Maintaining customer loyalty and maximizing growth are two fundamental aspects of any business – and customer success is a certified way to secure both.
Unlike the past, where companies would rely on sales and marketing alone to attract and retain their customers, these days that just isn’t enough. We now live in an age where customers have more power than ever, and they demand that all of their expectations are not only met, but exceeded by a considerable margin.
For this reason, modern businesses are investing in Customer Success strategies that are designed specifically to ensure every customer gets exactly what they want and to deliver value through every step of the customer journey.
What is Customer Success?
At the core of every company is its customer base. Increasing profits and cutting costs are crucial for success, but nothing in business is more important than maintaining customer loyalty. There was once a time when achieving this goal was much easier than it is today, as customers were much more likely to settle for something acceptable if it meant they didn’t have to laboriously search for an alternative. Today, however, finding a better option is merely a Google search away.
Customer Success, then, is a highly-advanced strategy that is constructed to maximize customer and company value over a long-term period. In this strategy, a great deal of time and thought is invested into determining what challenges customers may face, what problems they may encounter, or what questions they are likely to ask so that the appropriate response can be delivered as soon as it is needed.
By investing in a Customer Success strategy, businesses can provide a level of service that prevents the customer from ever having reason to take their business elsewhere. It breeds loyalty and improves the reputation of the company as a whole, which in turn aids growth by attracting new customers from elsewhere.
What Types of Businesses Need Customer Success?
Be it small or medium businesses or large enterprises, the main goal of every business is to retain customers whilst simultaneously boosting growth. If your goal is to improve business growth without investing heavily in costly marketing campaigns that only deliver for a limited period, then Customer Success is the perfect solution.
By following a strategy that focuses on keeping existing customers happy, the positive word-of-mouth generated as a result will do more to attract other customers to your business in the long-run than any marketing campaign could. This is an effective method for all business types, but especially for smaller companies that want to increase growth and may not have sufficient capital to do so using traditional methods.
Success vs. Experience
One of the major buzzwords you’ve no doubt heard being flung around over the last couple of years is ‘customer experience‘. We use this term to describe the experience a customer has when using a product or service, and it gives us valuable insight into their perspective. By analyzing the customer experience, it is possible to determine how a customer feels when using the product/service, what problems they encounter, and how easily they can get what they want.
Customer Success, then, is a strategy that takes this one step further by helping businesses understand how customers use a business’ products or services from the perspective of both the customer AND the business. Essentially, customer success is the next evolutionary step that allows businesses to take all that information gathered from the customer experience, and use it to continuously improve the business and increase value well into the future.
What are the Benefits?
To give an idea of what benefits you stand to gain by investing in a Customer Success strategy, below is a list of how it can improve your business:
- Increase Retention – Investments in customer success will improve your customers’ ability to see the value in your products or services. As a result, they are much more likely to remain loyal to your company if they are pleased with the service you provide and are likely to continue doing so well into the future.
- Aid Expansion and Growth – As you build strong relationships with clients by implementing a Customer Success plan, you will gain their trust and will have a full understanding of their goals. As a result, it is much easier to identify and convert up-sell and cross-sell opportunities to each of your valued customers as your relationship progresses.
- Strengthen Acquisitions – As well as driving growth and profitability, having a solid customer base and a great reputation is a certified way to attract new customers. Happy customers that are treated well and are satisfied with the product or service they are using can be powerful.
How to Implement a Customer Success Strategy
For many business leaders, getting started is the most difficult part. With this in mind, we have created a list of steps you can take to get your Customer Success strategy off the ground.
- Know Your Customer – The first step on this list may seem like an obvious one, but it is without a doubt the most important. To make your customers happy, you have to be certain of what it is they want from the product or service you provide. Once you know this, you can then begin your plan on how to give it to them.
- Build a Customer Success Team – If you want the best results, you’re going to have to build a team that is dedicated to ensuring your Customer Success strategy is successfully implemented. This team should be filled with people who have years of experience with your product or service, as well as lots of time dealing with your customers.
- Invest in the Right Software – When executing your Customer Success plan, it helps to invest in tools that make it much easier for you to monitor performance and the effectiveness of your strategy. Computer telephony integration (CTI) solutions such as InGenius provide many services, such as automated call reports and call log templates, to ensure you stay in control and have full visibility throughout the customer success process.