When Customer Success was first created in the mid-1990s by a handful of software companies hoping to establish more personal relationships with their customers, it was met with some skepticism. How did it differ from Customer Service? Were companies willing to dedicate the financial support for such a drastic overhaul of a typical support department? Since then, it has become a foundational piece to nearly all companies across industries.
Its rise to prominence accelerated in 2005 when Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, created the largest Customer Success division in the country. The “Customers for Life” group helped revive the company’s dwindling client list and pushed Salesforce to become one of the most successful companies with an impressively low turnover rate. It helped construct Customer Success as not simply a separate division, but a necessary integration into every company department. Ensuring your employees as integral to a Customer Success team adds that much more value to what you do.
Customer Success entails all of the engagements that help meet a customer’s desired outcome. These essential interactions can be grouped into five areas:
It is easy to see why a dedicated Customer Success team is so important to a strong and lasting customer relationship. They help make customers feel valued. Every single customer comes with a unique set of needs and it is up to Customer Success to meet those needs at any stage of the relationship. And it is not just problem solving; the Customer Success teams play a pivotal role in the sales process. Integrating a relationship right from first introductions allows for the customer to gravitate to what you offer because they know you care about them and their vision in the company. Make your product essential to their company growth because the customer sees how much you value them.
Contract renewals are a major revenue source for many companies. The decision to renew is predicated largely on the customer’s relationship and experience with your company—a relationship and experience managed and maintained by Customer Success. Referrals work in the same fashion. Your customers should be raving about their experience with your company, not only because of your great product, but also because their relationship is one that is personal and special. Achieving this relationship takes time, energy, and empathy. It goes beyond responsiveness and meeting client outcomes; it is the passion you exude and the relationship you establish that ensures Customer Success.
Strong Customer Success relies on customer satisfaction. The best way to put the needs of the client first is to first know your client. Identify what will make them most successful. Understand what they are asking of your product or offering to ensure their needs are met.
Here are four Customer Success best practices to help build a strong relationship and establish customer satisfaction:
Using video has become a focal point for us at Nth Round. We find that recorded videos help make communications more personal. While we use video internally to provide quarterly updates to employees and shareholders, our Customer Success team uses videos at the onset of a customer relationship. As part of the onboarding process, we record a personalized welcome video to ensure clients know they are not receiving a generic message or update. Watch our webinar on how we use our equity management platform to create dynamic communications and send personalized messages with video.
The value of Customer Success is paramount. It not only helps generate revenue for businesses, but it ensures renewals for your company moving forward. The experience a client has interacting with your company differentiates you from any competition. The tenets of Customer Success must be at the core of your entire team as each employee should see themselves as instrumental in establishing strong customer relationships.
To learn more best practices and discover how Nth Round leads with Customer Success, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.