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What is Customer Success and how can it help your business grow?

Thinking about Customer Success goes far beyond making sure that a purchase is completed or a contract is signed. Learn more about it!

Customer Success – A laptop screen with a smiling customer’s face coming out of the screen. Beside it, there is a speech balloon with a trophy icon inside.

Those who are up to date with the marketing universe know that how you interact with customers has changed a lot over the last few years. 

Due to digital transformation and the fact that more and more power is in the hands of the customer when it comes to decision-making, thinking about your customers’ success is crucial for the health of your business.

But what is this concept about anyway? Is it the same as “customer support”? Are there ways of evaluating the level of customer satisfaction objectively? Keep reading and check out the answers to these questions!

What is Customer Success all about?

The word “success” makes us think about something that had a very positive outcome, right? Well, implementing a Customer Success department in your business is the same as adopting initiatives aimed at a positive and satisfying experience.

Lincoln Murphy, a startup consultant who is regarded as the creator of this concept, offers the following definition:

Customer success means that your customers have achieved their desired outcome through their interactions with your company.

Let’s take a look. Customers must achieve results, right? But this goes beyond making a purchase or signing a contract, for example. Results have to do with customers’ pain — your product or service really needs to meet their needs.

Secondly, this must occur through interactions with the business. In other words, the idea is that customers don’t create their path alone. You need to follow them closely, with constant and quality interactions, to provide a good experience, from beginning to end.

In fact, a good customer success strategy might even prevent this contact from ending. Customers should feel so highly valued that they start to promote your business and also become loyal.

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Onboarding and Ongoing

There are two types of customer success strategies:

  • Onboarding: Here, efforts are made for the customers in the implementation phase, who are being welcomed by the Success team. This step is critical, after all, “first impressions count”, right?
  • Ongoing: In the ongoing phase, customers have already been welcomed, but actions are needed for the relationship to continually add value. Being disappointed later is sometimes worse than having a bad first impression.

This segmentation of your customer portfolio is the first step towards creating a customer success culture.

Think of a romantic relationship. For example, when you’re trying to impress someone you like, you promise them the world. After you start dating, however, you can’t stop caring and putting effort into your partner’s happiness.

Otherwise, the relationship might fail and, on top of that, your ex might be disappointed enough to badmouth you to everyone. This is terrible for your reputation with future love interests, isn’t it?

Customer Success vs. Support

Now, you might be wondering, “Is customer success basically the same thing as support?” This is a common question, but the answer is no — and the difference lies in proactivity, i.e., acting in advance. Check it out:

  • The support team is always ready to provide customer service when there are questions or problems to be solved.
  • The Success team makes sure that there are no questions or issues even before customers need to resort to Customer Support.

It’s really about caring for customers during their entire journey. Remember Lincoln Murphy’s definition: customers need to have a good experience every time they come in contact with your business.

What is Customer Success responsible for?

Is the concept clear? Great! Now, let’s understand the duties of Customer Success analysts and managers.

Mind the company’s values 

The Success team needs to mind  — and internalize — the company’s values. This way, they’re able to take better care of those who will be in direct contact with the customers.

For example, when putting together the sales or marketing team, analysts and managers may interfere. This is the case when any of the professionals aren’t exactly what was promised to the customers when proposing a solution for their pain.

This is especially important so that all processes are in line, as we’ll see next. Having strong and well-defined pillars are, therefore, essential so that the interactions are always consistent.

Having truly consistent processes

As we said earlier, the processes need to be in line — all of them! From written content to a sales call, a planning meeting, or the packaging in which the product is delivered to customers, all need to be guided by the business’ values.

Success analysts and managers keep an eye on these issues, especially because this care prevents customers from having a bad experience due to confusing procedures, different tones of voice, or unbalance in the journey.

Consider how annoying it is if the brand treats its customers as kings when selling and afterward, completely disappears from the face of the Earth. Customers might feel – and rightly so – that they’re merely a number and will never do business with your company again.

Keep track of the customer’s journey 

The Customer Success team is also responsible for monitoring satisfaction during the entire journey. To do so, the key is to put the customer first. You’ve probably heard that the “customer is always right“.

Well then, for the Success analysts, this motto guides all initiatives of this strategy.

Therefore, the processes might need to be customized to meet the specific demands of each customer.

In the Customer Success culture, there’s no such thing as “it’s impossible to please everyone”, or “a customer is just a customer”. Analysts and managers value each one as if they were the business’s most important or only customer.

How to evaluate Customer Success

In order to fulfill their role, the team uses metrics, indicators, and feedback that can be used to constantly evaluate the relationship’s health. Check out some of the most common ones:

  • Net promoter score (NPS): On a scale from 0 to 10, what are the chances that the customer will recommend your business to other people?
  • Churn rate: What is the cancellation rate? This indicator shows the flaws in the ongoing strategy since cancellations indicate that the customer was well-received but became disappointed later.
  • Customer effort score (CES): This shows, on a scale from 0 to 10, how difficult it is for customers to solve problems during their journey.
  • Customer retention cost (CRC): Indicates if the business needs to spend a lot to retain a customer. In this case, the strategy needs to be revised.
  • Feedback culture: The team constantly establishes a culture of asking for feedback from the customers, to develop more consistent processes and improve their experience.

With frequent monitoring, Success analysts and managers can recognize weaknesses and work on improving them, of course, with the flexibility needed to maintain the relationship.

How to ensure Customer Success

Given what we saw, ensuring Customer Success depends on restructuring your business culture, which should focus on the customer’s experience in all interactions. To do so, the analysts and managers work hard to deal with the demands and processes.

That’s right, dealing with customers requires dedication – and we want to help you! We have content filled with tips and techniques to make this relationship easier. So, subscribe to our newsletter and keep up with the latest news!

 

 

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