Customer advocacy isn’t an event or a milestone: it is a natural progression that predates implementation.
Just weeks after joining the Determine team as their Senior Vice President of Customer Success, Kevin Turner was in attendance at the annual user group conference in Laguna Beach. Between meeting customers for the first time and hearing their feedback through presentations and informal exchanges, it was a critical and well timed opportunity to ensure that the Determine product roadmap is aligned with a broad range of definitions for customer success.
Each person that attended – whether a customer or a member of the Determine team – was fully engaged and has a vested interest in advancing the value of the relationship.
Companies that are reliant upon technology to grow their business need to have a voice in the roadmap for that technology. According to Kevin, making the development of functionality a collaborative process and investing in a customer success framework allows everyone to capitalize on what works well: today and going forward.
If a company is fully invested in their customers’ success, they can clearly articulate how that success is defined and measured. Constant contact with customers – starting when they are prospects – ensures that their needs remains central to all company efforts. What value are they trying to achieve? What are their business challenges? Why did they decide to contract with your company? As Kevin explains, wanting the answers to these questions and really listening builds a bridge between platform value and customer success.
But realizing success does not mean the work is done. Kevin emphasizes the need for customer advocacy, or a full partnership where customers understand that both parties need to be successful for the goals of each to be achieved. His vision for customer success is to have an ever-increasing number of clients that serve as advocates or ambassadors. This ultimate rejection of the old “zero sum game” is the very definition of a true and lasting partnership.
Thanks for listening in.
Determine OutLoud is our podcast series that minds your business in source-to-pay and contract management. If you’d like to be a guest on Determine OutLoud, would like to suggest someone or have an idea for a topic, we’d love to hear from you.