Customer success is often overlooked as a key component of building a successful business. But it is one of the most important things you can do to keep customers happy and grow your business. Customer success helps you avoid churn, increase retention rates, and improve overall satisfaction.
Gartner predicts that 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience.
Customer success is equally important whether you sell software, hardware, cloud services, or anything else. You might think that your customer success strategy is just something that happens after you have sold your product, but the truth is that it is part of your sales process.
When potential customers contact you, they want to know what they'll get if they buy from you. They want to make sure that your product does what they need it to do. And they want to make sure that you're able to help them solve problems along the way.
Customer success is anticipating customer challenges or questions and proactively providing solutions and answers. Customer success helps you boost customer happiness and retention, thus increasing your revenue and customer loyalty.
Why customer success is Important
Customer success is often seen as a luxury item, something you do once you're already successful. But it's one of the essential parts of running a business. Customer success helps ensure that your product keeps delivering value over time and that you keep customers happy.
1. Good Customer Experience Increases Customer Loyalty For Your Brand
Happy customers usually translate into loyal clients, and loyal clients usually mean recurring revenues. Let's see how good customer success impacts your business.
The world is changing rapidly, and it's no longer just companies that are affected. Consumers now hold tremendous influence over brands. In fact, according to CustomerThermometer, 89% of consumers start purchasing from a competitor following a bad experience with a brand.
So, what does this mean for businesses? If you want to increase your customer retention rate, focus on improving the quality of your customer experiences. It is worth noting that the shift toward digital marketing presents a huge opportunity for brands that provide exceptional customer experiences.
2. Customer Success Increases Recurring Revenue
Customer success is a relatively undervalued function within many organizations. Yet it has the potential to deliver significant value to companies. I've seen it do so repeatedly across multiple industries.
The most common type of customer success work is around product support. This includes things like training, technical assistance, troubleshooting, etc.
The benefits of customer success go beyond increased revenues. Companies that implement customer success strategies see a decrease in lost revenue due to customer defections. They also experience fewer missed opportunities to sell to potential customers. And finally, they enjoy lower attrition rates among current customers.
3. Customer Success Increases Word-of-Mouth Advertising and Brand Ambassadors
By achieving customer success, businesses can harness the power of “word-of-mouth marketing” by enabling customers to act like independent brand ambassadors. When you care about the long-term success of your customers, they become loyal advocates of your brand and help spread positive word-of-mouth about your products and services.
These customers are vital for the continued growth of your business because, without them, no one else will know about your offerings.
In addition to being great for generating awareness, word-of-mouth referrals are also extremely effective at converting prospects into paying customers. According to SEMRush, 88% of people had the highest level of trust in a brand when a friend or family member recommended it.
4. Customer Success Improves Productivity & Efficiency
When you have an engaged customer base, you can get more done in less time. The reason why is simple: you don't need to spend as much time chasing down leads and managing sales cycles. Instead, you can focus on growing your business.
This means that you'll be able to improve productivity and efficiency. You'll be able to scale your team faster, which allows you to grow your business even further.
5. Customer Success Is A Key Differentiator For Your Company
Customers are increasingly looking for businesses that offer superior customer service. As such, customer success becomes a key differentiator between competing businesses.
This is especially true if you're trying to differentiate yourself from competitors who aren't investing in customer success.
Best Practises for Customer Success
So how should you approach customer success? Here are some best practices to consider:
1. Implement a customer success program
Customer success programs are critical to every organization today. They help you identify the problems your customers face, understand how they use your product, and design solutions to address those issues. Customer success programs provide value to both the customer and your business.
Customers don’t want to deal with technical support; they just want to know what to do next. A well-designed customer success program helps your customers navigate the process of getting things done with your software. Your customers appreciate being able to solve their problems without having to call or email you.
Customer success programs help businesses deliver value to their customers while ensuring their brand reputation stays intact. They're designed to provide proactive support to existing and potential customers, and they typically include several key components including:
• A clear definition of what "customer success" looks like within your organization
• An actionable plan for achieving it
• Customer feedback mechanisms
• Training and development opportunities for employees
• Ongoing communication strategies
The most successful companies understand that customer success isn't just about providing support; it's about listening to customers' problems and concerns, understanding how they use your product or service, and delivering solutions that meet those needs.
As your company grows, changes occur. New products are introduced, new features are added, and existing products evolve. It's important to keep your customer success strategy updated to reflect these changes.
Learn more about best customer success practices to grow sales in our more detailed guide.
2. Educate your customers
The goal of customer education is to make sure your customers know what to do next. You want to give them everything they need to succeed while helping them avoid any potential pitfalls along the way.
Educating your customers is one of the most effective ways to help them use your product effectively and efficiently. But it takes some forethought. If you don't prepare ahead of time, you'll likely end up answering questions that aren't relevant to your product or service.
Since you've already invested significant resources into creating your product, it makes sense to spend those same resources to educate your customers about how it works.
One of the easiest ways to accomplish this task is to build a knowledge base. A knowledge base is simply a collection of articles, videos, FAQs, and even blog posts that provide detailed information about your product or service.
You can write these yourself or hire someone else to do it for you. Either way, once you've compiled the information in your knowledge base, you can link to it from every place you'd like to promote it.
3. Onboard customers
Customer onboarding is a great way for you to delight them and get to know them better. You provide them with the tools, training, resources, and knowledge needed to start getting things done with your product. This helps build trust and loyalty with your customers, and it sets the tone for what to look forward to as they continue to use your product.
By onboarding your customers, they can get off to a good start. They feel supported, valued, and appreciated and are excited about continuing to work together.
4. Communicate with other teams.
Communicating with different parts of your organization helps you better serve your customers. For example, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open between marketing, sales, customer success, and technical support. This allows everyone involved to work together to solve problems and improve experiences.
In addition, having a solid understanding of what each department does enables you to make sure that you’re providing the best experience possible. Marketing creates content like blog posts, videos, and social media posts to educate potential customers about your products and features.
Sales use those insights to identify opportunities to close deals. Customer Success focuses on helping customers succeed once they’ve purchased your product. Technical Support provides solutions to issues that arise within your software.
5. Promote customer loyalty
Loyalty results from a customer’s positive experiences with your business, and it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything possible to keep those people around. Customer loyalty programs help businesses build relationships with existing clients, while marketing campaigns like email promotions and social media posts encourage potential customers to become loyal customers.
You want your customers to feel satisfied and certain they’re getting value out of their investments, so there are numerous ways to promote customer loyalty. A customer loyalty program could include rewards such as discounts, free products, or special offers.
Community building allows your customers to connect with one another and provides opportunities for interaction and discussion about your brand. Point systems allow customers to earn points for every purchase, and redeem those points for discounts or gifts.
You Succeed When Your Customers Do
Successful companies know how important it is to keep their customers happy. They understand that keeping customers satisfied is one of the best ways to build loyalty and retain customers over the long term.
This will help you grow sustainably while building strong relationships with your clients. It also means that you can focus on delivering an exceptional user experience, which in turn leads to more revenue.
To learn more about how to create a successful customer journey, check out our guide: How To Deliver Customer Success with Inbound Services.
Frequently Asked Questions about Customer Success
Why do you need a customer success tool?
It has a wide range of features that should help you and your customers stay on course for successful outcomes.
If you don't use a customer success software or management system, you risk missing out on early warnings that customers weren't using the product appropriately or achieving appropriate milestone goals which led to customer churn.
How does customer success add value?
Customer success tools provide real-time data that can be used by anyone in the company to quickly identify any issues before they escalate into larger problems.
They also give you insight into how well your customers are performing, allowing you to take action to ensure they're being successful.
Your Customer Success team must be able to quantify the relationship between your product/solutions and their impact on your customers' business results.
They look at which outcomes add the most benefit and figure out which ones matter for each customer.
What's the difference between customer success and customer service?
Customer success is all about ensuring that customers have a great experience when using your product or solution. Customer service is focused on providing support and assistance to customers who may encounter technical difficulties.
Customer success helps you get the most out of your product and solutions, whereas customer service focuses on solving problems that arise.
What is the main objective of customer success?
The main objective of customer success is to make sure that your customers are successful. This includes helping them achieve their desired outcomes and making sure that they're having a positive experience with your product or solution.
It also involves taking care of the people who use your product or solution - whether that's through training, coaching, mentoring, or other forms of engagement.
As a result, they increase user adoption and NPS and help with things like upselling, account expansion, etc.
What is a customer success strategy?
A customer success strategy is a plan of action that outlines what you'll do to improve your customer's experience. It means managing the customer and their expectations at every point in the journey to align goals, reduce churn rate, and increase upselling opportunities.
It usually includes some combination of these steps:
- Identify the problem
- Define the goal
- Create a roadmap
- Measure progress
- Learn from feedback
- Improve processes
What is a customer satisfaction score?
A customer satisfaction score (CSS) measures how likely customers are to recommend your brand to others.
This is calculated based on the responses to five questions:
- How often did you use this product?
- How satisfied were you with it?
- How easy was it to find information on this product?
- How helpful was the content on this site?
- How likely would you be to purchase again?
You can calculate your CSS by adding together the scores for each question.
What does a customer success manager do?
As a Customer Service (CS) Management (CSM), you’re tasked with building customer loyalties and nurturing long-term customer relationships. You ensure that customers have a positive experience by making sure they get exactly what they need when they want it.
Customer success managers work closely with the rest of the organization to drive customer success initiatives across the entire business.
Their job is to work with the different teams within an organization to understand the needs of the customers they serve. They then develop strategies to meet those needs and create plans to execute those strategies.
They also work with sales and marketing to define the right metrics and KPIs for measuring customer