Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lean Processes, Tip #01

Design Around Customer Interactions
Your value chain processes should be designed with the end in mind: attract and delight your customers as fast and as friction-free as possible. They will be more than willing to then pay for whatever they perceive as valuable in your offer.

Think about a high-touch sales process:
1/ establish initial contact (meeting, business cards)
2/ execute sales pitch
3/ follow-up for decision to enter into business together
4/ negotiate contract T's&C's
5/ acquire customer master data to set them up in transactional systems
6/ sign contracts
7/ get order
8/ deliver
9/ wait for the payment term
10/ cash in
11/ if not cashed in, follow-up on overdues through a dunning process

At the opposing end, you have the no-touch sales process (the so-called freemium model), where you first give some of your product's features away for free and then try to upsell your initially acquired customers to your paid product.

Between these two extremes, you can imagine a plethora of accelerated sales processes, by asking some of the following questions:
- can you execute your sales pitch proactively? Create marketing, webinars, YouTube presentations, grow an audience.
- can you make your business case extremely clear in how you deliver value? Your product landing page should be like a Mafia offer: so good they can't refuse!
- can you make your standard T's&C's extremely friendly to your customer? This way you will remove upfront a massive class of typical customer objections.
- can you skip some customer master data on the first sale? Can you collect the non-critical data after the sales closure - I bet you can.
- can you automate your collection? Remember, your objective is to part your customers from their money as fast as possible for you and as fun as possible for them.

Take a look at already existing examples of excellent frictionless customer interaction examples: Amazon Web Shop (and 1-click payment), Mobile Ecosystems (Google Play or Apple App Store). These examples have almost completely turned the classical sales process on its head.

I'm eager to learn from you some other fascinating examples of brilliant processes that simply look at every aspect of enhancing customer interaction.