Consider the growing number of complex selling, technical and engineering environments, like those found within Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystems. These complex scenarios are your clients’ new norm.
As a result, customer acquisition and retention processes become equally complex.
When teams apply linear thinking to multifactorial, complex customer retention issues, solutions fall short of identifying not only probabilities but possibilities, as well.
Right now, there’s a lot of business buzz going on about the merits of design thinking (solutions-focused) versus linear thinking (problem-focused). However, design thinking is not the latest business and sales flavor of the month. Why?
Not only are design thinker brains cross-trained. Also, the brain craves new insights, data and analytics to provide better and better customer experience when serving clients.
If you are a STEM-trained professional (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) like I am, design thinking represents how you were trained to think. In fact, like me, you find linear business processes limit the creativity and innovation required to produce enduring yet nimble client outcomes.
However, not all professionals develop a cross-functional capacity for solving complex customer retention issues.
Rather, many professions – like the sales profession – still heavily depend on linear-based methodologies. These processes reinforce longitudinal, step-wise programs targeting production of specific outcomes on a quarterly basis. Then managers hit the Reset button and these processes begin, anew.
First, consider that assembly-line business processes featuring linear thinking mirror the rise of post-industrial mindset. As a result, this mindset and training well-served business and sales teams in post-industrial environments.
However, automated and now intelligent business and manufacturing environments no longer resemble a post-industrial assembly line. As a result, potential and current client teams no longer think, collaborate or create within linear work environments and business models.
Where does your own team stand, along this non-linear and collaborative continuum?
Consequently, linear approaches to customer acquisition become major causal factors creating complex customer retention issues.
Linear business processes do not integrate well with non-linear design thinking mindset. Linear mindset focuses on problems while design thinking continuously focuses on practical as well as innovative solutions.
When teams default to status quo processes of drilling down to determine the root cause of a problem, they tend to become destructive rather than constrictive. They eliminate all the good stuff in their zealous search for the “one factor” that apparently causes everything. Except that environments change over time. As a result, the one causal culprit today may not represent the causal culprit tomorrow. This process becomes a recipe for reinforcing status quo solutions when problem-solving. Sound familiar?
However, when teams deploy design thinking, they search for multiple solutions to a problem. Rather than deconstructing, they innovate or construct. Potential solutions are stored rather than jettisoned, because as client context changes those innovative solutions may come in very handy, indeed.
Target creating innovative client outcomes when dealing with multifactorial, complex customer retention issues.
- First, realize that complex, non-linear and dynamic business environments are the new norm, courtesy of big data and predictive analytics.
- Then, consider that at different points during a customer’s lifecycle, different variables impact execution of customer retention strategy. As a result, customer retention environments are never static.
- As a result, when addressing complex customer retention issues, opportunity creation and innovation are the goals.
Consequently, in complex business and manufacturing environments, continuous reduction or elimination of complex customer retention issues becomes a continuous, cross-functional and innovative process. Your timeline extends way beyond your organization’s fiscal quarter.
How do you think, linearly or non-linearly? Are you ready to cross-train your team’s brain? Let’s get to work!
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
I am an extroverted STEM professional and left-brain thinker specializing in professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and client retention. I catalyze professionals to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant and strategically valuable to your organizations. Better serve each other first so you better serve your clients together. One millimeter at a time. My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs leverage Voice of the Customer design methodology and storytelling to move individuals, teams, departments and organizations one millimeter beyond yesterday’s tools and today’s professional comfort zones My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact me here.
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