At Enzia, we envision a world where people have access to learning and productive work, the ability to stay healthy and a clean environment to prosper in. The three sectors - healthcare, education and environment - play a fundamental role.. However, all three sectors have been struggling with large, systemic issues over decades which manifest as “outcomes gaps”. These gaps occur when actual outcomes are not at par with the desired/intended outcomes i.e., they fall short of reaching the optimal state.
Organizations are fundamentally built to solve problems and provide services and products that better the lives of their customers. Hence, pursuing customer outcomes is a holy grail for any company or industry.
In the fundamental sectors of healthcare, education and environment, we can argue that they matter even more. Here, they lead to core impact on the customers’ lives, often with a cascading effect on their immediate ecosystems. E.g., an upskilling platform for women improves employability and career prospects for an individual woman, and at the same time elevates chances of higher household income and standard of living for her entire family.
An outcomes-focused approach also enables a company to build better organisational culture. Defining outcomes clearly plays a strong role in aligning people, giving them a common goal - or rather, a mission, given the fundamentality of the impact(s) these outcomes bring - to pursue with inspiration.
Companies that focus on customer outcomes early on are able to build better customer value propositions in terms of satisfaction, access and affordability. By regularly analysing the data on these parameters, companies can gain the right strategic and operational insights, which can further help them improve their product/service for better customer experience. Happy customers lead to more customers, i.e., companies that build their brands on customer success attract even more customers organically, driving down acquisition costs, boosting revenue, and eventually becoming profitable.
The top offline education and health institutions speak for their reputation and credibility. Time and again, they have demonstrated outcomes: students have achieved their dreams and patients have become healthier. Most of the new age businesses in healthcare, education and even environment, who are yet to prove such outcomes for their customers, could take a leaf out of their book. For purpose-driven companies in these spaces, defining and measuring their ultimate outcomes – learning & employment outcomes, patient outcomes or general health outcomes, reduced GHG emissions – are key to realizing their mission and vision.
Defining and measuring customer outcomes are easier said than done. Especially in healthcare, education and environment, one of the biggest challenges is that many outcomes are multidimensional, intangible and cascading. They also often lead to unintended effects on other sectors, sections of society, and geographies. Further, especially for early-stage companies, measurement is both time- and resource-intensive, and thus difficult to achieve in a consistent manner.
Companies need to sift through the various outcomes of their product/service and identify which of them can be long-term, commercially viable, and bring tangible value to the company. This process can be an uphill journey. It is important that collaborators in the start-up ecosystem acknowledge these issues and come together to address them.
At Enzia, we partner with companies at early stages thus taking bold bets, informed by our thesis-driven and outcomes-based approach. Our approach sharply focuses on customer-centricity and customer-outcomes juxtaposed with the size of opportunity. We thus identify the right business models that have the potential to not only be large but also long-lasting. and help them inculcate the outcomes-based approach in their product/service and organisational culture early on.
We do this through two broad actions – a) we help our portfolio companies identify their north star metric and b) we build the tools and frameworks for measurement, course correction and achievement of the right parameters along their lifecycle. The results are evident: high customer acquisition and retention rates, consistently positive customer feedback, and in some cases, customers’ interests in investing in the company itself. In this series, we pause to take a look at their journeys to customer success so far, and what lies ahead.