Navigating the Path to True Customer Centricity: A Guide for Global SaaS Leaders

March 12, 2024

In the world of SaaS, being proclaimed as “customer-centric” is almost a given. If you look at a company’s website, customer centricity may even be listed among their core values.

However, with customer-centric initiatives scattered across different departments, each operating with its own set of goals and metrics, a coherent, company-wide customer centricity seems more like an ideal than an actuality. This fragmented approach not only dilutes the impact of these initiatives but also leaves a gap between what companies profess and what they practice, leading to missed opportunities for sustainable growth and profitability.

The challenge of silos and the misalignment they cause.

In many global SaaS organizations, vital information about customer needs and experiences is locked within departmental silos. Marketing may have insights into customer preferences, while product development understands usage patterns, and customer support holds direct feedback on issues and satisfaction levels.

Customer Success typically focuses on customers at the account level rather than at the aggregate, and Customer Marketing and Advocacy (if it even exists as a function in the organization) rarely has a leader at the executive level with the power to implement systemic change. As a result, these disparate pieces of the customer puzzle often remain isolated, leading to a lack of visibility and alignment across functions, leading to a disjointed experience that can detract from customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Furthermore, the fast-paced nature of the SaaS industry means that internal teams are often stretched thin, focusing on immediate deliverables (and revenue!) rather than taking a step back to assess and integrate customer-centricity holistically. This is where the expertise of an external consultant becomes invaluable.

Why an external customer centricity audit is essential.

A comprehensive customer centricity audit conducted by an outside consultant can bridge the gap between aspiration and reality. Here’s why:

  • Objectivity
    External consultants bring an unbiased perspective, free from internal politics or preconceived notions, allowing them to accurately assess the current state of customer centricity.
  • Speed
    With dedicated focus and expertise, consultants can conduct audits more quickly than internal teams that are balancing other responsibilities.
  • Holistic Analysis
    Consultants are adept at synthesizing both qualitative and quantitative data from across the organization, ensuring a complete picture of customer centricity.
  • Expertise
    Specialists in customer centricity have a deep understanding of best practices, innovative strategies, and benchmarking against industry standards.
  • Actionable Recommendations
    Beyond identifying gaps, consultants provide tailored recommendations for programmatic and process improvements that align with company goals and customer expectations.

The elements of a customer centricity audit.

An effective customer centricity audit for SaaS companies encompasses several key areas:

  • Cross-Departmental Alignment
    Evaluating how customer information and insights are shared and acted upon across the organization.
  • Customer Journey Mapping
    Analyzing the customer’s experience from initial awareness through to post-purchase support.
  • Voice of the Customer (VoC) Programs
    Assessing the mechanisms for collecting and integrating customer feedback into decision-making processes.
  • Customer Success Metrics
    Reviewing the metrics used to measure customer satisfaction, retention, and advocacy.
  • Employee Engagement and Empowerment
    Understanding how employee attitudes and behaviors align with customer-centric values, and the extent that they may make customer-facing decisions independently.

Conducting a customer centricity audit with the help of an external consultant can provide the insights and guidance needed to align efforts, enhance the customer experience, and drive sustainable growth.

Want to learn more? Let’s talk!

Navigating the path to true customer centricity: A guide for global SaaS leaders

This is a guest blog by Lauren Turner, member of the Advocacy Mavens Coalition.

The Advocacy Mavens Coalition is an association of open for contracting customer-led professionals, each with extensive industry experience. We’re experts in building advocacy and community programs, designing experiences, running advisory boards, creating content, managing and migrating platforms, and more.

Our members are experienced advocacy marketing strategists, community and customer success managers, educators, designers, video producers, analysts, and technical consultants. Whatever your program goals, this coalition has you covered!

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