If there’s one company that knows how to hit the ground running, it’s Microsoft. In just five years, their Teams app managed to amass a staggering 50 million Teams Phone users (about twice the population of Texas). But how did they do it? What’s the “secret sauce” for Microsoft’s success?
Wonder no more! We’re here to provide the answers. Our team has extracted valuable lessons that will equip you with the insights needed to supercharge your own growth strategies. So, let’s get started.
Key Factors of Microsoft’s Success
Customer-Centered Product Development
With the demand for unified services rising, Microsoft knew it had to get on board or be left behind. It began adding even more functionality to Teams, integrating video conferencing, file sharing, and other features into an already powerful chat app. Thanks to its user-centered development, it became a platform that benefited users and made Microsoft more competitive.
But Microsoft didn’t stop there. They monitored user feedback closely and continuously improved Teams based on real-world usage data. This allowed them to stay ahead of competitors by adapting to users’ evolving needs and preferences.
Practical Tip: Focus on developing innovative solutions that cater to your current customer’s specific needs and consistently gather feedback to refine and enhance your services. This will result in higher retention and higher revenue. In fact, if you increase your retention by just 5%, revenue can jump by at least 25%.
Targeted Marketing and Branding
Like any business, Microsoft employed effective marketing strategies to promote Teams, beginning with current customers and working their way out. Here are some ways they ensured Teams was positioned correctly:
- They leveraged their established Office suite user base to introduce Teams, capitalizing on familiarity and trust.
- They emphasized Teams’ superior security and privacy features, highlighting how it could help businesses stay safe while remote.
- They demonstrated real-world use cases and success stories across diverse industries to showcase Teams’ versatility.
- They forged strategic partnerships and integrations with other industry leaders to expand Teams’ capabilities.
- They encouraged users via in-product promotions and free trials to explore and experience Teams’ features.
- They leveraged the COVID-19 pandemic to position Teams as an essential solution for remote work.
All these steps – and more – created a strong brand identity, highlighting Teams as a reliable, secure, and versatile collaboration tool for businesses and individuals alike.
Practical Tip: Build a compelling brand identity for your services and market them strategically, emphasizing the unique benefits they bring to your customers. We’d suggest keeping remote and hybrid workers in mind since they make up almost half of the workforce.
Scalable Infrastructure and Technical Excellence
To accommodate the rapid growth of users, Microsoft invested in a scalable infrastructure that could handle increasing demands.
A great example would be their preliminary integration between Teams and Azure, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. Azure’s established global network of data centers provided the backbone for Teams, guaranteeing their platform could handle the growing demands of millions of concurrent users without compromising on stability or reliability.
At every step of the process, Microsoft ensured technical excellence by providing a stable and reliable platform, which contributed to user satisfaction and retention.
Practical Tip: As a communications provider, prioritize scalability and technical excellence to support your growing customer base, ensuring a seamless experience for users. You can’t grow well if you haven’t planned for it ahead of time.
Capitalizing on Unique Features to Navigate a Competitive Market
When Microsoft released Teams, they faced a market flooded with competition. To distinguish themselves, they:
- Made it even easier for Office 365 to use and access Teams, ensuring their current customer base felt seen and cared for.
- Added distinct features remote workers were clamoring for at the time (but sometimes couldn’t get). This priority was evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when their developers kept updating Teams with features like virtual backgrounds, breakout rooms, and increased participant limits to cater to the surge in remote work demand.
- Prioritized security. With “Zoom Bombs” on the rise during COVID, Microsoft Teams increased – and then marketed – its end-to-end encryption and other advanced security measures.
Practical Tip: In a competitive market, stay adaptable and be willing to innovate. Identify what makes your services different from others and use it as a competitive advantage.
Encouraging Customer Engagement and Listening to Their Feedback
Microsoft’s approach to customer engagement played a crucial role in its success. They actively listened to user feedback and incorporated valuable suggestions into product updates, demonstrating their commitment to meeting customer needs.
One example is the ability to add external guests to a Teams call. This was in response to feedback from users who needed to collaborate with clients, partners, or contractors outside the Office 365 suite. This example of responsiveness, plus a whole lot more, fostered long-term loyalty and satisfaction among Teams users.
Practical Tip: Cultivate strong customer relationships by engaging with them regularly, seeking feedback, and using their insights to improve your services.