Customer success is more than just a fancy way of saying "customer service." It's no longer just a SaaS thing either. It's become an approach to business with the goal of providing maximum value to customers. When your business champions customer success, you become proactive in preventing customer problems and identifying customer needs. This leads to a reduction in churn, better retention and renewals, and, ultimately, increased revenue.
If you aim to implement an effective customer success program in your organization, you'll be glad to know that it's not as difficult as it seems. The first thing to keep in mind is that the entire process doesn't have to happen overnight. The best way is to implement it step by step at a pace that makes sense for your business.
We have some tips on how you can champion customer success.
Emphasize customer education
A positive relationship with your customers is essential for customer success. Building one is a lot easier if they know your business well. You need to exert more effort in educating your customers regarding your brand, products, and services. A critical element of customer education is educational content, as it pushes prospects further into the customer journey. Educational content, such as corporate videos, must be designed in accordance with each part of the customer journey.
Regarding brand awareness, make sure that your marketing team is capable of providing a positive and consistent experience to potential customers taking a look at your brand. This is the first time a prospect engages with your business, and it can decide whether their customer journey continues or ends there. Consistency can be achieved by aligning your company's messaging, aesthetic, and content.
As for products and services, the focus should be on establishing credibility if your business is a newcomer to the industry. Another priority is to inform customers about the problems they're experiencing and make them aware that your product or service presents a solution. Educating customers about your products and services is best done through free content such as blog posts, emails, and corporate videos. An educated customer isn't just more likely to be motivated to avail of your products and services, but they are also more likely to get a satisfying experience.
Just like in any relationship, communication is essential between your business and your customers. Every contact your business has with a prospect, lead, or customer relies on effective communication for success. Just by placing ads, you're already communicating with your target audience. It's important to make the quality of communication consistent throughout the entire customer journey.
Effective communication between colleagues and stakeholders is just as important. If your team is not communicating well, you will face avoidable problems that will hinder you from providing satisfaction to your customers.
There are many practices you should follow to optimize communication with your customers or within your organization.
- Promote active listening - Aside from being able to speak clearly, it's also vital that your customer success team members are great listeners. As the people who engage the customers directly, it's imperative that they listen well to what the clients say, as this information is invaluable in championing customer success.
- Make use of different channels - modern technology has given businesses many options in communicating. It's in your business's best interest to use multiple of these channels. Work towards getting the most out of email marketing, webinars, live chat, social media, and self-service portals.
- Automate - another capability technology has afforded businesses today is automation. Alongside product usage data, companies can use automation to ensure they can maintain quality communication with a growing customer base. An example of this would be sending automated emails based on usage patterns.
- Cut corporate-speak - A simple yet effective practice. Staying away from language that is too corporate or formal is a great way of improving how you communicate with your customers. It may make you sound more professional, but all it does is alienate your customer and make you sound templated.
Enhance the onboarding experience
Onboarding is one of the most critical parts of the customer journey, and businesses shouldn't skimp on it. Customers who tend to stay longer with a business are the ones who receive initial value during the onboarding process. By investing more resources in onboarding, you can prevent or decrease churn.
If you want to optimize your onboarding process further, you need to do a bit of fine-tuning. Appoint a person dedicated to making sure all onboarding activities are being executed on schedule. They should also oversee whether the proper department is carrying out each onboarding task and everyone else involved is aware of where the customer is in the process.
Make sure your teams align
The customer success team takes the lead, but customer success is the responsibility of every department. This is why it's critical that your teams are on the same page regarding customer success. For instance, sales and customer success, which are centered around revenue and customers, respectively, need to communicate well and exchange data to achieve the same goal.
Today, sales and marketing are no longer enough for business growth. Any business seeking to grow needs to invest in customer success. This is true even for B2B companies. If you're familiar with inbound marketing, you probably see how well customer success initiatives will work with inbound marketing.