All businesses strive to achieve what is defined as “Customer Success”.
To understand this topic, we must first address what Customer Success is and what it is not. Customer Success is not customer service or customer support.
Customer service/support roles are in place to merely react to a client’s immediate issue. It is the basic service-level expectation that when we have an issue or concern with a product or service that we will receive timely, courteous responses. Therefore, achieving high satisfaction ratings for service or support are not the real bragging rights most companies should be striving for. It is true that in order for a company to simply provide the minimum support to its customer base, its customer service teams must achieve a high C-Sat score, however, it is a factor that stands alone to show how well collectively a group of support representatives stack up.
Customer success, on the other hand, homes in on the individual client and how the client can succeed using your products and/or service offerings. A true customer success program is achieved using a blended technique that includes Customer Experience, i.e. data gathering.
There are many fabulous tools out there (such as Pendo) that allow software providers to ask for feedback while a user is logged in and actively engaged in a program. In addition, some businesses opt to use third-party providers that can have actual conversations with a sample group of clients. Many firms have engaged us to fulfill this type of client surveying. Communicating directly with clients adds a layer of human interaction which allows us to probe further during a conversation. In addition, clients are often willing, to be more honest with a third party.
Regardless of what tools or combination of tools you use, data gathering and customer service/support are simply not enough to provide customer success. Here’s why: the clients who are vocal about their dissatisfaction can be accounted for and dealt with. However, it is the silent client—the one who never responds to a survey or asks for help—that is the real threat. In order for a business to achieve a level of growth, there needs to be a layer of true Account Management.
Account managers are proactive; their sole purpose is to build relationships with your client base. As they do, they will be able to cross-sell and upsell your products and services by truly understanding your client’s needs. This not only increases the revenue per client but creates more stickiness with your products and services.
Adding this layer of account management provides the opportunity for real relationships to be formed between your business and your clients. You will find those “silent but deadly” clients before they leave, and you can be prepared to address their issues before a competitor does. If you are thinking about upping your game and adding in a Customer Success strategy, connect with us—we can help.