What is customer success?
Customer success is the business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. Customer Success is relationship-focused client management, that aligns client and vendor metrics and goals for mutually beneficial business outcomes.
The importance of managing customer success
Customer success management transforms your customer relationship through strategic and proactive account management. Understanding the customer’s journey, how users engage with your product, and how your product or service impacts their goals solidifies the customer’s experience with your business as a whole. Customer success is directly tied to reducing churn while improving customer engagement which in turn can translate into revenue growth.
How does customer success work?
The role of the Customer Success Manager is still considered fairly new, and it continues to evolve over time. The function was created as a way to strengthen customer retention and significantly reduce customer churn. Customer Success is strategic. It is designed to identify customers with growth potential, understand the value of the product/service to their vision, and proactively create a process that intensifies the customer experience. Increasing revenue is of course ideal for the business yet we also want to make the role of customer success independent from the sales process. As Customer Success Managers take on new customers, they need to identify as their advocate which does encompass upselling at every turn. We find value in features that relate to our customers goals and show them how to get the most of their investment.
Tips from a customer success manager on helping customers
The role of the Customer Success Manager will vary across organizations, yet there always helpful factors that align with the industry as a whole:
Tip #1 Customer Onboarding Calls
This can either be done during the sales process or after the handoff. It is a vital part of developing your customer relationship, fully understanding the product usage case, and putting together action items and success metrics that align with the customers expectation.
Tip #2 Pointed Check Ins
Be diligent in checking in with your existing customers with a value add (upsell a new feature or product) and not just to ask “how things are going.” Know what the customer needs before they do and use that as an opening to start additional conversations. Being proactive in this role is the key to creating a positive experience and in turn build customer loyalty and reduce churn.
Tip #3 Customer Onsites
While these are not necessary for every customer, they are key for those considered to be an ideal customer or high revenue account. Scheduling time face to face with the contacts and teams that you typically only communicate with via email and phone can open up even more opportunities to transform the relations and create advocates for your product along the way. This could lead to partnership marketing opportunities as well as word-of-mouth marketing for your business. It also gives you the opportunity to dig deeper into how the company functions, what their overall expectations are as a business, and how you can be a key factor in those long term goals.
Tip #4: Customer Success vs. Customer Support
It is imperative not to blur the lines between these two teams. Customer Success focuses on proactive account management while Customer Support is more designed for reactive assistance. Make sure your customers understand the difference between the two in your onboarding process and portray that by always being ahead of the curve in your customer interactions. It is fine to assist your customer with reactive situations specifically as their first line of contact, however, it should never overshadow the value of how you work with them strategically to ensure that the working product they’ve invested in takes them to the next level.