Welcome to the Age of the Continuous Customer
It’s a fact that the buying preferences for both consumers and businesses have changed. Rather than outright ownership, trends have shifted to on-demand consumption, continuous replenishment, and leasing of products and services. From immediate consumer streaming to software-as-a-service for business, these shifts in both B2B and B2C buying behavior are driven by speed, reliability, convenience, access, and cost. As a company, your ability to support this new and desired buying behavior is tantamount to your ability to gain and keep new customers.
Gone are the days where your customer buys something, you deliver an invoice, the customer pays, and the transaction is complete. Now your customers are always “on” – always interacting with you. Your customer is constantly buying from you, and more importantly, evaluating whether or not they would like to keep buying based on their experience and satisfaction with your entire organization.
Buzzwords like “digital transformation”, “subscription businesses” or, “recurring revenue models”, are all imperfect descriptions of this phenomenon; they do not address the fundamental shift in the business/customer dynamic. For this reason, we have introduced the notion of the Continuous Customer. In the Continuous Customer model, tangible things are simply one element of the value provided to the customer in a recurring and continual relationship. And your business must be designed and operated differently to address this growing reality.
Mapping Your Business on the Recurring Revenue Maturity Curve™
Mapping Your Business on the Recurring Revenue Maturity Curve™ In our practice, we see many companies fail to recognize that Continuous Customer™ businesses must be operated differently than in the past. Often, this reality is concealed, as companies in their early stages of development are able to make the business work with traditional processes and tools, as transaction volumes are lower and product offerings are less complex.
But, as growth initiatives are launched, complexity increases. The traditional, linear methods become overly burdensome, resulting in widespread challenges such as billing disputes, SKU proliferation, mushrooming headcount, performance visibility problems, and rampant system over-customization. The growth initiatives that “break” traditional processes and systems are remarkably common:
- Extending the footprint of customers and customer types
- Adding business partners and affiliate relationships
- Re-positioning of the brand and messaging for new offerings
- Synthesizing acquisitions of products, customers, and operations
- Trying to leverage core products with new packaging methods
- Extending the business to hi-scale, low-touch service models
These initiatives, meant to drive revenue growth, become the very things that result in diminished revenue performance—the subscription business paradox. This is a well-observed truth discovered in our years of successful business transformations. Thus, we walk our clients through our propriety Recurring Revenue Maturity Curve™ to map their current business and ambitions along with their current operational and cultural realities.
Navigate to Success with Navint
The good news is that many of these downstream operational problems can be avoided. When done right, customers reward businesses with loyalty, referrals, and ever-increasing share of wallet over the course of their lifetime.
Navigating the journey to the Continuous Customer is a major undertaking that Navint knows well. In fact, Navint is one of few management consulting firms that has a fully-dedicated Subscription Services practice with deep domain experience and a proprietary, continually-evolving methodology to help organizations navigate the journey to success with Continuous Customers.
To learn more about Navint’s Subscription Service offerings, click here.