Strategic Growth – what does it really mean?
Power words like strategy, growth, diversification, portfolio and other lofty descriptivism for business are used interchangeably. These global terms are used to discuss how to develop, how to increase revenue, how to create more jobs and in short, there are myriad ways to ‘grow’ in the world of business.
Let’s remove the veneer for a moment and deal with what it really takes for a company to BE MORE.
"Typically, there are 4 growth strategies: market penetration; product development; market expansion, and diversification."
Each strategy has a plan, a set of targets, and some actionable steps. For many companies, the road to growth can be a struggle often requiring a lot of investment, time, and effort. In essence, the eye on the prize of a target or strategy can be all-consuming, to the point of leaving basics to the wayside.
Growth Through Care
True strategic growth comes from strategic partnership and delivering excellence. The most important aspect of growth is to start at home. Know your current customers intimately and well. Give ‘them’ the highest quality service, support, care, consideration, and attention. Your current customers are the basis of your growth.
They have the ability to help you expand into ‘like’ markets with stories of wonder to tell others. Knowing that your customers will be your best advocates, is the foundation to growth and bringing in ‘good’ business.
Hunting without a story; knocking on doors without customer accolades turns a growth strategy into an uphill battle, not a smooth sail. With true customer care, customer satisfaction and customer experience par excellence, the journey to growth is often much shorter.
"89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.” - Gartner Research
Statistics show that businesses can increase revenues between 4% and 8% when they prioritize better customer service experiences. To the Gartner Research data above, 89% of companies with "significantly above average" customer experiences perform better financially than their competitors. The data is clear, with customer excellence you will grow but without it, you are going to struggle with or with a formal strategy.
Before tackling a strategy for growth, increasing revenue, or bringing in new customers, start with understanding how you are caring for your customer base now.
Identify the key milestones of customer satisfaction and document them; what aspect of your product/service had the biggest impact on customer satisfaction; determine why care fell short and develop solutions to improve.
Engage your leadership team to be part of the growth discussion with the following questions:
Are you capturing enough detail, data, and story on each customer?
Do you have good analytics to draw from?
Do you have enough bench to truly engage with your customers regularly
Are they indeed happy?
Have you asked what you can do for them over and above your current deliverables?
Do you have a solid account plan process in place?
There is an endless list of questions that need to be asked long before pen is put to paper on a growth strategy.
In short, do you have your TRUE NORTH©?
Strategic growth means finding your TRUE NORTH©. Take a step back and look at your successes; measure your value proposition and truly understand the difference your products and services make to each of your customers.
You may just find that the fastest route to revenue is not moving forward at a high rate of speed but by looking back and understanding where you have been!
Dina Wiltshire is 4xi's Strategic Partnerships & Growth lead - she works with clients who are seeking opportunities to improve, grow, and thrive. In addition to growth, Dina has a wealth of experience in a number of areas of business from leading call centers and call center design, to operations, and project management.
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