Design Your Enterprise Software Initiative To Listen: 5 Keys To Success To Guide Your Plan

Published on:
Mon Mar 23 2020

Understanding Customer Needs: A Guide to Successful Enterprise Software Initiatives

When the Spice Girls released their song Wannabe in 1996, they weren’t talking about software companies use to gather customer feedback. But the lyrics, “Tell me what you want. What you really, really want,” are at the heart of creating and growing profitable relationships with your customers and your employees.

Why is it important?

Launching an enterprise software initiative helps you grow your business in ways your competition can't. Every interaction you have with a customer or employee provides you with information to help you build a learning relationship with them. They tell you something, you change your behavior to show that you are listening. They feel like you heard them, and they tell you something else. You respond again. Before you know it, you know more about your customer than your competition does. Keep it going and you have a loyal customer who will pay more for your products or services and will be far more forgiving if you make a mistake.

The team from DropThought offers this roadmap for success

Here are five questions you need to ask when implementing an enterprise software initiative:

Who are your most valuable customers?

When you implement an enterprise software initiative to enable customer feedback, you need to start small and scale intelligently. We recommend starting with your most valuable current customers. The Pareto Principle states that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers. Do you know which customers spend the most money with you each year? Those are the customers that have the most valuable insight for you. Once you have a process to gain insight from your most valuable customers, move on to the ones that have the most potential to grow their spending with you.

What do they need from you?

The two key drivers of profitability are revenue and cost. Question your customers on the growth side of the equation. What products or services do your customers love? Why do they love them? What else do they wish you sold? Where else are they getting similar products and services from? Why do they buy them from your competitors? Look for patterns and outliers. We know that both sets of answers could provide a roadmap for product development and customer service improvements.

What do your employees know?

Whether you operate a large omnichannel contact center or have a simple "contact us" form on your website, your employees sit at the intersection of customer needs and your business capabilities. Your enterprise software initiative should be positioned at this nexus of insight. You want to learn from your employees what they are hearing from customers, as well as what they think you could be doing more efficiently and effectively. Innovation happens on the front lines.


What's in it for your customers and employees?

Your customers and your employees are busy. You need their input to grow your business. Give them incentives to help you improve. For customers, there are obvious incentives of discounts and exclusive products. For employees, typical incentives include gift cards, vacation days, raffle prizes. But for both audiences, push beyond the basics. How about co-creation of new products, naming rights, gamification? We know that feedback programs are a powerful driver of engagement that benefits both you and your audience.

What's the biggest mistake you can make?

Inaction. If you implement an enterprise software initiative to gain customer and employee feedback, make sure you use the insight you collect. If you ask for input and then do nothing with it, you are leaving money on the table. Put a team together to review the results and then put an action plan in place to execute. We recommend companies prioritize efforts based on resources required and financial impact.

Listen closely to your customers and the Spice Girls. When you know what your customers really, really want, you have what you need to make your business sing.