When workplace dynamics keep you at each other’s throats, it is difficult to have each other’s backs.
It is difficult to have your customers’ backs when the teams responsible for customer retention focus on getting in each other’s way. Or worse yet, when the people who need to collaborate to serve customers are not very happy about working together.
- You avoid working with certain people because they act like braniacs. They basically intimidate you.
- Alternatively you avoid working with other people because they refuse to consider your perspective. Ever. Even when you know you are (always) right.
- Finally, you run the other way when you have to attend a meeting full of folks who are too busy telling jokes. These mental lightweights do everything but deliver the cold, logical facts.
Time out here! Remember. You are hired to work in teams to acquire, retain and sustain your customers.
Legacy mindset remains the largest elephant in the rooms of businesses.
Now consider that today, organizations compete in the industrial Internet of Things business ecosystem.
Let’s face it. The relentless pace of technology advances in industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environments leaves no room for complacency, legacy mindset or Us versus Them elephants in the workplace.
Ironically, the IIoT may be just what the doctor ordered. The IIoT is redefining how we gather information, design and manufacturing things, and make decisions.
The IIoT is redefining how we work with each other. How we serve and retain our customers.
Executing a customer retention strategy has never been a solo act. The IIoT customer retention ecosystem favors organizations and individuals who are data-conversant and insight-driven.
The right customer retention strategy, IIoT style, represents the intersection of the right people, software, data and machines.
Retaining customers in the globally competitive IIoT business ecosystem requires a recalibration of skills, values and expertise. To execute that type of customer retention strategy, you need to get-in-your-organization’s-face about legacy mindset.
- Overcoming legacy mindset to execute customer retention strategy means having the courage to dissolve departmental data kingdoms, free the data and, what’s more, share the data.
- Implementing a rock-solid customer retention strategy constructively addresses the professional differences which marginalize, rather than include, talented resources in your organization.
- Enlightened workforce development jettisons yesterday’s hiring practices focused on functional expertise, creating a more holistic human capital strategy leveraging the ability to collaborate.
IIoT deployment drives cross functional collaboration, not legacy mindset.
2015 Forrester research reported “50% of global enterprises feel pressured to move forward with IoT adoption so they can utilize data more effectively to deliver enhanced customer experiences. However, 75% of businesses surveyed feel they do not have the leadership support required to navigate the complexity and risk associated with IoT deployments.”
This situation means that many companies are just plain stuck, spinning their wheels in indecision about how to become more competitive and collaborative. So they perpetuate status quo selling conversations. They email out periodic customer experience surveys which end up telling only half of the story. Customer retention conversations remain limited to upsell, cross sell, price, increasing efficiency and decreasing the cost of ownership. Sales and operations teams remain uncomfortable and awkward when leveraging data to collaborate with each other.
That scenario is ground zero for legacy mindset.
Legacy mindset impedes synergies which ultimately impact customer retention.
Take a look at your current organizational structure and culture. How many teams take action and make decisions based on insights derived from analytics applied to thoughtfully-created data sets?
Those teams and that data are your organization’s lifeblood in the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem.
The crazy thing about that last sentence is that the people who have the best grasp on how to access and analyze these data are the engineering and technical folks. “Them.” It is difficult to understand what they are saying, isn’t it?
The provocative thing about that scenario is that the people who are best able to create strategic partnerships to drive an organization’s pipeline are the customer-facing sales, marketing and business folks. “Us.” These people sling around biz speak lingo like confetti at a cocktail party. Who knows what it means?
Until a few of “Us” sit down and roll up our sleeves with a bunch of “Them,” your customer retention strategy may remain spinning its wheels in Today when it really needs to speed towards the IIoT Tomorrow. ~ Babette Ten Haken
When your organization collaborates across traditional corporate silos and legacy mindset, innovation happens. The relentless pace of the IIoT ecosystem waits for no one to play catch up.
My advice? You are long overdue to jettison the Elephant in the Room. Capitalize on organizational synergies existing in your corporate DNA today. Then build on a foundation of collaboration to create a rock-solid customer retention strategy. Learn more here.
Babette Ten Haken is a management consultant, strategist, speaker and coach focused on customer success for customer retention in the industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring, developing and implementing teams of collaborative technical, engineering, sales and business professionals. She serves manufacturing- and engineering- intensive companies, catalyzing teams to create enduring business outcomes.
Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.