Customer Success: Meaning, Why It Matters and More
"Sometimes one can become lost in a big company and lose sight of how what one does truly helps or impacts the end customer. If you are one of those, think of a fire brigade, a line of people passing buckets of water from one to the other from a water source to the fire site. An individual in the brigade may not be able to see the result, i.e., the water being thrown on the fire to put it out, but the contribution of the individual is indispensable to the outcome." – Grant Bright, Former Project Lead IBM.
When a customer has a complaint, he is doing you a favor by giving you a further opportunity to assist him satisfactorily. When you recognize that the customer's alternative option was to leave you for a competitor, you will realize the significance of this opportunity.
What Is Customer Success?
Customer success is the effort made by a company to assist its customers in being the top performer, both with its good or service and in their operational processes.
However, assuming that the business as a whole will take on customer success leadership is no longer sufficient; for your customers to shine, you'll need someone (or a team) who is entirely focused on it. Customer success groups take a proactive, data-driven approach to assist customers in making better use of a product. Depending on the team's structure and maturity, it may manage everything from trial consumer engagement to renewal.
By maximizing the brilliance of the product, customer success increases the chances that users will stick around. Therefore, it is critical to increasing monthly recurring revenue for subscription-based businesses (MRR). However, for companies that do not adhere to that model, the value of customer success manifests itself through cutting-edge product insights and word-of-mouth marketing.
Importance of Customer Success
Customers are essential to your company's success, so concentrating on them and their satisfaction with your products/services aids in retention. In addition, when your customers are happy and fulfilled due to your company, they will frequently refer your company to others.
Customers have more options than ever before, and only 3% of people believe in sales and marketing professionals. As a result, growth will most likely be determined by how well your business can build a satisfied customer base and reduce attrition rather than the size of your sales or marketing teams.
The growth of SaaS and subscription-based business models is one of the most important driving factors in customer success.
Instead of selling large, one-time deals to customers, an increasing number of businesses are shifting to a subscription model. In that model, products must demonstrate their worth before contract renewal. Renewal is dependent on helping customers see the value and success of the product consistently because there is almost always another player in the market or substitute product that customers can choose.
Customer Success Principles
Some businesses have Customer Success Managers in charge of training customers on industry best practices and how to best use the service or product to achieve success. In addition, they assist in determining what is and isn't working and what else can be carried out to achieve results.
Here are the top seven core customer success principles:
- Customers who accept more frequently are more likely to renew:
Customers do not receive the value of your service if they do not use it appropriately or as well as they could.
- Customer success is not the same as customer support:
customer success is concentrated on acceptance and proactive, whereas customer support is more reactive and deals with issues.
- Customers who buy more are more loyal:
Upselling improves customer satisfaction by building deeper connections and much more worth to be delivered to customers.
- Listen to your customers:
It may seem obvious, but support managers frequently overlook great listening and comprehension.
- Be a proactive advocate for your customers:
keeping a record of emerging issues and always keeping your customers' best interest at heart will lead to loyalty and an increased sense of trust for your brand.
- Get your customers involved:
Invite them to events or provide feedback on the latest service or product. The more entwined they become with your company, the less likely they will defect.
- Say thank you:
Whether they come to you with a consultation or they call to bring attention to a problem, be grateful for their efforts and show them you appreciate them in any way you can.
It takes time, effort, and the right strategies to master a customer success sales position. However, the seven customer success fundamentals listed above should help keep your customers happy, engaged, and thrilled about what the future holds for both of you.
The Golden Rule for Customer Success
The Golden Rule is well-known: "Treat others as you would like to be treated." But what does this have to be doing with customer satisfaction? As it turns out, pretty much everything. The Golden Rule is at the heart of what customer success is all about.
Maintaining the Golden Rule as the classic benchmark for people, processes, and products will help keep your customers excited, engaged, and happy. The result will be obvious—renewal rates will remain high. While there are numerous ways for your company to prioritize customers, here are a few strategic ways to begin and make sure the Golden Rule is followed throughout the organization:
- No matter how big or small the issue, respond to customer inquiries as soon as possible.
- Listen to customers and strive to understand their feelings, no matter how outspoken they may be.
- Rather than reacting and waiting for the customer to act first, be proactive in informing them of potential problems.
- Come up with reasons to praise customers whenever possible, whether it's for being a valued customer, for helpful insights, for a product idea, for a referral, or anything else.
- Be your customer's proponent and always do what's best for their company, projects, and goals.
- Teach and share knowledge with customers, and invite them to business learning occasions such as workshops, conferences, or even the most recent e-book or case study.
- Overcommunicate as much as possible to ensure that your company and the customer are always on the same common platform and work toward the same goals.
- Build relationships at all levels of the customer's organization.
The Process for Customer Success
Customer success processes vary significantly between industries and businesses, but a basic process might include:
- When customers hear about your company, they will evaluate how your services can benefit them.
- A customer will decide whether or not to purchase. Then, when payment has been received or a free trial is secured, the process begins.
- The following phase involves collecting information from the client, such as" 'What problem are you trying to solve?" "How can we assist?"
- Determine who calls the shots, as collaborating with them can help your business make more money and their business succeed.
- Discovering what tools they previously utilized will help you figure out how your goods and services can help support their business and help them succeed.
- Provide training materials, webinars, and other such services.
- Remember to check in frequently to discuss things, find out whether there are any problems, perform surveys, and so on.
- The customer will continue to use your service. Maintain an "open door" policy and be available if customers require assistance.
Customer Success Process Flow
Setting quantifiable goals, tracking progress, creating material to boost adoption, and remembering to begin and finish with your goals can all assist.
Continue to assess how successful your clients are due to your efforts, then fine-tune your objectives to ensure even greater success in the future.
It's also a good idea to construct a customer health score, which includes aspects like:
- Do the results fulfill the customer's expectations?
- How well are the products and services being used? What does this usage imply?
- Is the customer making full use of the service?
- How do your customers feel about dealing with you?
- Are there any issues that need to be resolved?
Thinking about these points and ranking the findings could reveal where customers currently stand to one another and what can be done to assist those who aren't quite there yet.
7 Proven Customer Success Strategies
Questions will eventually emerge as customers begin to use your service or product. Therefore, your support team must be readily available for questions and assist customers in getting "unstuck." Support can be proactive (for example, chatbots), reactive (for example, email tickets), or self-service (e.g., knowledge base articles). A company must provide a mix of all three types of support to ensure that customer's questions are answered quickly.
Customer success is about providing a positive experience and assisting customers in recognizing value as early as possible. But, of course, your customers will frequently require some level of assistance along the way.
Monitor User Engagement
The customer experience does not end when a contract is signed, or a product is purchased. Therefore, businesses must track customer engagement metrics on a routine, weekly, and/or monthly basis. Keep track of help tickets, logins, completed onboarding steps, and other tasks to ensure customers use your product or service. After all, a consumer who isn't engaged with a product isn't going to gain anything from it.
Personalize the Experience
Personalization is the foundation of any successful customer success strategy. Customers today prefer brands that they believe are paying attention to them, fully comprehend them, and are concerned with their particular needs and goals.
Understanding the customer's goals is the first stage in personalizing the experience. What do they need to accomplish to realize value? Every customer interaction, whether during the orientation and training or upsell phase, should be focused on the customer's desired result.
When communicating with customers, businesses may use too much jargon. You can help customers succeed by sharing clearly and using language that is accessible and simple to understand.
Follow up with all of your customers and verify with them regularly. It is a powerful way to demonstrate that you care and are genuinely invested in their success. Then, offer to resolve unresolved problems, develop relationships, and even solicit testimonials from satisfied customers.
Act on Feedback
The insights gained from follow-ups can only be as beneficial as the steps you take resulting from them. There are numerous advantages to closing the cycle on customer feedback. It enables your product team to comprehend user requirements, match them to highlight releases, and ultimately prioritize the product roadmap. In addition, customers will feel heard, valued, and more loyal to the brand as their feedback is integrated into the products or service experience.
Create a Referral Program
Current successful customers can be your most powerful tool for acquiring new customers. Consider developing a rewards program for customers to spread awareness about the products or service. Many SaaS companies, for example, will provide a free monthly subscription to their product in exchange for new consumer referrals.
The most successful firms ensure their clients' continuing satisfaction and success. You can transform your customers into devoted brand advocates by implementing a customer success program at your firm and providing that they feel supported during their stay with you.
It will allow you to grow steadily while maintaining long-term connections with the individuals who matter most to you: your customers.