We were recently asked by an Advisor if Spex is a “product centric” or “customer centric” business. After considering the question I responded by saying we’re “customer centric.” I feel good about the focus we have on our customers today and the impact it’s having on our business.
Taking a step back, I’ve thought more about what it means to be “customer centric” and why it matters. Quite literally, the definition of “customer centricity” is to “create a positive experience at the point of sale and post sale.” Related explanations have defined the term as a potential point of differentiation from those companies who may elect to not be customer centric.
The origin story of Spex is based on addressing real world customer needs. Our co-founders felt handcuffed by the status-quo solution to insurance claims adjusting, unable to offer the value they sought to provide to policyholders. The historical approach to insurance inspections, based largely around the pen and paper, has resulted in slower cycle times to resolve policyholder needs and limited data capture to create future value and efficiencies. Our digital inspection platform was literally built to create a solution to those needs. Spex is fundamentally a “Third Wave” case study.
Our product development team works their butts off to conform our solution to evolving customer requirements. We have a great team that knows a lot about the industry and a lot about technology. But, we are not fortune tellers. We can not forecast, with 100% clarity, where the market will go or our what customers’ needs will be in the future. Our product roadmap is heavily grounded in customer requests. We prioritize customer requests and sometimes we say “not yet” to their suggestions. But, we always value them and continually strive for product integrity, which is heavily reliant on customer input.
The historical term “account management” has been generally replaced by the modern term “customer success.” Great SaaS companies, in particular, prioritize customer success as an essential business function. They build discipline around it, hire the right team members for it and execute on the related lifecycle, from first introduction to contract renewal. Insurance vendors and insurtech has not always prioritized customer success. But, how can that be? Our clients are on the front-lines of property inspections, particularly for claims, and look to us for a great product and as a “trusted advisor” to enable a solution that creates efficiencies and makes their jobs easier. If we’re not providing great customer support during times of need, they may well return to the “status quo.” And, while I dream of a utopian environment where our platform works perfectly each day, we all know software isn’t created in an Aldous Huxley novel.
“Build it and they will come” was a great strategy for Kevin Costner but it’s not a wise gameplan for most customer focused businesses. Another Advisor once said we should focus on creating a solution customers love and turn them into raving fans of Spex. I like that approach and that’s what we’re all about now.
CEO of Spex