Future of Business

Getting Beyond Email: Creative Digital Customer Success

Kristen Hayer
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Table of contents

Key takeawaysCollaboration platforms are essential to the new way of workingEmployees prefer engati over emailEmployees play a growing part in software purchasing decisionsThe future of work is collaborativeMethodology

The majority of digital customer success programs rely very heavily on email. Why? Because it’s the easiest form of communication to set up without involving another team. In fact, most Customer Success platforms have an email tool built right in. You can trigger emails to your heart’s content and sit back feeling like you’ve knocked digital customer success out of the park. But here’s the deal, you haven’t.

How many emails do you receive every day? At my last count I get around 200-300 per day, and I actually look at roughly 75 of them. What about the rest of those emails? They are promos from stores I bought something from once upon a time, shipping reminders, notices for someone else in our family. They get deleted. So do most of the helpful notes from the Customer Success Managers for any solutions I’ve signed up for. 

It isn’t that I don’t think the information is useful. I’m certain that it would be. It’s just that my email bandwidth is tapped. I have no more room in my world for email messages, unless I need to take direct action on them. I would speculate that most of your customers feel just like I do.   

As a CS leader faced with this challenge, what should you do? How do you ensure that customers actually pay attention to the important information you’re trying to convey? Mix it up! Make sure that the vehicle you’re using to share information is always the best option for each touchpoint in your customer journey. Yes, you may need to involve other teams from time to time, but by being creative you can get your message to your customer much more effectively. Here are some ideas to get you started.

WEBINARS

While you may have webinars in place right now, they are probably geared toward prospects rather than existing customers. Consider adding a series for your customers that includes product best practices, customer case studies or industry thought leadership. Take this further by recording the sessions and creating a library of best practices. Best for: Live Q&A, customer interviews, outside experts

VIDEOS

Similar to webinars, videos create visual engagement, but they come across as more personal. Consider interviewing successful clients or providing product tips in a fun way. Get your most engaging CSMs to participate as hosts so that customers can get to know them. Collect these in your knowledge-base or learning management system and add links to your chats and emails. Best for: Detailed product info, best practices, customer stories

PODCASTS

Now that some of us are getting back to commuting (or creating fake commutes to keep from going crazy!) podcasts are a good option for customers who want to listen to something work-related. Again, get some of your CSMs to serve as hosts, and have them interview industry thought leaders or talk about best practices. This is a chance for your natural performers to shine. Best for: tips and tricks, thought leadership

CUSTOMER FORUM

Leverage your power users by introducing a customer forum. This is a great choice for companies with a large and established customer base. Experienced users will help new customers get going and successfully using your solution with a little moderation from your team. Be sure to assign a moderator or two in order to keep things positive and prevent harassment or selling. Best for: peer advice, engaging users, collecting customer feedback

IN-APP MESSAGING

Your app is the perfect place to display messages that are tailored to your solution. If you know that customers run into snags in specific parts of your product, provide them with a walk-through or messaging at that point. If you don’t want to count on customers to engage with you on their own, imbedded chat-bot functionality can help get the conversation started. Best for: improving product usage, driving adoption

SURVEYS

Customer surveys can be related to touchpoints or to actions in your solution and can provide insight into both customer behavior and sentiment. Imbed surveys in your product, and at key touchpoints in your customer lifecycle to see where you need to improve. Wherever, in a high-touch CS program, you would be looking for direct feedback, build a survey for your digital program. Best for: voice of the customer feedback, details on where to improve the program.

Customers enjoy hearing from companies through a variety of sources, and creativity counts. As you’re planning your program, be sure to match your purpose for a touchpoint with a matching vehicle for delivering the message. You might even consider testing a couple of different options, if you’re not sure which will provide the best customer engagement. Think beyond email, and you’ll elevate your digital customer success program.

The Success League is a customer success consulting and training firm. We build and develop top performing CS programs that drive revenue and improve the customer experience.

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Kristen Hayer

Kristen Hayer is the Founder & CEO of The Success League.

She believes Customer Success must be at the heart of any business and has been building and leading award-winning sales, marketing and customer success teams, primarily for technology organizations for over 20 years.

Which led her to build The Success League, whose aim is to help companies build great Customer Success teams.

Andy is the Co-Founder and CIO of SwissCognitive - The Global AI Hub. He’s also the President of the Swiss IT Leadership Forum.

Andy is a digital enterprise leader and is transforming business strategies keeping the best interests of shareholders, customers, and employees in mind.

Follow him for your daily dose of AI news and thoughts on using AI to improve your business.

Catch our interview with Andy on AI in daily life

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Getting Beyond Email: Creative Digital Customer Success

Kristen Hayer
|
5
min read

The majority of digital customer success programs rely very heavily on email. Why? Because it’s the easiest form of communication to set up without involving another team. In fact, most Customer Success platforms have an email tool built right in. You can trigger emails to your heart’s content and sit back feeling like you’ve knocked digital customer success out of the park. But here’s the deal, you haven’t.

How many emails do you receive every day? At my last count I get around 200-300 per day, and I actually look at roughly 75 of them. What about the rest of those emails? They are promos from stores I bought something from once upon a time, shipping reminders, notices for someone else in our family. They get deleted. So do most of the helpful notes from the Customer Success Managers for any solutions I’ve signed up for. 

It isn’t that I don’t think the information is useful. I’m certain that it would be. It’s just that my email bandwidth is tapped. I have no more room in my world for email messages, unless I need to take direct action on them. I would speculate that most of your customers feel just like I do.   

As a CS leader faced with this challenge, what should you do? How do you ensure that customers actually pay attention to the important information you’re trying to convey? Mix it up! Make sure that the vehicle you’re using to share information is always the best option for each touchpoint in your customer journey. Yes, you may need to involve other teams from time to time, but by being creative you can get your message to your customer much more effectively. Here are some ideas to get you started.

WEBINARS

While you may have webinars in place right now, they are probably geared toward prospects rather than existing customers. Consider adding a series for your customers that includes product best practices, customer case studies or industry thought leadership. Take this further by recording the sessions and creating a library of best practices. Best for: Live Q&A, customer interviews, outside experts

VIDEOS

Similar to webinars, videos create visual engagement, but they come across as more personal. Consider interviewing successful clients or providing product tips in a fun way. Get your most engaging CSMs to participate as hosts so that customers can get to know them. Collect these in your knowledge-base or learning management system and add links to your chats and emails. Best for: Detailed product info, best practices, customer stories

PODCASTS

Now that some of us are getting back to commuting (or creating fake commutes to keep from going crazy!) podcasts are a good option for customers who want to listen to something work-related. Again, get some of your CSMs to serve as hosts, and have them interview industry thought leaders or talk about best practices. This is a chance for your natural performers to shine. Best for: tips and tricks, thought leadership

CUSTOMER FORUM

Leverage your power users by introducing a customer forum. This is a great choice for companies with a large and established customer base. Experienced users will help new customers get going and successfully using your solution with a little moderation from your team. Be sure to assign a moderator or two in order to keep things positive and prevent harassment or selling. Best for: peer advice, engaging users, collecting customer feedback

IN-APP MESSAGING

Your app is the perfect place to display messages that are tailored to your solution. If you know that customers run into snags in specific parts of your product, provide them with a walk-through or messaging at that point. If you don’t want to count on customers to engage with you on their own, imbedded chat-bot functionality can help get the conversation started. Best for: improving product usage, driving adoption

SURVEYS

Customer surveys can be related to touchpoints or to actions in your solution and can provide insight into both customer behavior and sentiment. Imbed surveys in your product, and at key touchpoints in your customer lifecycle to see where you need to improve. Wherever, in a high-touch CS program, you would be looking for direct feedback, build a survey for your digital program. Best for: voice of the customer feedback, details on where to improve the program.

Customers enjoy hearing from companies through a variety of sources, and creativity counts. As you’re planning your program, be sure to match your purpose for a touchpoint with a matching vehicle for delivering the message. You might even consider testing a couple of different options, if you’re not sure which will provide the best customer engagement. Think beyond email, and you’ll elevate your digital customer success program.

The Success League is a customer success consulting and training firm. We build and develop top performing CS programs that drive revenue and improve the customer experience.

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