15 Customer Success Musts from the Experts

1. Know as much as you can about your ideal customer

Before you start building a customer success program, get to know your ideal customers and their purchasing/engagement habits. Map their customer journeys to determine what your customers need from your product, which devices/ touchpoints they use to interact with you/your product, where they work, if they use your products at work or at home, how frequently they use your service, and what they expect from your brand and your product.

2. Be selective about the success metrics you track

Don’t just build a customer success program and let the team run it without staying engaged. You will not be able to improve your program if you cannot measure its results.

  1. Evidence that the client is happy
  2. Tools for bringing in new business.

3. Know your clients’ metrics for success

Align your success metrics with your clients’. Measure and track THEIR metrics for success, and share knowledge and expertise as well as best practices that will help them utilize your product better and achieve better outcomes. Have CSMs meet regularly with clients (monthly, quarterly, or as often as your business dictates) to help facilitate this.

4. Be patient with your customers

Don’t expect to set up and run a customer success program today and see results tomorrow. Customer success is about nurturing clients so they become advocates, a process that takes a lot of time and resources, but which will certainly pay off in the end. If you have a wide pool of roaring happy customers, dying to express their satisfaction, results may indeed show up earlier. In any case, track the implementation of the program and frequently adjust what isn’t working.

5. Use product updates wisely

If you’re running a software or SaaS business, then you’ve probably struggled at some point with how to deliver smooth product updates. It’s key to adjust the way you communicate updates, depending on their timing and importance.

6. Educate

Educational content is essential to drive leads further into the sales funnel. Having this in mind, educational content can be designed for each stage in the buyer journey and for each buyer persona. However, marketers should not stop providing content once the purchase has been completed.

7. Connect with customers via multiple channels

You can send dozens of emails and newsletters, but these might not be effective in reaching enough customers or getting the engagement you expect. And it won’t be because you don’t share valuable content or because the templates are not good enough; chances are, the problem is that customers simply aren’t encouraged to reply.

8. Get Personal

Personalization is one of the most popular trends in eCommerce. Customers want to be approached individually, with solutions based specifically on their needs. Reminding customers what they’ve achieved and setting milestones in their use of your products strengthens customer relationships, encourages them to keep learning, and paves the way for success stories.

9. Put the Client in the spotlight

Leverage existing customers in your marketing efforts, not just for your own goals, but also to bring them additional visibility and credibility. Case studies, guest speakers at webinars, video testimonials — these are all great examples of how you can do this. A customer-centric mindset not only enhances your business, but also helps you connect better with potential clients.

10. Go beyond your product

Let’s face it: there’s always going to be a product similar to yours, so your clients still have a choice, even if they are currently sticking with your business. Chances are, they will not stay if you don’t continuously improve.

11. Leverage customer advocacy as a competitive advantage

The digital age has brought about new ways of doing business and promoting it. Gone are the days when potential customers only used your website and marketing materials to gain information about you. Today, user-generated content and influencers tend to be perceived as trustworthy by potential customers. On top of this, your existing customers are also out there spreading the word about you and their experience with you. Everyone can see their opinions and views, including those who are doing early research about you. And it’s a fact: most buyers prefer peer experiences when weighing opinions about a company.

12. Make the most out of customer reviews

You can turn customer reviews into opportunities for building customer success.

13. Align customer success with other teams

Customer Success depends on other departments and, in turn, other departments are impacted by Customer Success. Therefore, all departments which involve contact with the customer, i.e. sales, marketing, support and product, should be aligned with the Customer Success department:

  • Cross-team collaboration will result in a more efficient onboarding for customers.
  • CSMs will be able to coordinate resources form sales and product, for example, to address the customer problems.

14. Start with a customer-centric strategy

As counterintuitive as it may sound, customer success doesn’t start with the customer, but with you. It’s essential to embed a customer-centric philosophy within the organizational culture. All departments and teams should understand that this is a coordinated effort, not an isolated task with the Customer Success department as its sole owner. Making this a core value is a good starting point, which should be followed by translating it into business operations.

15. Always keep an eye on the trends

Customer success is a relatively new field, having first appeared in the mid-2000s. Stemming exclusively from the SaaS industry, it was initially developed as a solution to churn reduction, and has evolved formally as a new business function ever since. New roles have been introduced, and other verticals outside of SaaS have started adopting this approach. Best practices are still emerging, but one thing is certain — customer success is here to stay.

Conclusion

Customer success is indeed a fascinating field as its only secret pertains to proactivity. In short, customer success is a long-term strategy focusing on identifying and seizing the opportunities of helping customers achieve success. The data facilitated by the tools of the digital age (such as predictive analytics and tech solutions) only comes as a support for this bigger purpose.

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2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone)

2Checkout (now Verifone) is the leading all-in-one monetization platform for global businesses built to help clients drive sales growth across channels.