Unlock Growth: The Top Three Focus Areas for Process Optimization

A man and woman, standing in front of easel, working on process optimization for their company.

Last year, I worked with a SaaS client struggling to retain customers. 70% of their customers usually cancel their subscription between 6-12 months. As we looked through their processes, we found a unique trend.

The customer care team’s automated education outreach would be sent out to customers every week within the first three months. Then, usually around the 5-month mark, they would delete their subscription. The unsubscribed customers wouldn’t register on the report until month 6. It was an easy correlation.

So, we tried a hypothesis. 

We extended the customer care education outreach to month 6, and then the unsubscribes stayed on for an extra month. The people who canceled were now dropping off between 10 to 15 months. 

As we tried different ideas to improve their processes, we saw customers stay subscribed for longer. Right now, 50% of customers drop off between 15 to 22 months. What a great win for the company!

This continuous improvement process is all about removing friction for customers. 

Why were they leaving?

Our hypothesis was that they didn’t feel valued because we stopped emailing them. They also stopped receiving prompts to use the software, so they never built the habit of checking their account. We were trying to solve both issues by extending our education emails. We also began offering office hours to help them and other ideas. Not all of them worked.

The key part is trying just one thing at a time and waiting until we got enough data to prove what worked and what didn’t.

Staying ahead of the curve is not just about survival. It’s about thriving. To achieve this, companies must focus on continual improvement in key areas. 

Specifically, there are three hot spots where businesses can significantly boost their performance: Growth (Marketing, Advertising, Sales), Delivery (of Products or Services), and Innovation (New Ideas for Products and Services). 

Three Focus Areas for Your Business

Let’s delve into each of these areas, uncovering strategies to enhance your business and persuading you why these improvements are not just beneficial but essential.

1. Growth: Elevating Marketing, Advertising, and Sales

Identify Your Audience and Tailor Your Approach

The first step to effective growth is understanding your audience. Who are they? What do they need? How do your products or services fit into their lives? Once you have a clear picture, tailor your marketing and advertising strategies to speak directly to them. This might involve segmenting your market and creating personalized campaigns that resonate with different groups.

Invest in Digital Marketing

In the digital age, an online presence is non-negotiable. Invest in SEO to ensure your company appears at the top of search engine results. Utilize social media to engage with customers and build a community around your brand. Consider pay-per-click advertising to drive traffic to your website. These strategies can yield a high ROI if executed correctly.

Foster a Sales Culture Focused on Solutions 

Transform your sales approach from pushing products to offering solutions. Train your sales team to understand customer pain points and articulate how your product or service can solve them. Cultivate a culture of empathy, where the focus is on helping the customer rather than just making a sale.

2. Delivery: Mastering the Art of Product and Service Delivery

Streamline Your Operations

Efficient delivery starts with streamlined operations. This might involve automating repetitive tasks, improving communication channels within your team, or adopting lean management principles. The goal is to reduce waste – whether that’s time, resources, or effort – and deliver your product or service as efficiently as possible.

Enhance Customer Experience

Delivery is not just about the physical product or service; it’s about the experience. Implement systems that ensure consistency and reliability in your delivery. Use customer feedback to continuously improve. Remember, a positive delivery experience can be a powerful marketing tool in itself, leading to repeat business and referrals.

Invest in Training and Development

Your employees are the front line of your delivery process. Invest in their training and development to ensure they have the skills and knowledge to excel in their roles. Empowered employees lead to better service delivery, which in turn leads to satisfied customers.

3. Innovation: Breeding Ground for New Ideas

Foster a Culture of Creativity

Innovation starts with a mindset. Create a company culture that encourages creativity and experimentation. Encourage employees to think outside the box and reward innovative ideas. Remember, innovation does not always have to be groundbreaking; small, incremental changes can also lead to significant improvements.

Embrace Technology and Trends

Stay up to date with technological advancements and industry trends. This could mean adopting new software, exploring emerging markets, or pivoting your business model. By being proactive about change, you position your company as a leader rather than a follower.

Collaborate and Network

Innovation often happens at the intersection of different fields and perspectives. Encourage collaboration both within your company and with external partners. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and consider partnerships that can bring fresh ideas and new energy to your business.

Recap

Improving in these three hot spots – Growth, Delivery, and Innovation – is not just a pathway to success; it’s a strategy for building a resilient, forward-thinking business that can adapt and thrive in any market conditions. You’ll not only improve your bottom line but also create a strong, sustainable business that stands the test of time.

Take the first step today. Identify one area where you can immediately improve and start the journey towards a better, more successful business. Start with reviewing your priorities and seeing how they align with your goals. This is the start of creating a roadmap for your business. You can download the 4X Your Team’s Productivity with a Roadmap by joining our community and getting a weekly leadership email to improve your business and career.

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

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