Most executives are confident that they have a handle on their company’s greatest need. If asked to boil it down to a few words, you’d probably hear a combination of the following:
- More revenue, more customers, more traffic
- or less competition, less regulation, less cost
- or better staff, a better economy, better products
But the actual greatest need is often overlooked and, because of that, a lot of wasted energy and money are spent in all the wrong places.
Some companies think the simple answer is to acquire more customers. Who wouldn’t want that, right? So they run robust lead generation campaigns but they ignore the poor open rates, click through rates, and retention rates they have with their current customers.
Some companies think the solution is to raise awareness of their brand so they focus on aggressive advertising plans but they ignore the tainted reputation their brand currently has in the marketplace.
Some companies think the solution is better staff so they actively recruit but they don’t invest in their current star employees who leave to pursue growth elsewhere.
It’s easy to focus on what seems obvious while ignoring the actual greatest need holding a company back from exponential growth. Why does this happen so often? There are at least 2 reasons. First, the actual greatest need appears insignificant compared to obvious big-picture needs like revenue growth and customer acquisition.
Reason #1: The actual greatest need appears insignificant
The company needs revenue NOW. How can you say that improving customer experiences takes priority over customer acquisition?
Sure, increasing customer satisfaction rates won’t necessarily create an immediate spike in revenue but, for many companies, it is their greatest need and until it is addressed, they won’t get nearly the ROI from their lead gen strategies that they could get if they improved customer experiences first.
Sure, improving the “gut” reaction your target audience has for your brand won’t necessarily create an immediate spike in revenue, but until the influencers in your space see your brand in a positive light, any growth will be far less than it would have been had you improved your reputation first.
Sure, increasing employee engagement isn’t going to immediately create an enormous spike in revenue but, for many companies, it is their greatest need. They are wasting time and money recruiting, hiring, and training new staff for revolving door positions but the cost is greater than just time and money; they’re losing the relationships, knowledge, and experience those people take with them when they leave.
Reason #2: You still get results even when focusing on the wrong things
Secondly, companies all over the world continue to ignore their greatest need while focusing on what seems obvious because it works – they’re seeing results.
A company can grow from robust lead generation strategies that expand their email list but not nearly to the degree they would have grown had they improved their customer engagement first.
A company with a toxic work environment can still grow (it happens every day) but not nearly to the degree they would if they had an engaged, driven, and committed workforce (see my article on the power of free, fearless, and focused employees).
A company’s brand can grow more popular from aggressive advertising alone but the current unhappy user base will always handicap that growth, keeping it from being what it could be.
You can see results from just about any well-executed strategy but what you don’t see is the lost opportunity – the gap between your growth and what your growth could have been had you focused on the customer experience first.
A hypothetical case-in-point:
Identifying the greatest need and addressing it first brings exponential growth far beyond anyone’s expectations. Here’s a hypothetical example to flesh this out:
Company X runs a robust lead generation campaign and was ecstatic to achieve 100,000 new email subscribers in the first month. That kind of success might get someone promoted! It will certainly reassure the team that they are on the right track.
However, Company X’s Average Customer Value (ACV) is $1. Consider what their growth could have been had they first focused on optimizing their Customer Journey so that the ACV went from $1 to $10. The results on the new 100k subscribers would have brought $1MM in revenue instead of just $100K.
Until Company X improves their customers’ experiences, they will always bring in 90% less results than they could have seen. But few see that hypothetical gap and they settle – celebrate even – what little returns they are getting.
CJM reveals the greatest needs and opportunities:
Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) is an extraordinarily successful framework that always produces off-the-charts results. One of the most profitable benefits of the CJM process is that it identifies those gaps – gaping holes even – where the greatest needs and best opportunities for growth lie.
I’ve had the privilege of leading Journey Mapping strategies in many different industries and it always exposes opportunities that have long been ignored. It seems like common sense and you’ll wonder why you didn’t address those things years ago. But until you implement Journey Mapping, those biggest opportunities might elude you.
Everything works better when the Customer Journey is prioritized, analyzed, and optimized.