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Is customer success just a buzzword? A jazzed-up, rebranded version of customer service?
Or could it be something more?
What is customer success?
Customer success is all about making sure that your customers get exactly what they want while using your offerings. It revolves around the philosophy that you succeed only when your customers succeed. An effective customer success strategy could be the difference between having a high churn rate and having customers that turn into brand evangelists.
Essentially, customer success is exactly what it sounds like - setting your customers up for success.
How is customer success different from customer support?
Customer service tends to be reactive in nature. It’s all about resolving the customer issues after they arise. You solve their problems and hope to make them happy.
Customer success takes another approach. It’s proactive. Customer success teams try to solve problems before they even arise. Customer success involves constantly looking at feedback and data, hunting for ways to streamline the experience and help customers achieve their goals.
Customer service representatives help with customers only when they have questions or issues, but customer success teams work together with customers proactively to help them get the most out of their purchase.
While customer service tends to be transactional, customer success is all about building and nurturing relationships. Customer success involves understanding your customers’ organizational goals and KPIs, ensuring that your offerings help them exceed their goals.
Why is customer success important for your business?
Your business cannot succeed in the long run if you do not focus on helping your customers succeed. That would leave you with abysmal retention rates, forcing you to spend a ridiculous amount of time, money and energy trying to acquire new customers, most of which would not stick around with your business for too long.
Customer success management is very effective at helping you retain customers for the long haul, but it even helps you earn new customers. When you make efforts to help them achieve their goals, your customers will turn into brand evangelists.
Research shows that only 1 in 26 customers who face issues tend to reach out and complain. And 91% of customers who don’t complain, simply leave. That means, without a proactive customer success strategy, without looking to resolve issues before they arise, you stand to lose most of your unhappy customers. Now you’re back to spending absurd amounts of money hunting for new customers, when you could have got recurring revenues from your existing ones by focusing on customer success.
How does customer success influence your customer experience?
Customer success helps your business look at the customer experience and understand it better. It involves using data and feedback to find potential gaps in the customer experience and also looks for ways to improve the experience and create new peaks.
Essentially, customer success is a part of the overall customer experience, but it plays an important role in understanding the improving the overall customer experience.
How does customer success drive revenue for your business?
The most obvious way in which customer success helps drive revenue is by renewals. When you set your customers up for success and guide them, solving problems before they arise and help them get the most out of your offerings, they’re likely to stick around. If you have a subscription-based business, this means they won’t need to spend too much time figuring out whether renewing their subscription is worth the investment.
But that’s not the only way it helps you increase your revenue.
Your acquisition activities got them in the door, your customer success activities got them to stay, and they played a key role in getting your customers to trust you. This means that it paved the way for you to cross-sell and upsell them.
They already know that you will be there for them when they need help with these new solutions as well.
3 powerful customer success tips
Your customer success team should never alienate itself from other departments in your organization. They should work with all these departments, collaborating with the common goal of eliminating customer problems and helping them get the most out of your solution.
If yours is a SaaS company, this could involve working with the tech team to solve problems before they arise.
You can’t just wing it. You need to have a clearly thought out plan and allocate dedicate resources if you can afford it.
But, you need to remember that planning it is not a one-and-done activity. As your business evolves, so should your customer success program.
You know that most customers who face issues don’t reach out. A lot of them will try to solve the issue on their own - give them the resources they need to do that.
Create a knowledge base and maintain a blog that deas with common issues that might arise.
To make it even easier, create a chatbot that helps them find the information they need without having to navigate through your website. Or eliminate the effort involved in opening your website by deploying the bot on WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, and other channels which they spend time using.
It is impossible for your business to succeed if you do not focus on helping your customers succeed. Set up a dedicated them that focuses on helping them make the most of your offering and eliminates issues before your customers even face them.
Deploy an intelligent bot that can answer all their questions in their language of choice, without making them wait at all.
Setting your customers up for success is a surefire way to increase customer loyalty and cause a massive spike in your customer lifetime value.