps’ MBOs to focus more on after sales relationship building, and refocused their social media focus and their documentation to target customers’ “moments of truth.”