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According to the Holmes-Rahe life stress inventory, being fired at work comes at position number eight on a list of 43 most stressful life events. The dreadful dismissal notice is a difficult experience, on both ends – for the manager giving it, and for the employee receiving it. However difficult it may be, it signifies a change of circumstances everyone needs to address. Businesses are driven by their customer success, and when a customer needs an alternative to how things have been done in the past in order to grow, project halt and people need to be let go. It’s a tough call for the company and for the people, but customer success needs to be given its due attention.
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CUSTOMER SUCCESS: THE DIGITAL AGE PARADIGM
In the age of customer centricity, businesses get propelled by customer success variables even more. The highly demanding digital transformation that we go through is creating and dissolving jobs at a frantic rate. Many people are not ready to deal with the fast pace of change, regardless of what side of the equation they are on.
Employees need to learn and adapt quickly or else they become obsolete in the fast-changing environment. Managers need to find talent with fresh skills fast or they risk failed projects and diminish the value of already achieved customer success rates.
It is not too far-fetched to qualify modern companies as fluid structures, in which existence and growth highly depend on the flexibility of its people. In today’s businesses, customers are the most important people, and their needs dictate how far will a business go.
Since employees, clients, stakeholders, and end users are all customers for product managers, they are most likely to be facing high amounts of stress to keep everyone productive and satisfied.
INCLUDE STAFF MANAGEMENT IN THE CUSTOMER SUCCESS STRATEGY
What does this mean in terms of hiring and managing staff? To answer this question, we need to understand what is customer success, and why so many teams rely on customer success managers to make huge strides forward.
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Customer success is about getting maximum value out of a product or a service. It is a revenue-generating variable which includes a percentage of the individual success of each team and each person on a team. When a client aims at cost-effective resource management, all pieces from the individual success puzzle come together and affect how much value they will create for the client’s business success.
It is no wonder that an effective customer success strategy requires some serious discernment in hiring and managing people on behalf of the product manager.
TURNING WORKPLACES INTO WORKSPACES
The changing nature of jobs in the digital age asks for a new way of doing work. People become more important than maintaining traditional structures and hierarchies. An apprehensive act such as a being laid off is not as devastating as it used to be. On-demand staffing agencies provide people with specific skills for short-term or one-off projects. Employees learn to deal with uncertainty better. Workplaces have become workspaces. Workspaces are elastic and strongly motivated by what a customer wants.
When customers get spoiled, if you are ill-prepared, you could drown under the weight of seemingly impossible customer requirements. The competition can surpass you. If you are well prepared, you could view such dynamics as a growth opportunity and make maximum use of it while the iron is hot.
Of course, hiring people per hour is easily quantifiable for generic jobs that don’t require high levels of creativity, complexity, and innovation.
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But is there such a job in the complex synergy of virtual projects? The short answer to this question is an “almost no” because there is a way to put a number to what a person does even if it involves profound expert skills.
By dissolving the perspective of tight, long-term, and ever-connected teams, the new on-demand agency of the future adopts a customer-centric approach and provides talent in just the right quantity to help customers grow at an acceptable rate without wasting resources on huge, early-on investments. Sales and marketing are important business elements, but so is having a customer success plan, even in the early startup stages, when a business is vulnerable to volatility. As more gets invested in the customer success aspect, more needs to be invested in people, too.
BENEFITS OF A CUSTOMER-DRIVEN AGENCY
What happens in a team that works on projects remotely when the customer success process is handled well? The right people get hired. Projects cost less. Stress dissipates. Clients write 5-star reviews.
Hiring people with a customer-centric view provides unexpected advantages for managers, staff, and customers. Clients are not the only group that benefits, although it may initially seem that way.
In the collaborative network of people and projects coming together across borders, for a short time, ready to knock off a project that doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term cohesion, it’s time we pay more attention to how a responsive, scalable, and adaptable staffing agency could help everyone reap the benefits of customer centricity.
One issue that jumps out here is the tendency to call the agency of the future a “staffing agency”, or a “job agency”, or a “work agency”. Such interpretation limits the potential of the newly acquired face of an agency and distorts how projects get done in a digital geographically-dispersed environment. Apart from providing trained staff for “work”, the agency of the future goes a couple of extra miles by including customer success, agile project management, and innovative technologies as part of its business model.
In this way, clients benefit from resourceful products and services, as well as by cherry-picking people from what the agency has to offer. Employees are able to choose what and how they work on, investing in what they love and are best at, while managers are rewarded with a structured, cost-effective method for managing projects, without overspreading in time, people, and space.
TREAT EVERYONE AS A CUSTOMER
There is plenty of effort going into finding the right people to partner with, regardless of which group you belong to. In the fullness of a project, everyone is someone else’s customer. That’s why customer success demands so much of our attention when we search for the best way to grow a business. People are really the key to that success, and if you own the right tools to find, hire, and manage high-performing teams, the agency of the future will become the next word-of-mouth for staff management and effective global collaboration.