In any business, it is ultimately the customers that pay the bills. Even if you’re one of those big companies with a named CEO, significant investors, and numerous endorsements promoting your brand, without your customers, none of that matters.
Your business exists for no other reason than to serve them. With this in mind, you need to ensure that they’re not just getting what they want from your service or product but also helping them achieve their goals.
Customer success is a broader perspective on the service you provide your customers, which aims at both improving their satisfaction as well as helping them achieve their goals through engaging with your own service or product.
What Is Customer Success?
Customer success is a philosophy that enables your business to retain, engage and upsell customers. It’s all about delivering value to the customer and achieving business goals together.
Customer success is not just another job title. It’s a philosophy of how you operate as a company. It dictates how you interact with customers, what actions you take to meet their needs, and what measurements you use to judge success.
The terms “customer support” and “customer success” are often used interchangeably because they are closely linked. Still, you should know that each department plays a vital role in the overall customer experience. While they overlap in many ways, there are key differences that you should be aware of:
At its core, customer success is all about helping customers achieve their desired outcome using your product or service. This can take many forms – from onboarding to training and documentation to community forums.
The goal is to ensure that customers can actually get value out of your product so that they will stick around long-term. Customer success is all about working with customers to ensure they achieve their desired outcomes.
On the other hand, customer support is all about helping customers solve problems they are experiencing while using your product or service. This can include everything from answering questions to bug fixing and more.
The goal here is to keep your customers happy by solving their problems so that they will keep paying for your product or service.
What Are the Key Ingredients for Achieving Customer Success?
Customer success is a state of mind as much as it is a strategy. So, it’s imperative that the entire organization, from leadership to marketing to sales and customer service, share a vision for the customer experience and be committed to moving the needle on customer happiness.
Here are some key ingredients we’ve found to be essential in achieving customer success:
Companies that provide exceptional customer service are those that truly know their customers and view them as individuals with unique needs, problems, preferences, and personalities.
They recognize that customers don’t want to be treated like numbers; they want to be treated like people. They want their questions answered quickly and concisely, and they don’t want to feel like they’re being sold something.
- A Single View of the Customer
To provide personalized service at scale, you need a centralized repository of all your customer data across sales, marketing, support, and other departments. This is so that your team can have a complete view of each individual customer.
- A Feedback Loop
If your team has a single view of each customer, you can make any necessary adjustments quickly and effectively. However, if you don’t regularly solicit feedback from your customers about their experience with your company through surveys, social listening, or other means.
One of the best ways to improve customer success is collecting feedback and comments from customers themselves. Reach out to them via email or social media, or give them a call after making a purchase.
This will help you address any problems they might be having and demonstrate to your customers that you care about their opinions.
- Committed Employees
Companies that create long-lasting relationships with their customers don’t just focus on the product or service they sell but also on how it is being sold. The employees who represent your company are a big part of your brand and will directly impact your customer experience.
If you want to deliver memorable experiences to your customers, you need to make sure that everyone who represents your brand is passionate about it.
Why Does Customer Success Matter?
It’s no secret that a satisfied customer is more likely to continue doing business with you, but what about customers who are just “okay” with your product or service? They might not be dissatisfied enough to switch, but they’re certainly not happy.
In fact, research from the Harvard Business Review suggests that the average company loses half of its customers every five years. So how do you keep them around? Customer success.
Customer success is an outcome-driven approach to customer care. Rather than simply ensuring your customers are satisfied with your product or service, customer success is about making sure they achieve their unique goals by using your offering.
This goes beyond merely “fixing” problems — it’s about helping customers succeed on their own terms and getting them to a place where they can’t imagine being without you as a partner.
Here are reasons why you should care about customer care:
1. It Brings More Value to Customers
Customer success results from creating a business that genuinely focuses on the customer. It means you’re always thinking about how you can make your customers successful with your product.
The first step in building a customer success team is to figure out what your customers want from your product and then create processes that help them achieve their goals.
Achieving this requires a culture shift because you will have to put aside traditional sales-based thinking to focus on the customer’s goals for using your product.
If you want to build a genuinely customer-focused company, you need to change how everyone in the organization thinks about sales, marketing, and success.
2. It Builds Customer Loyalty
The primary goal of customer success is to build customer loyalty, which brings various benefits to your company. Customers loyal to your brand will be more likely to repurchase goods or services.
Having loyal customers results in increased revenue and growth for a company. Loyal customers also spend more money with the brands they are loyal to, often spending up to 67% more than new customers.
Not only do loyal customers spend more money, but they also cost less to market and advertise because they already know your brand, trust in it, and have made an initial purchase with you before.
Customer loyalty can also lead to positive word-of-mouth marketing. When people are loyal to a brand, they become advocates of the brand by recommending your product or service to others.
3. Reduces Churn and Increases Retention
Churn measures how many customers stop using your product or service. Even if you’re gaining more new customers than you’re losing, your customer base is shrinking instead of growing if you have a high churn rate.
The higher your churn rate, the harder it is for you to grow your business because you constantly have to replace lost customers to stay at the same level of revenue. By focusing on customer success, you can reduce churn rates and increase retention by ensuring that people have a great experience with your business.
This can help you grow in two ways. First, it makes it easier for your marketing team to acquire new customers because satisfied clients will refer their friends and family members to use your services or buy your product.
4. It Improves Customer Satisfaction
As we all know, customer satisfaction is one of the most critical metrics for any business, and the Customer Success (CS) team has a huge role to play in it.
Nevertheless, did you know that according to a study by the Harvard Business Review, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience? That’s why companies are investing heavily in improving customer satisfaction.
Still, how does customer success improve customer satisfaction? Here are some points:
Customer Retention: According to Lee Resources, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Now, that’s an impressive figure!
When customers are happy with your product/service, they continue using it. And customer success managers play an essential role in ensuring that customers experience the value of your offering.
Customer Lifetime Value: If you want to increase your customer lifetime value (CLV), you must focus on improving your customer satisfaction levels. In fact, according to Mixpanel, increasing CLV by 5% can increase profits between 25% and 125%.
Increased Sales Opportunities: Happy customers not only stay with you longer but also refer their friends and colleagues. Then, when they like your product/service so much that they start referring you, your sales can also increase.
5. It Helps with Upselling and Increase the Company’s Revenue
Customer success helps a company to retain its existing customers and thus, increase the revenue by upselling. The customer success team sets the stage for upsells in several ways.
They conduct regular checkup calls with the existing customers to gain insights into their product satisfaction levels. Based on these insights, they propose new products that would benefit the customer and the company.
The customer success manager also keeps track of recent trends in the industry and how they impact the company’s products. If they feel that an existing customer would get more value from a new product, they can suggest it.
After suggesting new products, one of the challenges that customer success managers face is getting an appointment with a decision-maker within a company. In such cases, they can rely on sales reps to get an appointment with decision-makers and introduce them to new products.
6. It Helps Maintain Strong Relationships With Customers
Making your prospects happy is just the beginning when it comes to building solid relationships with your customers.
Once you’ve made a sale, you want to make sure that your customers are still satisfied with their purchase and that they’re getting the most out of your product or service. This is where customer success comes in.
It’s one thing to land a new customer. It’s another altogether to keep them engaged and happy. Luckily, there’s a whole field of expertise dedicated to ensuring that customers get the most value from your product or service: customer success.
Customer success is about ensuring that customers are happy, engaged, and successful with your product or service.
It’s a holistic approach to helping customers achieve their goals and realize their objectives as effectively as possible, whether buying more products or services, increasing profitability, improving performance, or meeting other business objectives.
7. It Elevates Brand Image and Reputation
Customer success is crucial for building a positive brand image and reputation because it involves nurturing and deepening relationships with consumers.
When you take the time to get to know your customers, you can more effectively meet their needs and provide them with solutions tailored to their unique preferences and circumstances.
This not only makes them more loyal but also turns them into advocates who can help spread the word about your business.
The Bottom Line
Customer success is about relationships. It’s about two parties working together and improving each other’s lives. So, as we outlined in this guide, building a relationship with customers is all about communication, transparency, and trust.
Customer success is an essential part of any business, but it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s growing in importance, especially as customer retention becomes more and more critical for business growth. However, you should know that customer success cannot be achieved by itself.
Businesses will need to take a proactive approach to customer success to maximize their potential as business drivers. Companies can give their customers the best possible experience by working with their customers.
Once they do that, winning over their customer’s hearts and minds will be easy, and that’s where customer success comes into play: it ensures that both you and your customers keep coming back to each other repeatedly.