Peruse the business press these days and one topic jumps out: every technology company is talking about customer success. As a client’s strategic partner, it’s your job to provide more than a product; you must help a client achieve measurable business outcomes. In the case of ecommerce development, it’s not enough for a website to take orders, it must optimize the customer experience, put the brand into a good light, and create the kind of loyalty that drives sustained growth.
Customer success is not a new focus for Something Digital — it has been our primary focus since day one. We’ve built our entire business around customer success. It’s why every customer has a dedicated strategic engagement manager (SEM) who is tasked with understanding their goals and coordinates with the other teams at SD.
How serious do we take this? Stop any SD strategic engagement manager in the hallway or break room and ask him or her for the most up-to-the-minute status of a client’s performance and expect an accurate answer.
Our commitment to our customer’s growth is demonstrated by:
- Regular meetings between the strategic engagement manager and the client
- Monthly check ins to ensure the tactics and strategies we recommend are working as intended and are measured accurately
- Quarterly business reviews to assess how well the overall strategy is driving real business outcomes and where optimization is necessary
- Regularly scheduled user experience audits to uncover any bumps visitors may encounter
How do we deliver the right strategic advice to drive business goals?
First and foremost, we need a solid understanding of your specific goals. A direct-to-consumer customer may tell us their goal is to re-engage existing customers, or to revamp its brand in order to attract and convert more new customers. A B2B customer may have a goal of migrating its existing customer base away from its legacy ordering system and onto a web-based ordering system that we would build for them.
Our job is to break down these high-level goals to individual tactics and strategies – all of which must be associated with specific metrics that can be tracked. If we can’t track them we can’t optimize them.
For instance, in the case of the B2B customer, we will want to track the number of customer logins, as logging into the website is a true indication that the visitor is moving away from the legacy system and onto the web-based one.
For the DTC brand, time on site is one of the metrics we’d want to track as it is a sign visitors are engaged with the site content. (For the B2B customer, time on site isn’t as important as those customers typically have contracts in place, and website users want to jump on to the site, place their orders quickly, and get on with their day).
Driving growth is a matter of looking at a high level goal (attracting more customers to a DTC brand), breaking it down to all of its components (advertising tactics, optimize website experience, content, promotions), and measuring all the steps that drive those outcomes (new customer visits, time on page, conversions, and so on).
When is Something Digital most successful in helping customers?
We can best help our clients drive growth if we have a solid understanding of your goals. The more transparent you are about what you want to achieve, the more strategic the advice we can provide you. Transparency is absolutely critical.
Some clients, for many reasons, can’t articulate goals beyond a top level (i.e. we want to grow revenue, or we want more customers). It’s perfectly okay if that’s the case because we absolutely see it as our job to help create the right path for your company. For instance, would you rather have ten customers with an LTV of $1,000? Or 100 customers with an LTV of $100? Although this is a highly simplistic example, the answer will drive our entire engagement.
Additionally, the more specific the goal, the more we can succeed in helping you achieve it. Let’s say a client wants to reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate on the shipping page of the checkout process. In this case, we’ll look at why customers are turned away from purchasing once they reach the shipping stage, and can recommend strategies to test to reduce those abandonments, whether that’s free shipping at specific order thresholds, or reduced shipping as part of a loyalty program.
At the same time, we need a thorough understanding of your business. To that end we have developed an assessment tool known as BULLSEYE, a quick and easy assessment we designed to help our clients select the right partners and services to grow your ecommerce business to the next level. Recently, we introduced BULLSEYE for DTC brands.
Bullseye is a byproduct of 20 years of professional services. For decades we’ve asked customers specific questions about their goals, KPIs, technical skills, staff availability, existing infrastructure and a dozen other factors that will drive success. The more visibility we have into all of the moving parts that drive your business, the more strategic and effective we can be to you.
Never stop improving
Finally, we consider every aspect of our business as a work in progress; we constantly look for ways to improve the way we deliver services to our customers. We hire the best and the brightest employees, and then we mentor them to ensure their success. We’ve had the opportunity to work with a wide range of customers in a wide range of verticals and because of this we know quite a bit about ecommerce. But we don’t stop there, we actively interview cutting-edge brands on the trends they see and their tactics for meeting them, which we share in our Merchant to Merchant podcast. We continuously evolve our delivery organization in order to drive customer success, as we did late last year.
At the end of the day, delivering strategic advice for growth isn’t a static, templatable activity. It requires constant testing, measuring, optimizing and more testing. It’s taking a high level goal and breaking it down into all of its components and building a plan from there.
If you’re looking for strategic help in growing you ecommerce business reach out to us.
Written by: Caitlin Mekita, VP of Strategic Engagement