Over the last few decades, customer expectations, cultural trends, and increased industry competitiveness has urged businesses to put customer success as a top priority. In order for customers to continue growing their lifetime value with a certain company, they must feel success with the product or service that they’re purchasing. But what does customer success look like? And what can companies do to ensure that customers are successful?
Businesses must put in the work in order to help their customers be as successful as possible in regards to both their products as well as their business operations.
It’s worth noting, however, that customer success is not to be confused with customer support. Customer support teams are primarily reactive, meaning that after a customer purchases a product or service, they are there to respond to and resolve any issues that they may have. Customer success teams on the other hand, are meant to be proactive. They must address any anticipated customer needs before customers even feel the need to reach out to the company for support. In other words, customer success acts as a buffer to customer support in order to reduce the number of displeased customers or complaints.
Developing a strong customer success strategy is a must for every business, and the first step is to identify the customer’s preferences. Why are customers buying your product or service, and what trends are prevalent in your industry that have been shown to increase customer success? At the beginning, it’s all about research, so it’s vital to gather important statistics and data on your customers’ demands and needs.
In order to ensure customer success, you’ll first need a great customer success team. A good team should have excellent communication skills and be highly knowledgeable on the products or services your company provides. Proactivity is the name of the game and with that your CS team needs to not only consider the customer’s journey, but how it contributes to the customer lifetime value. The customer journey begins upon a consumer’s initial interaction with a product or business, and it’s up to the customer success team to set prospective customers up for success even before they make a purchase. Without being able to get inside the head of your target consumer, there’s little to no chance of securing customer success.
Metrics will be a great contributor to your team’s ability to propagate great customer success as well. Going hand-in-hand with your initial research, figuring out how you can measure both your customer success and your company success is vital in determining what needs to change with your CS strategy and what can stay. The most common metrics used to measure these factors are the customer lifetime value and customer acquisition costs. Looking from the customer-angle, metrics like churn rates, NPS data, and social media analytics are great measures of customer engagement and success. As consumer data starts coming in, begin tweaking your strategy and even look at what other companies in your industry are doing that can help eliminate the issues you might be seeing in your results. Trends and expectations are constantly changing as well, so at one point or another the strategies that work now might not always give you the same results.
With a team of highly knowledgeable employees and conducting continuous research on your customers and others buying within your industry, you will be able to cultivate great customer success for your business and see great increases in retention and growth in the short and long-term. Customer success isn’t just about the customer, it’s also about your company’s reputation and wellbeing. At the end of the day, you want your customers to keep coming back for more, and find satisfaction with the products or services you provide. With a bit of work, your customer success rates can improve exponentially, and you’ll see your business grow faster than ever before.
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