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Mike Ettling and Michelle MacCarthy

How do customer-centric mindsets deliver transformative experiences?

from  November 26, 2020 | 5 min read

Can a customer-centric mindset lead to a transformational experience for our customers?

I recently spoke to our Unit4 CEO Mike Ettling to discuss the benefit of having a customer-centric mindset at Unit4 for our customers. Our discussion centered around 4 key areas:

  • What is customer success?
  • How internal culture drives customer satisfaction
  • Why are customer communities so important?
  • Why is this a different way of thinking?

What is customer success?

I’ve always believed customer success comes from how customers experience our company. Whether it’s our first touchpoint or their first day working with us, everything must deliver a transformative and collaborative experience from that moment on. And it’s down to us to ensure everything we do works towards this, from onboarding them properly and implementing their ERP solutions fully, to supporting adoption of new tools and processes at all levels.

However, these elements only form the basis for customer success. Real customer success comes from a genuine understanding of the customer’s needs. Unit4 really must become an extension of our customer’s team. With a deep-rooted and shared understanding of their business landscape, goals and objectives. Going way beyond just meeting agreed upon SLA’s or showing up when they are ready to expand.

Instead, we focus on how we can benefit the customer and ensure we’re working with them every step of the journey to make this happen. It’s delivering exceptional experiences through proactive customer focus.

Great internal culture drives customer satisfaction

One of the things that drew me to Unit4 was its strong belief in people. From the top down, everyone knows we're in business for people. This thinking is grounded in an inclusive people-first mentality that goes beyond customers – and includes our people and partners too. According to Mike, the idea comes from a belief (borrowed from Richard Branson) that creating a great environment for people to work in creates better outcomes for our customers.

This passion for people first thinking flows through everything we do. Employees at Unit4 aren't staff – they’re people, colleagues, and friends. Our customers are our partners. It permeates through everything we do, and it resonates greatly with me.

We don’t merely implement systems, but partner with people as they embark on their digital journeys. Helping them along the way to become more efficient, more knowledgeable and more able to use our systems as independently as they want to.

And we help put the voice of our customers and partners at the center of everything we do. Building communities that guide and drive future innovation and thinking. Listening to them to understand what works and what they want. Using surveys, our Net Promoter Scores, open communication lines, and a dedicated Unit4 Community where everyone can interact and engage.

But I know we can only do all this because we have a culture where this focus can thrive. Where everyone feels empowered to speak for our customers internally and put their needs first. It's a culture we're very proud of.

Why are customer communities so important?

When I joined, I was excited to find a growing and highly engaged community in Community 4U. It makes my job a lot easier. Though it only launched last year, its impact has been revolutionary across the organization. Giving customers, partners, and our people a place to share ideas and reimagine all our organizations' futures together.

Community 4U gives our customers the power to share ideas and put these ideas into action. Letting the community decide which innovations we should focus on. Why is this so revolutionary and important?

I think it’s powerful for several reasons. First, it gives us genuine insight into what our customers want and need, which helps reinforce and validate our strategy and how we best serve them. Second, it lets customers set the agenda for change. They have the power to influence and inform roadmaps that are the best fit for them, and the rest of our customer base.

Interestingly, it also breeds new thinking. It injects new ideas and opinions into the mix, opening our innovation to users. Meaning, we get feedback and ideas that we may have never discovered internally. Community 4U has moved beyond a news hub, learning tool, or product information repository, to become a truly transformative tool.

It also makes it easier for customers to engage with peers that have similar goals and challenges and us. To create powerful feedback loops, where knowledge is shared, used and expanded on. Constantly expanding how customers can use the tools they have at their disposal, sometimes beyond what even we knew was possible.

Why is this a different way of thinking?

A customer-centric mindset is transformative in its approach. It’s not a dedicated department, and it’s not a target. It's a continuous innovation journey—a shared mindset with our customers across all business elements. Everyone in the organization understands the value of the role they play in customer success. It has nothing to do with customer-facing or not, or which department you work in.

Every person across the organization is integral to transforming the customer experience and, ultimately, their subsequent success. Everyone understands what our customers’ desired outcomes, and the role they play in helping them achieve those outcomes.

Gone are the days of task-based customer efforts, everyone at Unit4 asks themselves what the customer needs and looks for ways to reach across the aisle to ensure they meet those goals.

It also means we need to work more closely with our customers to truly understand how they use our tools. How does adoption work across their organization? How can we make implementations more natural and reduce disruption to the overall business. What comes next for each organization?

We do this by creating communities and relationships that go beyond support centers. Amplifying our customers' voice above our own because their needs are central to everything we do to create transformative customer experiences at every stage of their journey. Giving them confidence that the ERP solution they are investing in will grow and transform with them along the way.

How can Unit4 help you become customer-centric?

To find out more about our commitment to customer-centric mindsets and how this can transform your experiences and success, watch the full discussion. Where Mike and Michelle delve more deeply into all these topics and more.

Watch discussion