Top tips for tapping into successful opportunities

Successful customer journey mapping – Part 4 of 4

By Amanda Salter

Every forward-thinking business is looking for ways to drive customer-led revenue growth. The trick is to focus on the right opportunities that will maximise returns and give quick, tangible results.

Before we look at how to do this, let’s first explore what we mean by ‘opportunities’.

What is an opportunity?
We define an opportunity as a chance to drive business value. It’s a clearly identified idea, service or issue that you’re developing or changing in order to meet a specific customer need in a more positive way.

Where do opportunities exist?
Opportunities exist at any stage of the customer journey, at any touchpoint, across any channel or device.

What defines a successful opportunity?
To be successful, an opportunity must have both a business value and a validated customer value (this means it’s a real need not a perceived need). If either of these is missing, the opportunity will not be sustainable.

Example:
Opportunity: “Make it much more convenient for the customer to get their items”.

Customer need: “I want to receive my items as soon as possible”.

Potential solutions:

  1. Partner with other people / organisations for faster delivery
  2. Offer same day delivery
  3. Use drones to deliver small items

Top tips for developing successful opportunities
You’ve identified an opportunity, you’ve defined the business value and validated the customer need. The next step is to capture, prioritise and test opportunities rigorously before you waste time, effort and money on the wrong ones. Here’s how to do this:

  1. Don’t jump to the solution too quickly

An opportunity has to be captured as a chance to meet a customer need in a specifically different way, e.g. it’s better, faster, cheaper, easier etc. It is NOT yet a solution – that’s the next step.

Why is this important?

By defining the customer need you’ve established a clear rationale of what you’re trying to achieve and how this differs from the current state.

Every opportunity can be solved in different ways and it’s important to stay broadminded. Task your teams with coming up with alternative ways of solving the problem other than the most obvious solution. Investigate what options are out there and what competitors are doing.

This helps you to make more informed decisions and keeps things flexible. Test continuously as you move through the process. If your first solution doesn’t work out, you’ve got other options you can try.

  1. Continually trace solutions back to the customer need

At every stage of the process, keep checking your defined opportunity and its solution against the relevant customer need.

Why is this important?

Lots of different departments and people may be involved in the process, making it easy for things to evolve in different directions.

Tracing back to the customer need at every phase gives you a robust foundation for when you launch the solution. This is particularly important during the conceptual phase. If the opportunity does not correspond to a need, there’s no requirement for that opportunity. Or there is a latent hidden customer need that needs to be uncovered and validated before you move forward.

  1. Focus on an effective number of opportunities

Prioritise which opportunities you want to focus on first. In our experience focusing on between 5 to 10 opportunities at any given time is the magic number for success.

Why is this important?

Working on a few different opportunities helps you hedge your bets – if one doesn’t survive the subsequent rounds of customer testing and business case development, another might. But if you try to do too many at once, you risk overstretching your team and not getting the best result, which can be costly.

  1. Think short and long term

It’s important that your portfolio of opportunities has a balanced mix of quick wins and slow burners.

Why is this important?

Being able to show business outcomes quickly is always a winner. It looks good and can help you secure future buy in for new opportunities. Long-term opportunities may not give immediate results, but they can often deliver more lasting value to your customers and business. So a mix of both covers all bases.

By putting these tips into practice, you’ll get clarity, consensus and definition on the best customer-led opportunities for your organisation. This in turn will lead to profitable business growth in the most efficient way.

Identify your opportunities
Let us help you discover the right opportunities for your business. Using our unique Customer Framework, we can quickly uncover validated customer needs and rapidly identify winning solutions. So you get results, fast.

Get in touch

Drop us a line at info@newtidea.com or call Amanda on 07786 657 504

Read all the articles in this Customer Journey Mapping series

Part 1 – Get internal alignment for your Customer Journey Map
Part 2 – Take action with your customer-centred strategy
Part 3 – Three steps to smart innovation

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