Amy Bills. VP, Principal Analyst and Nick Buck, VP, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

For B2B firms looking to become more customer obsessed, the Goldilocks principle applies. Doing too little, or too much, can leave firms at a disadvantage. On this episode of What It Means, Vice President and Principal Analyst Nick Buck and Vice President and Principal Analyst Amy Bills explain how B2B organizations can find the degree and expression of customer obsession that’s just right.

The episode begins with a definition of customer obsession: a perpetual business orientation that informs how an organization works. The B2B firms that act on customer obsession most effectively earn more revenue, retain more customers, and have more engaged employees than their peers. Yet that doesn’t mean that firms should pursue customer obsession at all costs. Instead, Bills and Buck argue, they should take a more measured approach. (To gauge where you fall on the customer obsession scale, take this assessment for leaders, or, for clients, use this more robust assessment.)

Companies that cater too heavily to customers — for example, by overcustomizing products or pricing — run the risk of diminishing returns. Customer obsession should be a win-win, benefitting customers and companies alike. Factors such as competitive offerings and whether a firm is entering a new market might influence how heavily it invests in customer obsession. Being attuned to buyers is critical.

“[It’s important] that B2B organizations spend time understanding what their customers genuinely want and need,” says Bills. “Not assuming, not using a legacy understanding that maybe has changed … Because your customer needs are by definition shaping your manifestation of customer obsession, it’s important to be confident in that.”

Later in the episode, Bills and Buck describe how B2B organizations can start becoming more customer-obsessed. They discuss the critical role of alignment among marketing, sales, product, and customer success functions, as well as how a company’s stances on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues tie into customer obsession. Tune in to the full episode to learn more.