What can your organization gain from customer success? Successful companies are set apart from their competitors not just by the quality of their products and services but primarily by their customer service.
Looking for Customer success Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best customer success software solutions.
For businesses to grow and retain customers, customer success is essential. However, few companies fully understand customer success, why it matters, and how to utilize it effectively.
As we take a closer look at customer success strategies and the best tools for the job, we’ll help you boost customer success in your organization and master the art of keeping your customers happy. Let’s get started.
Why Customer Success is Critical for Your Business
Customer success is a crucial part of the long-term strategy of any subscription-based business. So while you might wonder why you should worry about it, one key thing to remember is that subscription businesses depend highly on customer success.
Customers who are successful in their objectives are also more likely to keep using your products and recommend them to others. In contrast, if they are not succeeding, you would risk losing customers and having trouble gaining new ones.
You need to keep your customers engaged because this means more revenue for subscription-based businesses. Your customers’ success is crucial to every business since they will continue paying month-on-month and may purchase add-ons and additional products.
After all, no organization ever complained about repeat sales! Your customers can benefit significantly from customer success strategies, helping you to increase customer lifetime value (CLV) and deliver a better customer experience.
The biggest challenge to customer success is managing an increasingly complex sales process. The linear sales process has replaced a cyclical rhythm that blends AI and techniques with technology and relationships.
According to Gartner, the biggest obstacle to B2B sales is a lack of customer confidence (i.e., lack of confidence in their ability to make the right choice, not a lack of confidence in suppliers).
Eighty-nine percent of B2B customers say they encounter high-quality information during buying. Still, their inability to make sense of the data leads them to choose safer, less disruptive solutions.
But how do companies create successful strategies that increase production adoption, improve internal communications, and improve the customer experience? First, let’s look at some of the top customer success strategies that can help your company achieve client success and enhances customer retention rate:
Customer Success Strategy Framework
Even though every business’s journey with its customers is different, a general customer success methodology that all companies – from any industry – can utilize can help you create an effective customer success program. Understanding and proactively improving the customer experience is crucial, so let’s take a closer look.
10 Strategies For Improving Customer Success
Customer success is about creating a comprehensive and responsive customer service strategy to ensure your customers achieve their business goals. A common thing that all customer success strategy examples follow is facilitating proactive relationships with customers and increasing retention and renewal rates.
Customers are engaged with your company long before they sign on the dotted line. The first time new customers meet and engage with you is often a make-or-break experience – because 57% of buyers decide before a customer even picks up the phone. Today, most B2B first impressions are formed online via your company website, email, or social media.
Indeed, design and user experience are essential to crafting a “hook.” Still, if a visitor takes the time to learn more about your brand, it is your marketing team’s responsibility to provide a consistently good experience.
Your first step to building brand awareness is to nurture and qualify potential customers you’re confident you can serve. Because of this, your website content, branding, imagery, etc., might already have a look and feel that makes sense to your business and industry, so it’s imperative to have a clear definition of what makes a good fit, both for your benefit and theirs.
The first step to building a solid foundation for customer success is establishing buyer personas, regardless of your business, product, or service.
You must approach customers carefully because not everyone is your target audience. You must therefore be selective in your approach.
It would help if you didn’t target everyone but customers with the highest likelihood of success rather than those ready to use your products or services.
Understanding the type of customer likely to succeed with your product and services will help you tailor messaging to meet their needs, ensuring you are marketing your product correctly and attracting the right audience.
You can’t ignore that your sales team is in charge of customer acquisition. As prospects turn into qualified leads and move forward through the funnel, their expectations and experience begin to develop. As the relationship builds, they expect the same level of consistency should they close and become a customer. This is what you’re already doing right:
Sales inevitably explain the results your product or service delivery team can expect during the discovery calls your reps are holding with engaged leads — where they learn about customer needs, pricing, and how your company works.
You must implement the right technology to support these efforts. Among the 91% of B2B companies with more than 11 employees that have invested in customer relationship management (CRM) software, that’s another item on your to-do list to ensure customer success.
In addition, it is prudent to develop a clear strategy statement that marketing, sales, and other key stakeholders can agree on. You will be able to describe your target audience, what you intend to do for them, what your company departments will do, and what your product will achieve.
Customer Guided Onboarding
Getting your customers set up and engaged as soon as possible improves their experience and the chance of success if you help them get started immediately. As a result, they will perceive a higher level of value and will likely return to engage again more frequently.
The onboarding process is likely one of the most critical for any B2B organization — partly because there are numerous ways to go wrong with the best-laid plans. Therefore, during the last leg of the sales process, your internal operations should get involved.
In contrast, your sales team should stay involved during the beginning of the onboarding process to ensure a smooth transition from acquisition to onboarding.
In professional services and SaaS companies, discussing pricing with customers for a long time is common before any action is taken. While ensuring you are not exploited is essential, it will be well worth the effort if your customer is appropriately empowered to use your product or service to its fullest.
Also has had the opportunity to work with both a salesperson and an account manager for a considerable time.
Despite not being able to hold your customers’ hands every step of the way, you can always provide proactive customer support to them. Of course, you are bound to encounter questions and roadblocks as your customers use your product or service, but how you assist your customers in overcoming these challenges will significantly impact customer success.
When customers get stuck, your customer support team should be available to help them. Your team should provide clear, concise answers to customer questions that resolve them in the first encounter, no matter how simple or complex the question is.
If your support team fulfills the customer’s needs during the first interaction, companies can avoid 67% of customer churn.
You might consider adopting tools to help your customer service team resolve customer requests if they struggle to do so.
You can also create self-service support options that guide customers to solutions on their own by providing them with advantages that help them organize and manage incoming service requests.
In this stage, your customers realize what they’ve chosen, like you, and receive what they want. However, as a B2B customer journey continues, value realization is less of a stage and more of an ongoing process.
Therefore, you must understand your customer’s expectations and desired outcomes in detail. For a medical device manufacturer, value realization differs dramatically from what it looks like for a marketing company or a corporate presentation skills training firm.
The company’s job is to ensure the customer receives the total value of your product or service, so you likely have someone who checks in with the customer at least semi-regularly to ensure meeting customer expectations and outcomes.
Of course, it’s in your most satisfactory interests that the customer continues to receive value from the engagement over and over, so take advantage of your check-ins wisely; don’t be afraid to ask what’s working well and what you can do better.
The opportunity for your customers to offer insight is crucial to cementing a long-term relationship, ultimately resulting in customer loyalty.
Having a loyal customer means they cannot imagine doing business with anyone else, so you’re “the one.” Like inbound marketing’s Delight phase, the customer becomes an evangelist — someone happy to promote your products, share customer success stories, services, brands, etc. To others in their network on your behalf.
It’s an excellent strategy to present happy customers with this request once you have established strong customer loyalty. In other words, a loyal customer is primed for a review, a testimonial, or even a referral. Wouldn’t you know, this strategy is also a customer success strategy.
Monitor Key Metrics
It would be most beneficial to clearly understand what’s happening in your business to improve customer success. This means regularly monitoring key customer success metrics to figure out where your customers are succeeding and where they are struggling. Here are some helpful customer success metrics:
Customer Retention Rate
A measure of how many customers remain after one month, six months, or twelve months.
Customer Lifetime Value
The total revenue a customer generates throughout their entire relationship with your business.
Repeat Purchase Rate
A measure of how often a customer makes another purchase or reorders.
Customer Health Score
A measure of how much time users spend using a product, how many key features are used, and how many renewals.
You can find trends in your customers’ journeys and where the sticking points are by monitoring key customer success metrics according to your business model and your products or services.
In this way, you can improve customer success and make it easier for customers to accomplish their goals, and simplify your customer success goals with your products or services.
It is essential to ensure that desired outcomes are in place to increase the customer relationship’s lifetime value (LTV) and to provide customer success at every stage.
Using customer success software or tools such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics provide data that makes the conversation around what Success looks like more relevant and personalized.
The old customer service model was reactive, using trouble tickets and addressing problems on a case-by-case basis. Then, the account manager stepped in with reassurances to maintain the customer relationship.
Rather than performing triage, customer success is proactive, so it’s essential to have touchpoints throughout the organization, identifying potential problems and opportunities.
This requires a dedicated customer success team with a customer success manager responsible for customer onboarding and adoption and customer success teams accountable for increasing customer value and driving renewals.
In addition, the Customer Success team spearheads a company-wide initiative to meet the customer’s evolving needs.
You have to continue to ask the hard questions:
- How does the customer use our product? Ask for customer feedback.
- Why do they use our product?
- What data can we apply to help them get more value from our product?
- How do we ensure renewal and avoid subscription fatigue?
You want to make customer success initiatives profitable, so you must measure customer acquisition cost (CAC) against lifetime value (LTV). The value of any customer relationship is measured by customer satisfaction, retention, and the number of products or services they purchase.
Analyze Churn Rates
In today’s subscription economy, you want to focus on maintaining the customer relationship, not just closing the sale, so CAC is only a fraction of LTV. To gauge customer success, you need to measure recurring revenue from customer retention.
The value of any sale extends well beyond the point of purchase. This is why you need real-time visibility into usage, including contextual data. In addition, predictive analytics should uncover any issues with the customer experience and adoption and reveal new up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
Customer success is the result of product or service value. So if your analytics reveal slow adoption rates, that means there is resistance to using the product, or it has been shelved, so the customer is getting zero value.
Instead, slow adoption should trigger the appropriate response—outreach to assess the problem, redesign customer onboarding, provide the proper integration, train support teams, and resolve customer issues. Thereby enhancing customer interactions, getting the desired outcome, and getting a deeper understanding of your customer’s expectations.
Real-time analytics can reveal other concerns, such as adopting a competing solution, implementing an effective customer success program, or dissatisfaction with customer support.
The goal is to make adoption seamless to demonstrate long-term value. Using analytical data, you should be able to identify any roadblocks in the customer journey that need to be removed.
Customer success managers can outsource many aspects of customer success so your in-house team can focus on what they do best.
For example, you can provide relationship-focused client management and gain the insight and data you need to promote customer retention and growth. For instance, outsourcing lead generation and qualification is less costly and allows your sales team to focus on customer needs.
Companies also have sophisticated technology to efficiently manage the customer journey and generate analytical data. Getting an external perspective can help you refine sales processes to help you embrace customer success.
What is a compelling customer journey?
An organization’s customer journey documents the customer experience, not just a part of a transaction or experience, but the total interaction between a company and its customers.
Why is customer feedback important?
Customer feedback refers to the information, insights, concerns, and input your community shares about your company, products, or services. This feedback guides the improvement of the customer experience and can empower positive change in any business — even (and especially) when it is negative.
What does the customer success team do?
Customer success teams create engagement strategies with clients to foster a professional relationship by providing product and operational services, training, and customer service. Building and maintaining long-lasting and healthy relationships with customers is the responsibility of the customer success team.
What is a customer success framework?
Customer success frameworks ensure that your company can deliver value and make using your product enjoyable. The best companies establish repeatable procedures that encourage consumers to become advocates.
How to approach and engage with customers?
You can build a loyal customer following using these six customer engagement strategies:
- Make sure your customers have a great experience.
- Ensure that your brand is relatable and meaningful.
- Make use of push notifications.
- Take advantage of conversational marketing.
- Focus on customer retention.
- Implement social media marketing.
Amy leads MarketStar’s strategic content and demand marketing efforts. She supports the revenue engine at MarketStar with the aim of contributing to organic and new growth through content and campaigns designed to provide action and spark discussion.
As a 21-year veteran of MarketStar, she has contributed to MarketStar’s success for two-thirds of the company’s history. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University. She is a published author and motivational speaker.