"As you take your business on the continued march of technological progress, your employees need to be on board with any necessary changes for remaining competitive—whether it’s using new tools, learning new skills, taking on new roles, or sometimes all three."
Increasingly, companies are realizing that career growth is not about growing up, but instead about expansion upon preexisting skills and experience.
Whether your overarching goal is to take on a new line of business, digitize your processes, or increase automation, it’s important that the way you behave as a company—through everyday actions both internally and externally—puts you on the path to success.
“When Autodesk set the goal of moving to a subscription-based business, company leadership knew change was necessary because the company as a whole would be engaging with customers differently."
So the question for you is: Do your organization’s strategic objectives require a refresh of your company culture? If so, you can start by creating a change plan that incorporates these principles:
Identifying the values and behaviors your culture should embody
Crafting a communication plan so employees understand what's expected
Operationalizing new culture values by incorporating them in key talent programs
Leveraging new offices or locations as opportunities to jumpstart new culture
Ensuring your leaders “walk the walk"
Obviously, there arenuances to these (so read on if you're interested) but nonetheless, a super helpful resource to have—whether you’re an employee or a CEO.
Busuu x Verbling: language learning at its core
In acquisition news, Busuu—the language app that rivals big names like Duolingo—has officially acquired Verbling, the language lesson platform, to expand into the live video tutoring space.
Busuu has reportedly passed 100 million users globally, making it one of the world’s fastest growing educational tech companies. It says it reached cash flow break-even last year, and plans to generate more than $40 million in revenue this year. Oh, and plans to go public. (No big deal.)
Apparently, Busuu has access to four billion data points from its learners, to provide targeted student information to its new 10,000+ live teachers. That means each lesson is super honed in to the needs of each student.
This acquisition is a good move for Busuu in adding additional solid core features to its offering. Because we know companies need to actively work to create a better product to keep up. In a study during which we looked at over one million subscription consumers, we found that customers are now demanding more for less.
Our job as product leaders and operators is to make sure we’re finding where that true value is going to exist for our customers and understand that we’re going to need to build at a high rate, pretty consistently, to stay competitive in the market. After all, there’s no better secret to market success than knowing your customer and building to give them an enormous amount of value.
We also have an episode of our show Pricing Page Teardown that pits Busuu's pricing page against Duolingo's—if you're interested in that, you can watch here.
A poor user experience is simply not an option anymore
And now, let’s create a badass user experience together.
The Wall Street Journal dropped what they call an “experience report” on just that: how companies are reimagining their user experience and how users interact with their products. (And you should be, too.)
“More companies are viewing that experience as an increasingly powerful driver of business success as traditional advertising gets harder, as data and technology offer new ways to cater to customers and as social media amplifies bad experiences in unprecedented ways."
In some cases, experience becomes even bigger than product itself.
And 89% of companies employed a chief experience officer or an equivalent role in 2019, up from 61% in 2017, according to research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. They surveyed nearly 400 large companies in the U.S., Canada and U.K. about their customer experience management.
And we’re no stranger to this. We know helping customers achieve their goals makes everyone happy, which leads to higher retention rates and an easier path to expansion revenue. This increased customer lifetime value (LTV) is tied directly to more long-term and predictable revenue.
You need clearly defined personas, you need to fully understand your customer’s journey, and you must constantly be evaluating that with defined success metrics. When you understand your customer experience and evaluate its impact on an ongoing basis, identifying potential pain points is much easier.
Some resources on this:
How to construct a customer success strategy with clearly-defined personas, customer journeys, and success metrics