It’s a powerful, emerging marketing tool – customer success. While everyone wants it, not everyone is sure what exactly it is all about. Weren’t we providing customer support and customer service all this while, they ask. Well, yes, but no, customer success is not the same as customer support or after-sales service. And to clear the air about more such misconceptions, here are concise, to-the-point answers to the top 10 customer success FAQ.
What is customer success?
It’s the key to growing your business by keeping your customers happy. In the digital world of endless options for customers, how to ensure your customer stays with you and doesn’t churn? Invest in customer success. It is the go-to business growth opportunity today, and it is about anticipating the customer’s needs and demands, challenges and providing immediate solutions. A good customer success strategy will keep your customer happy, which means high retention rates, which in turn means an increase in your revenue. Be it B2B or B2C, a subscription model of business, or any other, customer loyalty is the biggest gain for companies from customer success. One survey estimates that newer companies prioritize customer success 21% more than their established counterparts and are gaining from that.
What is customer success management?
- Workable, logical customer segmentation
- Managing customer expectations by adeptly setting up personalized success milestones, inspiring them towards brand advocacy
- Knowing when to intervention using tech and intuition to help customers cross the challenges and do what they need to do to
- Setting up correct KPIs and success metrics both for customer and for mapping your CS strategy
- Focusing on renewal via upsells and cross-sells, communicating with customers
If done timely and logically, the above things will ensure your CS strategy becomes your growth machine, propelling your brand’s value, expansion, and revenue generation.
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What are the benefits of customer success?
Many. In today’s age of customer-driven economy, your CS strategy can make or break your business. Since it is a relationship-focused business approach, having a strong CS strategy attune your entire organization towards customer needs and demands will also show how to develop future products or services. A thought-out CS plan will ensure you travel with the customer right through his journey with you by
- Helping you streamline and personalize onboarding
- Cutting down on new customer acquisition costs, helping you put more resources into retention
- Lowering churn and ensure customer’s lifetime spend with you.
- Helping you draw up a feedback-driven service development cycle
Why is customer success critical for SaaS companies?
SaaS, more than any other field, needs a solid customer success plan because that’s what will give you an insight into how, if at all, a customer is achieving his milestones using your software. Plus, it’s essential to walk your customers through their pain points towards product adoption.
CS in software can enhance customer experience, predict and prevent churn, foster advocacy, drive upsells, and improve overall team efficiency.
What is the difference between customer service and customer success?
Customer service’s most fundamental difference is it is reactive after-sales support to alleviate customer’s distress beyond the point of sale. In contrast, customer service is a proactive plan to ensure the customer doesn’t face any difficulty, to begin with. Customer service’s primary concern is to fix a customer’s problem. But customer success draws up plans to understand and personalize each customer’s required support to help them use your service or product to reach their desired business outcomes.
What are the most common customer success mistakes?
CS is a continued practice, an organizational flow of events that reaches out to the client. So, not only must all departments align to the customer-first thought process, delivering value to the customer should be topped up with ensuring they know that they are receiving that value. But this will not happen if you fail to:
- Correctly identify what ‘success’ is for your customer
- Pinpoint and map the customer’s desired outcome into your CS strategy
- Segment the user-base correctly
- Give the user a mindblowing UX
What are the most popular customer success metrics and KPIs?
Analytics can go a long way in giving a score to your customer’s value from your service or product. Setting the correct KPI is the key to a rocking CS strategy, maximizing value for customers, reducing churn, and optimizing retention scores. So, what are those KPIs?
- Churn: Some level of attrition is unavoidable, but losing customers faster than you are acquiring them will never make business sense. So, find out why they are leaving, and take steps to see if you can retain them, pronto. This will also help you up your NDR (Net Dollar Retention)
- Lifetime value: Referred to as customer LTV, keeping a high LTV score will help you reduce new user acquisition expenditure and build brand advocacy. LTV should be every company’s long-term customer relationship goal. This means you need to keep offering them something of value for them to remain with you. It could be as simple as a discount or a much-needed upsell that will increase customer satisfaction levels.
- Customer satisfaction score: How satisfied are they with your product or service? Ask them, take their feedback seriously and make the needed changes. This is the score that will also ultimately increase your subscription base and conversion rate.
- Net Promoter Score: This measures how likely your customers are to recommend your brand/product or service to others. It’s an actionable, user-generated metric based on surveys. Ask them what they like and don’t like about your product and help resolve pain points quickly. Again, this will lead to customer satisfaction, better conversion, lesser churn, and lead to significant revenue gain, a perfect CS strategy formula.
- Monthly Recurring Revenue: MRR is the predictable revenue you will get every month. It’s a critical metric for SaaS business models as subscription drives their growth. MRR helps with financial growth projections and clearly defines momentum spans – especially for investor-backed start-ups.
What are the responsibilities of a customer success manager?
A customer success manager focuses on ensuring each customer using your product is getting the tools and support promised by you to achieve success. So, a CSM should have an in-depth understanding of the company’s products as well as the customer’s needs, so that he can translate them both into helping the customer achieve success, and in turn, the company, customers. So, a CSM needs to:
- Build brand advocacy
- Onboard new customers
- Look after renewals
- Upsell and cross-sell to existing customers
- Build long-term relations with the customers
- Help the company understand what the customer needs
What does a customer success platform do?
In today’s digitalized world, tech is a must to drive business. And one of the smartest buys for companies, especially SaaS ones, would be to invest in an intelligent customer success platform. An actionable customer success software can map and measure everything from onboarding to adoption to UI and CX to engagement and retention. The CS platform that gives a score to all these metrics will help you understand where you stand vis-a-vis your customers. It will help you deliver a better customer experience by nudging you in the right direction. The right platform can give you a 360-degree view of the customer.
Can AI improve customer success?
It does – in the sense that it helps with fast, real-time solutions for customers. Intelligent data and analytics are the superpowers that give you a competitive edge in the market. AI can help provide customers a contextual next-best set of actions to achieve their goals. Easy configurations and multi-channel touchpoints can make for great UX, whereas automated playbooks can help give the customers consistent best practices from onboarding to advocacy.15
You can also automate team workflows, ensuring consistent outcomes. Automated, personalized, contextual dashboards can help the team gain efficiency and scale your operations by giving them all they need to help the customer achieve his desired outcome at their fingertips
Rohan has over 11 years of experience in client services, marketing and hospitality field. Previously, he was head of digital marketing for a hi-tech mobile application. Rohan is driven by new challenges and the possibility of making an impact on individuals and businesses.
Published July 30, 2021, Updated July 30, 2021