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Customer Success Strategies that Work
Companies are beginning to realize that customer satisfaction and customer support are not enough. Customer support often is not proactive enough. It is retroactive.
Also, a “satisfied” customer may not have even thoroughly had their needs met by purchasing your product or service. Customer success (CS) is a more in-depth manner of garnering loyal customers who stay with your company’s offering because they get exactly what they need.
What is Customer Success?
CS begins with a view into the head of the customer that comes to your business. It asks questions such as, “What are these customers’ goals as they use and/or interact with your product? How can we convince them that our product is the best, but how can we choose the customers who will have the most success with our products? How can we help new customers onboard, so they will get the full benefit of what our company offers?
How can we target strategies to help different segments of our customer population achieve full CS? For example, how can we track how customers interact with our website to provide assistance and/or incentives to help them have the greatest success? Also, how can we gain meaningful feedback from surveys and planned interactions to ensure that customers can squeeze every bit of success from every portion of our offering to them?”
CS is critical in an age where there is so much competition between competing products and services in the marketplace. Companies just no longer can afford to routinely lose customers through not understanding their needs and how successfully those needs are being met by your company’s offering.
CS Strategy #1 – Create Positions and Teams From All Departments That Support CS
According to Forbes, companies need to have a manager whose task is CS. That manager needs to evangelize the need throughout your organization that CS is everyone’s job, not just your customer support team’s. In addition, the CS manager needs to create a unified system for looking into data that support CS throughout the organization.
The data needs to be analyzed to create a responsive and proactive CS plan throughout the organization and all portions of a customer’s life cycle interacting with your organization that helps the customer succeed with their goals in their interactions with your organization and its product or service.
According to Forbes, one tremendous boon to a total CS emphasis within your company is the use of CS software as a unified method of bringing this customer data together in a useful form for your CS manager.
Customer success strategies #2 – Create a Systematic Onboarding Process
Customers who can successfully and masterfully use your product or service will have great satisfaction and retention. Conversely, users who can’t get what they are looking for with your company will look elsewhere. UserIQ.com suggests onboarding features such as guided tours that are different, based upon the customer’s unique characteristics and needs. They also suggest that tips come up as the user interacts with your website that helps them through bottleneck points.
A tutorial should be present that can be accessed at any time by customers. Also, UserIQ suggests that customers who begin to show signs of having difficulty using your website, product, or service need to receive pro-active emails that explain how to get past the sticking point. One can even create a calendar that pops up to allow the user to have a mini-conference to receive individualized help getting past being stuck.
CS Strategy #3 – Create Engagement Aids
According to Inc.com, companies need to conduct regular surveys with customers. One critical survey should occur just before a cancellation. Customers should not be kept from canceling, but they should be respectfully asked to explain what has driven them to decide to no longer need your company’s services.
Also, Inc.com stated that these surveys should lead to timely changes that improve your offering that customers receive direct notification of. This helps customers see how your company listens to their needs and keeps perfecting your offering.
According to Inc.com, issues should be resolved quickly. However, a full day or two to hear back from customer service is too slow and risks churn.
Customer success happens when customers feel a powerful sense of getting what they want from your company. CS occurs when customers can fully utilize your company’s offering masterfully. CS does not happen serendipitously. It happens only through an ever-evolving, systematic, analytical, and thoughtful look into each customer’s reason for choosing your company and how well in every way that is panning out for customer success strategies.