Disruptors in the mid-market could become the next overnight success stories
5 min read
17 February 2017
Every week I find myself reading about overnight success stories – businesses that seemingly come out of nowhere and succeeded beyond the founders’ wildest dreams. Such companies include Deliveroo, Airbnb and Snapchat, and are radically disrupting industries, turning from startup to mid-size enterprise in the process.
Take one of the biggest overnight success stories, Deliveroo ̶ the company that’s created a digital platform to order our Friday night takeaway. With a few clicks on an app, you’re tucking into great food, delivered right to your door. In just three years, Deliveroo has grown its business, now worth nearly £130m and offering services in more than 65 cities. It’s also grown an incredible 25 per cent month-on-month since opening in 2013.
I believe the phenomenal success of Deliveroo is down to one reason: the ability to continue scaling and growing, whilst never compromising on customer preferences and experience.
Consider this: according to Salesforce’s latest Connected Customer report, 72 per cent of consumers and 89 per cent of business buyers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations. In addition, 75 per cent of both expect the companies they engage with to provide a consistent experience across all channels ̶ whether via an app, on the phone or in-store.
The bottom line is that everyone wants a rich, personalised, seamless experience. With that in mind, here are three ways companies can maintain a customer-centric experience during a period of rapid growth to become one of those overnight success stories.
1) Get a single customer view
With customers using endless combinations of channels to interact with a brand, achieving a single customer view has become the ‘Holy Grail’ for companies. The biggest step in creating that 360-degree view of every customer is to make sure all customer information, from every channel, is captured, combined and shared across departments quickly and efficiently.
Quintessentially is a great example of how to do it right. This luxury lifestyle management service for high net worth individuals promises to deliver a responsive service to its customers all year round. Keep in mind, the team can only fulfill that promise by centralising customer requests. Therefore, regardless of what device or channel a customer chooses to use at any given moment, Quintessentially engages immediately, in a highly personalised, one-to-one way.
To be able to do this properly, businesses must adapt processes and embrace cloud-based systems, which make achieving that single customer view possible.
2) Use your data to stay a step ahead
Today’s customers expect brandsto know them better than they know themselves. In fact, our Connected Customer report found 45 per cent of consumers and 57 per cent of business buyers say that by 2020 they will switch brands if a company doesn’t actively anticipate their needs. Companies are increasingly using predictive analytic tools to better understand emerging customer needs and wants.
Predictive intelligence and artificial intelligence (AI) technology is able to quickly analyse huge amounts of data across a company’s channels; it also helps businesses deliver simple, actionable insights to employees. For example, sales people can easily identify the most promising leads and choose the optimal channels for engagement; they can also use that data to assist the marketing team in choosing the best time to extend an offer to a customer.
To compete in the new global macroeconomic climate, companies of every size need to stay a step ahead, and AI and predictive intelligence will be absolutely critical in achieving this goal for the mid-sized enterprise. It’s a definite if you want to log into the business overnight success stories hall of fame
3) Create a positive, “customer first” culture
For companies looking to keep up with rising customer expectations, putting the customer at the heart of your business is incredibly important. However, it’s not just about implementing technology – it’s also about embedding customer success into your culture as well. Some of the leading companies I work with make certain this responsibility is shared by all staff, no matter what their role.
Finally, as your business continues to scale, and strives for overnight success stories fame, it’s important to ensure that your 10,000th customer feels just as valued and important as your first. By putting customer centricity at the heart of your culture, and empowering your people with the right technologies, the sky’s the limit in terms of growth.
Chris Ciauri is executive vice president of Salesforce EMEA