Customer Success | 3 minute read

Incremental Improvements are the Path to Success

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Projects and initiatives always start from the same place: ideas. Ideas are just visions of a potential future that doesn't yet exist. It's up to you to take ideas and turn them into reality.

The path of turning an idea into reality is typically not a clean one. Projects are hard. It's tough to gather all of the right people, point them in the same direction, remove any technical hurdles that pop up, and hit the target in a timely manner.

Even though it's hard, we can reduce risk in achieving our ideas and goals by designing our process around incremental improvement.

Achieve Incremental Improvement

The "triple constraint theory" of time, scope, and cost applies whenever we turn an idea into reality. If we want to reduce time to market or project cost, then we must decrease scope. This is exactly where incremental improvement comes in.

Select the most important criteria and prioritize those first. If you want to go a step further, actually deliver those realized criteria to your users as the project progresses.

After you deliver to your customers, you're going to get feedback. This is great because you can tweak your project trajectory based on real user experience. Maybe the hard-to-develop feature isn't worth it after all? Or maybe that process you decided to not define is being asked about frequently. You can learn these lessons early and often, rather than at the end of an expensive project.

This isn't a new concept, in fact it's very common in agile methodologies. These methodologies are extending into other realms of business, such as customer success and services.

Apply Incremental Improvement to your Customer Experience

The principle of incremental improvement is nice in theory, but we have to actually apply it to our business to get benefit. Let's look at a more concrete example by examining how the customer experience can grow over time.

When you start extending your customer service offerings—or if you're just starting out—chances are that you don't have everything in place to implement everything all at once. There will be some table-stakes requirements that need to be provided right from the beginning, but others can be added over time.

For example, basic onboarding, support ticketing, and knowledge management are all pretty common requirements that customers are going to expect. More advanced concepts like expansive content libraries, webinars, and professional service offerings can be added in the future. Rather than trying to deliver everything at once, incrementally expand your customer experience offerings over time.

Throughout the process of adding offerings, it's important to sync up with your team to understand how they're managing the additional services. Just like customer feedback, internal feedback can be used to adjust course and understand what the most value-for-cost processes are.

How can Clove Help?

Clove's customer hub is designed to be incrementally improve on over time. You have a grand plan for the way that your customers experience your service, but that can't all be achieved from day one. Instead, leverage Clove to implement your must-haves and then follow up with your nice-to-haves over time.

An important aspect of incremental improvement is selecting the tools that are best for your customers and for your team members. A start-up might get started with very basic email-based support, and then expand into Zendesk tickets over time. As the company grows, it might become important to switch to another system like Salesforce cases. Clove allows you to set up customer interactions separate from the tools that you use. So you can swap out the system without affecting your customers. Without Clove, you'll end up re-implementing your entire customer hub just to change a single tool.

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