Enter Glide Consulting. The company was founded by Nils Vinje to help organizations build a sound customer strategy. By identifying the gaps in clients' customer experience management strategy, Glide Consulting enables them to ensure a better experience for their customers. "Every company has a sales strategy, a marketing strategy, a product strategy, but not a customer strategy. It requires a different mindset and a whole new set of tactics," says Vinje, Founder and CEO, Glide Consulting.
He goes on to mention that a successful customer strategy needs to have five elements. First, businesses have to be 'prescriptive' at every stage of customer experience. "This is a philosophy, a mindset that is fundamentally different from the traditional support-based approach. It's about proactively engaging with customers to anticipate their needs and what they are going to face and explain how to drive value out of delivered products," says Vinje.
Then comes the second component, what Vinje calls a Fresh Start. The most crucial time to engage customers is at the point of sale, when their excitement is at its peak. It is essential for businesses to capitalize on that enthusiasm by setting expectations for customers not only for what's going to happen right away, but also what's going to happen in 3/6/12 months from now. Setting expectations for the long term here sets you up for success.
The next element is called the Engaging Middle. After onboarding customers, businesses often struggle to keep them engaged and continually drive value. Take software vendors, for instance. They generally spend a few weeks to months implementing a product and training their clients. But, after this phase is over, they are left clueless about what to do next. Most of the customer churn decisions happen during this period. So, it is essential for businesses to design a customer engagement model and add value through meaningful touchpoints.
This might include business and partnership reviews, surveys, the formation of a customer advisory board, and many others. "The Engaging Middle needs to be scripted well in advance—from the point where fresh start ends," comments Vinje.
It is a philosophy, a mindset that is fundamentally different from the traditional support-based approach
Then comes 'Crushing The Milestones’—businesses need to architect the right milestones for their customer strategy and build stepping stones to get there. These milestones can take a number of different forms, including renewals, up-sell/expansion, cross-sell, to name a few. "By knowing their milestones, businesses can understand whether they are on track or off track with a customer," Vinje elucidates.
Lastly, it is essential for businesses to have a solid understanding of the transformation that their product or service is going to provide. "When we know the destination, our clientscan prescribe the right steps to lead their customers to that transformation," Vinje comments. Glide Consulting helps clients build an effective customer strategy, based on these five principles. Vinje, in this context, mentions, "We don't just go to clients with a pre-defined script for what to implement. First, we understand how they engage with their customers and then we combine that with this best-in-class framework to make a custom solution that is 100 percent specific to them. More importantly, this framework applies to virtually any business—be it an HVAC and plumbing company or software company."
With such a unique approach, Glide Consulting has helped many clients from startups to global brands better engage their customers and generate more predictability in customer renewals and expansions. Catherine Blackmore, GVP SaaS Customer Success at Oracle, says, "the investment I've made by working with Glide Consulting has already paid for itself many times over."
Such client testimonials always drive Glide Consulting to enhance its capabilities. Currently, the company is adding new programs to its existing offerings to serve their clients more efficiently. "We always listen to our clients to understand the problems they are facing while engaging their customer and build programs around those inputs. This is what keeps us a notch above the rest," Vinje concludes.