Tenet 1 for Managing the Customer Experience in a Subscription Economy

September 23, 2009

by Katrina Wong, Director of Customer Experience


In my first post, I discussed why a focus on the customer experience is essential to growing your subscription business.


I outlined the three tenets of operating a thriving subscription business with a customer experience focus.


In this post, I’ll elaborate on Tenet #1:


  • Focus on the customer and anchor your business around the customer’s experience
    • Understand the perspective of the customer

Understanding the perspective of the customer is about more than just doing surveys. It’s about getting out there in front of customers and talking to them directly. You can either do this formally via focus groups and surveys; or informally by taking a few customers to lunch, or setting up a quick face to face meeting. The point is to understand a day in the life of your customer and what it is about your product that makes his or her day easier and better. And it’s about understanding the larger business process that your solution fits into.


  • Shift from a self/company/organization focus to a customer-centric focus


When prioritizing top level organizational goals and objectives, consider your customer’s perspective. A good example of this is designing business processes and creating business goals that align to your customer life cycle; from signing up for your product to using your product and renewing the subscription. An example of creating business goals that align to the customer life cycle is investing more in account management or building a specific team that is held accountable for customer success.


Here at Zuora, we take this tenet to heart. We recently launched a monthly “First Fridays” customer luncheon. It is a casual meet and greet where we speak with our customers about their use of our product over lunch. We get insights into our customer base, and they get a free lunch – it’s a win-win all around. At our first luncheon, our customers especially loved the ability to provide direct feedback to us and to make contact with other Zuora customers in their area. If you are a Zuora customer and are interested in attending our next First Friday customer luncheon, please contact us here.


Stay tuned for my next post on Tenet #2, Embrace the Voice of the Customer.