Customer Success is essential in business today. It’s a powerful tool for organizations to proactively get ahead of risks and capitalize on opportunities. The proof is there for all to see.
The number of Customer Success positions posted on LinkedIn grew 84% between 2017-2018.
It’s endorsed by senior leaders in some of the world’s most powerful companies. Like Microsoft CFO Amy Hood, when she said, “In a consumption-based business, customer success is all that matters.”
And it has a dedicated showcase made up of experts and leading figures from across the globe. The annual Pulse conference was held recently in San Francisco – and the SnapComms team were there.
We’ve summarized some of the key insights plus added our tips for how internal communications can drive your customer success.
1. It’s a team sport
Insight: All business functions in the organization must band together for Customer Success to work. For example, Product development staff have huge influence on building experiences that customers value.
Tip: Foster stronger relationships to break down silos between teams. Encourage closer collaboration and information-sharing. Create a regular Customer Success newsletter to publicize achievements, promote new initiatives and share learnings.
2. Be human first
Insight: Customer Success is defined by the ‘human factor’ – not data, systems and technology. Customers respond to products and services based mainly on their personal experience and feeling valued.
Tip: Look at the world through your customers’ eyes. What matters to them, what annoys them, what would make their life easier? Circulate an employee survey to collect insights from those on the frontline and build a richer understanding of your customers.
3. No ticking boxes
Insight: Every conversation with a customer should provide value to them. ‘Check-in calls’ are an obvious box-ticking exercise and more likely to irritate customers than ingratiate them.
Tip: Plan a series of time-based, purpose-led calls. For each call, consider the optimal timing and clearly define how it will benefit the customer. When are customers most likely to want to hear from you (after a new product is launched, following a system upgrade, when a new staff member joins…)? What will have been achieved for the customer by the end of the call?
Make call planning templates and recommendations available to all Customer Success staff in an easily accessible, central location, such as the company intranet. Advise staff when new assets are available to increase usage.
4. The formula for success
Insight: CS = CX + CO (Customer Success equals Customer Experience plus Customer Outcomes). Achieving Customer Success requires focusing on both customers’ experience of using your product or service, and how well it achieves the outcomes they need.
Tip: Keep a Customer Success approach top of mind by reminding frontline staff of this formula. Computer screensavers provide a highly-visual yet unobtrusive way to promote key messages to staff throughout the day. Reinforcement generates recall – and action.
5. It’s a numbers game
Insight: Data is vital – but don’t wait for perfect data. The sooner you start using and refining data to inform your Customer Success activities, the more benefit you’ll get.
Tip: Avoid the dread of data-overload by focusing on fewer areas of higher value first. It’s not essential to have on-site data science for customer success. There’s much value to be mined in tactics like identifying common customer issues, quantifying high-value customer types and segmenting your customer base by objective.
Present findings and implications for Customer Success in open sessions for all staff, making sure to include remote staff or those working on shifts.
In today’s competitive workplaces, neglecting Customer Success means risking failure. Customers who are let down will be picked up by competitors. Adopting a Customer Success framework is the insurance organizations need to protect their future.