CEOs, do you want to keep your customers coming back? It’s not just about continuing to receive payments from them, although that is clearly essential. It’s about providing ongoing value to them, so they stay engaged with your platform for the long term.
To achieve this, you need to instill a culture of customer success across your entire organization. It’s not enough to leave it solely with your customer service team and hope for the best. Everyone must align around the idea that your true revenue growth engine is your customers. By doing so, you can not only achieve higher customer retention rates but also more opportunities for expansion. Additionally, it can lead to lower costs associated with serving customers and even higher employee engagement.
But how does a company go about building such a culture? While the exact approach will vary from one company to the next, all companies must follow these eight steps in their own way.
Table of Contents
1. Champion customer success as a mindset, not a single job
Meeting the needs of customers is a complex process that may require the involvement of one or more departments. In order to ensure that these needs are effectively addressed, the CS department serves as a filter, with CSMs overseeing the cycle of discovery and fulfillment. As a result, it is essential that all departments within the company work together to support customer success efforts.
2. Give CS leadership a seat at the executive table
As the Vice President, the primary responsibility is to concentrate on the ultimate goal of achieving upselling and retention metrics. The VP must possess the ability to work in collaboration with all other departments. To ensure effective collaboration, it is essential for the VP to understand the organizational structure and the reporting hierarchy so that they can optimize communication between different departments.
3. Use compensation as a tool
Compensation should prioritize customer success. Tying bonus packages to upsells and renewals can drive home its importance. It may be effective to reward the entire organization when they achieve improved customer success metrics together.
5. Perfect your Sales-to-CS handoff
The customer journey begins with sales. These employees are responsible for handling the initial interactions with customers. Experienced salespeople can provide a reasonable estimate of whether a new customer is likely to succeed or struggle. It is important to trust the Sales team’s insights and use them as a basis for your customer interactions. However, it is crucial to document this information as it plays a critical role in the Sales-to-CS handoff process and sets the stage for quantifying your expansion process.
6. Collect feedback
- Direct asks: Automate sending NPS and CSAT scores every six months or after every support ticket.
- Passive feedback: Usage statistics are a vital source of insights. Customers reveal how they use your product regularly.
- Social listening: The executive social media posts, news about the organization, and the overall economy can provide valuable insights into customer challenges that your business may be able to address.
7. Celebrate CS successes
Receiving a pat on the back for a job well-done can be an incredible morale booster and motivator. It’s important to acknowledge and praise your employees for their contributions to the success of your customer satisfaction ratings. Consistently showing genuine appreciation to your team members can go a long way in fostering a positive work environment and encouraging continued success.
8. Use the right tools
To achieve customer success, it is crucial to equip the CS team with adequate training and tools to build emotional connections with customers. These necessary supplies do not have to be state-of-the-art technologies that only the most prominent companies can afford. Basics such as quality internet access, emails, phones, and spreadsheets are essential tools required for CSM duties. Training materials for getting started are easily accessible, but it is important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to customer success. The best instruction is to listen to customers and share that information across all departments.
To make customer success (CS) responsibilities more scalable and easier to manage, it is highly recommended to use a customer success management platform. This specially designed software is specifically tailored for CS duties, making communication and documentation processes simpler, for customers. By having all customer-related information in one easily-accessible location, the platform ensures smoother interconnectivity among various departments. This eliminates data silos, making it easier for teams to collaborate.