Embracing certain practices, knowing what the next steps are, and veering them in the right direction is how the customer’s success during crisis should work. The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the churn rate and shook almost every industry. Nonetheless, you still have a say in how well your business performs through this period. There is still plenty you can do to increase customer engagement and retain the clients that you have worked hard to win.
This pandemic has erupted a massive impact on the economy that causes a lasting downturn in SaaS businesses. Research states that about major to severe revenue losses are expected to be seen across a handful of industries. However, SaaS industries are packing a punch to survive the battle. Here, in this blog, we address some of the ways to tackle these sorts of situations.
- The Importance of Customer Success at times like Covid-19
- Strategies / Best practices to follow
- How to lead CS teams during uncertain times
- How Vendors need to adjust
The Importance of Customer Success at times like Covid-19
Customers notice who is there for them
When you are stuck by tough times like Covid-19, it is preferable to give your finance a thorough check. Think of it in this way, will the customers’ go to the vendor who has been proactively reaching out to them even during these times. Or would it be the ones they haven’t heard from long? Whose products are they going to cut first?
Customers will naturally build an affinity for the ones who are there for them through thick and thin. Be that for your clients and show them you really care. Because in the end, that is all that matters.
Customers scrutinize experiences and results
Goes the old adage, customer success is the combination of the outcomes a customer receives combined with the experience they own during the progress.
Mathematically put, CS = CO + CX
That means now is the time you champion and quantify your return of investment (ROI). Further, you can ensure that you are aligned with the company’s mission and vision. Else, simply put, now is the time you verify the outcomes. Meanwhile, this is also the perfect time to fetch back the not-so-happy customers. Address them as soon as possible, as they say, ‘Strike the iron when it is hot’.
Customers envisage consolidating spending
Of course, downturns can be harsh and can let companies lessen spending. So what do we do? One way is to negotiate bigger discounts by purchasing from fewer providers. This is your time to consolidate and expand into lasting, successful relationships. If some of your product lines are not performing well, this is your chance to grow your share within the enterprise.
For instance, when Swiggy faced turmoil in India during the Corona crisis, and the orders took a stiff fall. It instantly reproduced Swiggy Genie – an initiative that would deliver everyday essentials. And soon, the revenue bounced back. Similarly, you too can help them save and grow with you. All you need to do is plan ahead and consolidate your budget in the right direction.
Strategies / Best practices to follow
Segment the Prospects
Well, to begin with, you can enhance the efficacy of the resources and build a personalized relationship with your prospects by segmenting them as per the Covid-19 exposure. You can do that by grouping them according to the location, size, industry, and level of COVID affectedness. Moreover, this can help customize your messaging patterns, and keep your engagement relevant and engaging to each prospect. Also, it allows you to communicate with many prospects at a time while delivering value and quality through personalization.
Communication is the key
When you are stuck with the tentacles of a crisis, the most invaluable solution is communication. Customer success during crisis can be battled by ensuring reaching out to the clients and being there for them. It not only pushes value for the customer to protect the successful connections but also increase customer retention, ultimately. Here are some of the tips you can curtail, to begin with:
- Examine how Covid-19 has caused vile impacts on the customer’s industries
- Look for digital communication apps, channel or any other relevant online discussion forums
- Let the clients adapt to remote working conditions
- Drive communication across all the customer touchpoint
A nod to Empathy and Flexibility
Needless to say, customer success during crisis could have taken a rough patch. In such tough times, it is expected to render some kind of relaxation and be more flexible. If you come across a client who is significantly affected by the pandemic and is at serious risks of churning out, you can step in. Offer flexibility via providing them with discounts, downgrades, maybe a free trial extension or even temporary access to premium features would do. As stated earlier, adopting a few best practices, and being there for a customer is all that matters.
How to lead CS teams during uncertain times
How about KPIs take a backseat
While KPIs figure out in which direction a company needs to direct at stable times, during turbulent times they put unwelcomed pressure on the team. With so many things at stake, measuring KPIs becomes secondary. Getting the team functional and supporting them becomes primary. And that is why you may wish to relax or even pause some of the KPIs during the initial period, be it NPS, CSAT, or CES.
Render some compassion
Ironically, this is the time you need to spend more time listening to your customers. Remember, during the crisis times, they want to be heard, they want to know that you are there and they want to be understood. Customer success teams that pay more heed to the clients will be in a better position to understand what they need, both as an individual and as a team.
Be ready to weather the storm
It needs to be seen that relevant and frequent team conversations help your team understand the changes that are happening so suddenly. The better they understand, the more they can assimilate the information and gather a sense of control in such tough times. Remember, customer success during crisis can be battled only when you are calmer and focused.
How Vendors need to adjust
Harness the power of digital
The emergence of Covid-19 has left us glue to the tunes of digitalization. We are adapting to the tools and integrating processes, more than ever. And that is why vendors must invest in the digital tools to create visibility into the all-level outcomes to steer away from any falling opportunities through the cracks.
Vendors can consider how to achieve better integrations by creating a single revenue ops team. This will not only improve transparency but also build business agility and cut short the costs by removing duplicative tools.
Ready to Capitalize
Vendors can now invest in developing new facets or could promote existing ones, related to security and collaboration. They can also build enticing offers that bundle high-demand solutions that may lower priorities amongst the buyers for now. Further, this will allow them to expand offerings in areas where they consider it to be of high priority.
Customer success during crisis could be as shaken as the rest of the businesses and individuals. But the good news is that we can still inculcate a positive action in our lives. Customer success promises to relieve the stress of the customers. With that, only the difference-maker for the companies who emerge from this mounting crisis and downturns will stay undeterred. As a famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi says, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.