Who are these teams and individuals? They are your organization’s customer retention building blocks.
First of all, we do business in the age of digital connectivity. Also, machines and humans connect with and to each other, courtesy of software and applications interfaces. Let’s not leave humanity out of the business equation. Consider that we have opportunities to connect to and engage in people-to-people interactions and thrive from these innovative conversations. Finally, we learn more that way.
How does your current customer retention Playbook leverage a network of connected internal teams to better serve clients and each other?
While your organization pays a lot of attention to selecting interoperable software platforms and systems to operate production-related equipment, how does that strategy play out on the people side of the corporate equation? Think about the value created when human capital strategy focuses on creating and leveraging networks of interoperable teams to better serve customers.
Us versus Them mindset still disconnects internal teams in the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem.
Sad but true. Us versus Them workplace mindset not only perpetuates bias and baggage but also prevents professionals from engaging and innovating with each other. Consider how often professional terminology is used to erect barriers to communication, collaboration and innovation, especially when selling to or working with technical decision makers.
As a result, people on one side of the business table still do not understand what the folks on the other side of the table are saying to them. No one is truly connected to anyone else in your organization.
Now enter the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. The tsunami of IT programming languages and protocols to extract data from sensor-enabled devices creates more IT acronyms than ants at a picnic.
Guess what happens? This scenario creates even more barriers to understanding and communication if your corporate culture encourages dis-connection rather than connection.
As a result, customer-facing line of business units remain uncompetitive. Why? Because they still will not comprehend the business value of Big Data and analytics activities occurring on the “other” side of the organizational table.
Kudos to you if you already identified or created connected internal teams to walk the industrial IoT talk across the enterprise. Congratulations as these folks communicate with professionals who may not be trained to think like they do.
If not, the relentless pace of technical advances in the IIoT waits for no one play catch up. You can neither sit this one out nor remain complacent if you want to remain competitive. Hey, I could bake you fresh cookies and give you a hug. However, there is no way to pretty up that message in reality.
The IIoT value equation drives demand for networks of connected internal teams to retain customers.
IMHO, the biggest challenge within the industrial IoT ecosystem will be on how business models and organizational structures respond to the need for data and analytics for decision making.
Is your company talking Big Data and predictive analytics talk in name only? Are you walking only the talk rather than walking the walk, because traditional departmental fiefdoms and legacy corporate business models create obstacles for success?
While the C-Suite looks at broad, sweeping organizational change from a 30,000 foot level, your own strategy can leverage connected internal teams from a boots-on-the-ground vantage point.
Connected teams can learn to work, communicate and innovate together to create enduring and valuable business outcomes on behalf of your customers. One beta team at a time. Their small successes can be leveraged as the template for creating similar connected teams throughout your organization.
First of all, start with a willingness to admit what you know and what you don’t know. Second, determine the folks within your organization who are best able to point you towards resources to fill in your knowledge gaps. Finally, focus on continuously working across departments, legacy Us versus Them mindset, corporate silos and data kingdoms.
Customer Retention still remains your focus.
The onslaught of industrial IoT data and analytics has made customer retention even more complex that it was before. However, people still do business with people, not machines or data.
If your organization did not do a very good job understanding, acquiring and retaining customers in the past, then IIoT dynamics just further compromised your people, processes, practices and machinery.
Consider whether your company remains steeped in “the way we always have done things.” When you incorporate layers of big data and analytics into the equation, you have taken your original root cause and given it an even bigger context.
To Do: Answer these three questions.
- Where does Us versus Them mindset reside in your company?
- Does your organization currently create and deploy connected internal teams to serve your customers?
- How might you incorporate a nugget of what you just read to pivot your customer retention strategy moving forward into the relentless pace of the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem?
Take the next steps.
Book a brief consultation with Babette at email@example.com. What are you waiting for?
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, strategist, speaker and coach focused on customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical teams. She serves manufacturing, IT and engineering intensive companies. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.
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