Business Strategy

How to Use Customer Insight to Drive Business Growth

How to Use Customer Insight to Drive Business Growth

In a landscape full of disruption, growing your business could take a backseat in hedging your risks. New competitors can sprout when you least expect it, and choosing a growth strategy that fits your business model can be risky. At the same time, there are several strategies you can follow to grow your business, even when disruption abounds.

But before you can grow, you need to keep a pulse on your customers. It’s the only real way to future-proof your business, writes Scott Miller, CEO of Vision Critical:

“In this landscape, the voice of the customer has never been more critical. That’s because, in a world of more data and more transparency, there’s also more uncertainty. Companies need the ‘authentic human insight’ of their customers to make better business decisions.”

When you merge those insights with proven growth strategies, you have a winning formula for a thriving business. To help you learn more about those strategies, we borrowed a few ideas from Tiffani Bova’s book, Growth IQ. Tiffani has worked with Gartner and Salesforce, and has some great tips to share. Here, we’ve handpicked some of the best of the 10 strategies in her book.

 

4 Proven Ways to Grow Your Business

Strategy 1: Improve the customer experience

 

“The true source of competitive differentiation in the twenty-first century is customer experience.”

— Tiffani Bova, Growth IQ

 

Customers often choose the companies they do business with based on their experiences, over product and price. According to Gartner, 67 percent of companies compete mostly or completely on customer experience, and 81 percent expect to do the same in two years.

“Companies that adopt the customer experience path need to start by answering the question, ‘Who is the customer?’” advises Tiffani.

How customer insight can help: Most customer experience initiatives fail due to a lack of understanding around the customer journey. If you want your customer experience to be a success, you have to listen to the voice of the customer, whether positive or negative. If they’re happy, you can keep doing more of what’s right. If they’re having problems, then you can quickly address them. Customer insights help keep your journey maps accurate so you can deliver great experiences every step of the way.

 

Strategy 2: Sell more to your existing customers

 

“You must know and understand your customers intimately — what they like as well as what they expect from you.”

— Tiffani Bova, Growth IQ

 

It costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing customer, notes Forrester. But if you want to grow by selling to existing customers, says Tiffani, you need to understand why customers decided to buy from you in the first place.

How customer insight can help: The best way to gather insights on what prompted customers to buy from you is to ask — and listen. Gather feedback around every step of the customer journey so you can better understand what prompted customers to buy, or what turned them off.

 

Strategy 3: Expand into new markets with existing products

 

“Market acceleration is the path of taking a brand’s existing product into new markets, rather than selling entirely new products into new markets.”

— Tiffani Bova, Growth IQ

 

If you want to forge ahead with this strategy, you’ll need to invest in marketing to drive education and awareness of your product. Research your market thoroughly and profile your potential customers so you know the best way to connect with them.

How customer insight can help: To make sure your marketing investments give you the ROI you’re looking for, you should get early feedback from your customers so you can ensure that your message resonates with them and that you’re not missing out on any opportunities.

 

Strategy 4: Retain more customers

 

“Companies focused on retention are nearly 50 percent more likely to consider projected long-term profitability growth when making decisions about customer strategy.”

— Tiffani Bova, Growth IQ

 

If you can use technology to find out why customers churn, says Tiffani, you can come up with ways to stop, and even reverse it. Your insight community is a good place to start.

How customer insight can help: Many times, marketers and customers have different ideas about what loyalty means. That’s why it’s important to listen to and engage customers in your insight community so you can better understand them and develop the long-term relationships that help keep customers loyal.

 

Ready, Set, Grow

There isn’t a single best way to grow your business, Tiffani reiterates in her book. The trick is to choose the combination of strategies that best fit your business model and goals. Combine this with a solid understanding of your customers, and watch your business grow faster than you ever imagined.

 



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