At our recent Industry Leadership Summit, panelists from a vast array of industries came together to discuss the secret to taking a company from $50 to over $100 million in just a few years. But what is it that ties these thought leaders together? They are all innovators within their organizations. They understand that taking ideas into a high growing business is possible by being able to connect with your customers and engage with them continually. Innovation is driven by the value to the customer.

Here are 4 things to keep in mind when fostering customer engagement:

Understand your main stakeholders

Since your customers hold such an important place in your organization, you need to figure out what is it that they will resonate with the most. Get them engaged on the front end and ask for feedback along the way. Curant Health saw a need in their own families and community for better healthcare for chronic patients. They knew these patients wanted and needed a solution that treated them as a whole and not just their chronic disease. “We didn’t have this grand idea; We just went doctor to doctor, door to door, asking if we could do their medications for them,” said Marc O’Connor, COO for Curant Health. This led to Curant becoming one of the fastest growing healthcare companies in the nation.

Be Transparent

For IBM Silverpop, it was a major security breach that led to increased customer engagement. Silverpop was one of the first email marketing companies to be hacked, leading to many customers’ email addresses being compromised. Instead of wallowing in defeat, the company saw it as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and become stronger. “Silverpop was extremely transparent about what happened and how we were going to fix it. We educated our clients on how to update their security standards,” said Rachel Orston, VP of Global Customer Adoption. This transparency with their customers and drive for perfection propelled the company to now be heralded as one of the leading tech companies in data privacy and security.  

Know Your Message

Danna K. Bailey, VP of Communications at EPB, knew that the first big mistake with their Fiber-to-home network launch was in the messaging. When first unveiled, the network speed was 15mb per second; however, the cable networks came back boasting a rate of 16mb per second. In an effort to not be upstaged, EPB tried to argue through their messaging that their 15mb speed was somehow better than cable’s 16mb. “We ultimately realized that we couldn’t let what we knew as engineers rule what we said in the market,” said Bailey. EPB eventually upped with speed to 30mb, understanding that what set their message apart from the cable network wasn’t the value but the number.

When it comes to hitting engagement hyperdrive, the main question you have to answer is this: Do I know my customers? It’s crucial that you understand who your customer is, what they want from your product or services and what they actually need.  “For me, the two ways to reach hyperdrive is to grow your top line with net new customers and expand investment with your current customers,” says Orston. Be willing to play big and invest in your company’s growth; you’ll see your customer engagement skyrocket when you acknowledge them as the key stakeholders they are.