The achievement of customer success comes from delivering business value and desirable business outcomes to our customers.
To maximize customer success, it makes sense to prioritize work based on what delivers the most business value. In practice you need to decide which new features or change requests or bug fixes or user stories to deliver next.
In technology-intense industries like ours, projects involve systems that continue to grow in complexity and business conditions that are rapidly changing to keep up with the speed that technology is evolving. The impact of this – customer requirements are rapidly changing too.
This can lead to a growing backlog - a build-up of work that needs to be completed. And when backlogs exceed production capacity, they become an operational headache and sensitive grounds in discussions with customers.
How do you prioritize what to work on first?
And if I were to ask the question that I think is central to this challenge it would be...
Here are three customer success principles that can turn a challenging backlog from lemons into lemonade.
Principle #1: Prioritize work based on the impact it has on the customer's business
The achievement of customer success comes from delivering business value and desirable business outcomes to our customers. To maximize customer success, it therefore makes sense to prioritize work based on what delivers the most business value.
In practice you may need to decide:
Which change requests to put into development
Which bug fixes to include in the upcoming update
Which selection of user stories to deliver in the next DevOps release
To be able to make these decisions, especially where you’ve a large number of requirements, it’s important to establish a mechanism that allows you to assess the business impact of these requirements in a consistent way so that you can compare them against each other.
Principle #2: Establish a data-driven method for assessing business impact
Our recommendation is to assess requirements against a common set of business KPIs. Furthermore, each business KPI should be weighted based on its industry and customer-specific importance.
Since objectives and priorities vary from customer to customer, the trick is to also apply weights to other factors, such as line of business, customer segment or channel, that can impact the value of a requirement to the customer.
Taking all of this into consideration, requirements can be scored for their impact on the customer business and ranked from high to low.
This method can even replace business case justification with a simplified, yet data-driven approach –great for smaller items.
Principle #3: Use this method as a centralized prioritization mechanism
By setting a standardized, data-driven practice for prioritizing customer requirements based on business impact, you’re not only avoiding making decisions based on resource availability, how long something is in the funnel or who’s shouting for it loudest...
...you’re also promoting open and transparent communication with your customer - helping teams across domains be on the same page and work collaboratively on an agreed set of objectives. But most importantly, you’re driving a value-led dialogue with your customers and showing them that you are committed to their success.
So again I ask...
The Amdocs Customer Centricity Team has developed a prioritization tool dedicated to the specific needs of our customers. It’s a unique customer success tool built to support customer journeys throughout their engagement with us, enhancing the business value we offer them via a data-driven approach.