Nick Mehta is CEO of Gainsight, a company specializing in improving customer experiences, so yes, he’s admittedly talking his book a bit when he says “customer centricity” is more important than ever in a time of inflation.
But even if that’s the case, his new post on Chief Executive is definitely worth a read. He makes a strong case about why it’s more important than ever—perhaps in our lifetimes—that you really focus on the right customers and make sure you’re keeping them close. “In ‘go-go’ times, it’s mostly about growing revenue with clients,” he writes. “In downturns, it is about holding onto them.” Three of his key points:
- Inflation will force your customers to cut costs. “100% of CFOs will be scrutinizing discretionary spend in 2022” and asking questions like: Do we really need this vendor? Is there a cheaper alternative? “If you haven’t driven strong outcomes and a great experience, chances are you’re in for an unpleasant conversation.”
- Your ability to raise prices will depend on outcomes and stickiness. “If you are charged with passing on a 10% price increase with poor adoption and satisfaction of your solution—good luck!”
- Inflation will put more pressure on profitability and customer-led growth.Thanks to the rising cost of capital, investors are placing more of a premium on profitability versus what we saw last year. The market “wants to see how well you’re holding on to your current customers and how much of your growth is durable.”
“As we head into uncertain times and the scary combination of slowing growth and rising prices,” he writes, “we need to make sure we are extra-vigilant about how we steer our companies. Customer-centricity should continue to be our guiding star.”
What are you, your team, or organization doing to amplify your customer-centric processes, capabilities, and techstack? David Nour