Critical External Factor Impact
Your very first customer remains with you and comprises 25% of your revenue.
Without announcement (let alone fanfare), the customer announces they’ve upgraded their technologies and no longer need your product.
Nor will they want the high-profit service agreements that go with them.
These losses from digital disruption increasingly occur.
No matter how good your relationships are with key customers or how well you track them with your CRM, surprises do happen. Business is business and success can outweigh friendship or longevity of partnership.
The situations those surprises create can be financially critical to you.
Since losing 25% of your revenue is a serious loss, don’t begin by seeking someone to blame for the lack of information. We call that Fanning the Flame of Blame.
As in many cases, your customer has likely gone to great lengths to keep their migration a secret. Likely, that’s for competitive intelligence reasons.
It’s just the reality of things today.
Realize that customer may be the first one to go, but because of the disruptive technology they likely are not the last to fall off your books.
Consider this customer the canary in the mine.
To lead and succeed through this kind of storm, consider these example questions about your evolving customers:
- Can I increase prices through added value offerings?
- Can I integrate my offerings with the new technology that’s causing the disruption?
- Can I lower prices to bring in new customers?
- Can the customer leaving provide us with not just references, but connections to others?
- Can I tweak my offerings so the customer might still want to use us with the new tech?
- Can I ask the customer if we can stay in touch in case it doesn’t work out with the new technology, or if there’s a delay in implementing the new system?
- Can I see if I can continue to offer services until the new system is in place at the customer site?
- Can I incentivize or change the parameters or expectations of our sales force to increase sales rapidly?
- Can I change my business model (or add another) that can help begin to offset the loss?
- Can I contact the disruptive technology provider to see if we can partner?
- Can I begin looking at technology development and integration that we can build in-house or outsource?
- Don’t panic. That is the facilitator of failure.
- It may seem like it’s all about the revenue loss, but focus on what needs to be done for the company’s future. Going forward, digital disruption will no longer be an unexpected surprise for you.
- Digital disruption will become increasingly common across sectors and companies.
- Be prepared to add digital services and products. It’s inevitable if you want to sustain your company, even though it’s no small challenge.
- Since digital disruption takes time, funding and some cultural change, see what you can do in the interim to stem further losses.
- Don’t sit on this. Things are moving fast and are only increasing in velocity.
This is just a sample of the issues involved and considerations for addressing them.
If you face a such a situation and would like to learn more about solutions, please contact us.