Chances are, if you have come to read this blog, you might have realized that nowadays, brands cannot completely rely on their product’s quality. A good product cannot lead you to instant sales assurance. Today, companies need to dig deeper and focus on accomplishing the objectives of the customers.
Customer experience and customer success are set to be key differentiators for customers to choose from. As per research by Forrester, 72% of businesses feel that improving customer success is a top priority. This is where the role of customer success strategy starts.
Customer success strategy means understanding and supporting your customer at every step in their journey to finally achieve their desired result. It means managing the customer and their expectations at every point in the journey to align goals, reduce churn, and increase upselling opportunities.
In this blog, we will focus our attention on top customer success strategy examples that have reaped rich dividends for various B2B SaaS companies.
But before that, it is important to understand the steps to build a 5-star customer success strategy.
Steps to build a five-star customer success strategy
1. Brand awareness
The first step in building a customer success strategy is by nurturing potential customers and building awareness. Keep your content clear, concise, and correct on the blogs landing pages, social media pages, and more. Ensure your messaging speaks with the audience directly.
2. Customer acquisition
Ensure your sales team can focus on customers and is also completely aware of the product. Acquiring customers especially from the C-Suite is hard. It requires proper training and learning. That patch of customer acquisition can happen when the sales teams know the product and understand what the customer wants.
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3. Customer onboarding
Create an important customer onboarding flow that is documented clearly. Ensure new clients are aware of the whole process and empowered to take full advantage of the product. Customer onboarding is the first instance of when your customer becomes attached to the company. A key factor in customer success strategy is having a good customer onboarding plan.
4. Value realization
This is the moment when the value is realized. The aha moment, as it is known, is when the customer realizes the product’s value. Keep polishing your product so that customers get the most value from it always. Customers expect different things at different times. In the beginning, the motivation is different as compared to the post-purchase.
5. Expansion offers
Upselling and cross-selling is an important aspect of customer success strategy. Expansion offers are necessary to keep customers involved with your product. You can regularly collect customer feedback so that you know what features they miss. You can include these features to ensure better growth.
6. Customer loyalty
This step is a result of all the hard and smart work done in the previous steps. It is a direct culmination of efforts- a loyal customer base. To keep customers invested and involved, you need to send direct communication and involve them in a loyalty program.
Real-life customer success strategy examples of reputed brands
Many awesome companies worldwide keep customers as the core of their priority. Here are some of the customer success strategy examples that worked for top brands worldwide in real life.
In a survey, it was found that 83% of US adults want a brand to self-diagnose the problem before it becomes a problem for them. Facebook, the social media giant, does a great game with proactive customer support.
Facebook takes customer feedback seriously. There are frequent surveys, messages, mailers asking for ways they can make the application better.
The Help Center page is a great space that helps users get through some frequently asked questions. Facebook also lets users know of new updates, tests them out, and helps with feature tours.
HelpCrunch offers live chat and helpdesk service aiming at making customer onboarding easy. The company’s policy is to stay responsive, engage with customers, and take care not to bombard them with information and emails.
By mapping customer intent along with customer journey, HelpCrunch looks at introducing content or any helpful communication. By automating messages across the journey and introducing smart popups, the company aims to simplify customer onboarding.
In some cases, customers do not know how to leverage the benefits of the company completely. If customers do not have the education to use the company’s benefits, they need to become aware. This education and awareness are important to realize the full value of the product. HubSpot does this well.
The company curates complimentary content to educate customers. Customer education starts before the customer is actually onboard. It can start with a simple SMS, a blog, a social media post, or an ad. HubSpot thrives on its online content repository that covers marketing, customer success, relationship management, and branding in detail. HubSpot Academy educates visitors, and most of them turn into customers.
Zapier is a company that believes in showing and growing. The company policy is to share customer success stories. They have a bunch of customer success stories that can help a visitor or user get impacted.
By sharing your customer success stories, you are creating a brand for your customers and yourselves. They also benefit from the social media presence and association.
5. Hyatt Hotels
The hotel group encourages customer feedback and collates them. They encourage visitors to post reviews on social media with hashtags like #HyattStay #WorldofHyatt. So you can see customers posting about their experience on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
With this, they are not only building a brand presence; they are receiving feedback. This helps immensely create a positive, welcoming aura around the company.
In the YouTube video mentioned above, Salesforce shows how they value their customers. Salesforce spends quality time showing their customers how their values, beliefs, and aims unify with fulfilling the customers’ needs. There are two things it achieves while doing this:
- The first thing is that the company showcases how much it values customers and their end objectives.
- The viewers of the YouTube video have the scope to relate to the customer being discussed.
If you try to capture the essence of your target audience in your success stories, the more it resonates with their needs.
The best thing you can do while creating a customer success story is to think about the customers who resonate with your buyer persona. Always contemplate hard to understand their perspective, values, and objectives before creating a success story.
There are times when your customer success story might seem quite similar to a company in the industry you are in. This is where you can harm your reputation. To avoid such a predicament, it is important to tell specific information about a customer, like how you customized your product or service based on their individual requirement.
Once you can showcase that, it can translate into a medium for your customers to understand how you can redeem them from their problems. This way, they will trust you even more. This is an effective idea that can help customers understand how they can use Evernote to catalogue their menus according to their specific needs and create exclusive lists.
While creating a customer success story, provide adequate examples to the customers and encourage them to highlight the results they obtained in terms of figures.
Through the YouTube video, you can get a fair idea about the success story that perfectly explains the customers’ objectives. They do it by providing adequate examples of how to use Zendesk.
But, the one thing that the company could have done better is to provide a real-life example to strengthen their case. This is what is missing from Zendesk’s customer success story. There needs to be a logical sequencing for a story to move forward like:
- A unique situation faced by the customer
- The problem faced by the customer
- How does the customer get the solution?
- The outcome that the customer derived from the experience
The problem with this YouTube customer success story from Zendesk is that it is neither lengthy nor structured well enough. The customer begins by highlighting their business situation. Then goes to how they utilize Zendesk’s service and the results obtained. And then mentioning certain problems they encountered at the very end.
While creating a customer success story, always follow a logical sequence. This will ensure that your viewers stay along for the entire duration of the story.
Chargify has set up a novel system that catches the at-risk customers before they have a chance to churn. This is done by ascertaining certain red flags like long due accounts and not responding to notifications, accounts that are currently overcharged and could save money by upgrading your services, accounts where you see minimal activity, etc. The ultimate objective of this exercise is to contact those customers and re-engage with them before they actually churn.
Chargify’s software informs SaaS companies when their payments are due exclusively as per individual customers. But, there are times when churn does happen, and this is where this system can come in handy.
The best thing that you can do with such a system contacts the users who cancel their subscription and take their follow-up. Even if you cannot get them back, chances are, it can help you enhance your product’s features which can go a long way in increasing product stickiness.39
Building a customer success strategy is a tough task. It requires the collaboration of all company departments like sales, marketing, and support teams. The effectiveness of your customer success strategy is contingent upon the actions you take at different stages of the customers’ journey. If you manage to make your users successful with your products, they will come again and again to your brand.
You might also like:
- The Customer Success Strategy – Most of Customer Success strategy initiatives are tasked with churn reduction. But a more meaningful approach would be to have right actionable insights.
- To see how SmartKarrot helps B2B companies streamline and scale customer success, Request a Demo.
Dattatraya Shetty is an IT Professional with 2 Decades of experience in areas of Product Development, Implementation & Service Delivery Management. As the Head of Implementations and SOC Compliance in Smartkarrot he is on a mission to provide relishing customer experience.
Published November 03, 2021, Updated March 13, 2023