Anyone who’s been in business knows that customer success is the key to customer retention. While this is true, business owners need to understand that customer success is capable of so much more than mere customer retention. If you focus on customer success, you’ll be able to build brand awareness, up-sell your products, work towards your customers’ wants, and more.
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of customer success, why it’s important, and how it can benefit your business in the long run.
What is Customer Success?
Customer success is a continuous effort to ensure that each customer’s “desired outcome” is fulfilled in the end. It involves giving customers what they want at every stage of the customer journey, in the way that they wanted it.
For instance, if a customer wants to streamline their team’s processes, they can “find success” if your product can do that. However, you also need to make sure they’re satisfied while they work their way towards that end goal. As they go through the funnel, give them everything they’d need, including great customer service, customer support, and more.
If at some point a customer is dissatisfied, you can’t say that the customer has found success. The customer success team needs to provide the customer with a top-notch experience from the onset.
#1 Increases Customer Retention
Among the goals of the customer success team is to ensure that customers renew time and again. Renewal is when customers continue to transact with you even when they’ve already found success (or in other words, when you’ve already given them what they want).
But why would a customer continue to buy your products if they’ve already gotten what they want? The answer: the overall value that you offer apart from your products.
If your customer service is the best, you’ll have a loyal customer base by your side. Likewise, if you constantly collect feedback from customers, you’ll know how to serve them better. By showing your customers that you’re committed to their success, they’ll be more likely to stick around for the long term.
#2 Works Toward Client-Centric Goals
Customer success teams use retention-related metrics like the customer churn rate to ensure that customers continue to be satisfied with what they offer. They use these metrics to track their customers’ “success milestones” — these are small steps that are aligned with the general goal, also known as the “desired outcome”. As a business owner, you should be able to hit these milestones, as it’s the only way to guarantee that your customers get what they want.
For instance, if your product is a team management tool, your customer’s goal would probably be productivity. In that case, one of the client-centric milestones would be to “onboard their colleagues about the tool” — that way, your customer can start to find value in it, and eventually, get to their general goal of productivity.
However, if you find that you’re losing customers, that indicates that your customers aren’t finding success at each stage. Get a good look at your metrics to find out why your customers aren’t sticking it out.
#3 Provides Opportunities for Expansion
Two teams are vital to every business: customer sales and customer success. This is because they work side-by-side: the customer sales team tells people what they need, while the customer success team tells them why they need it.
But they don’t stop there. Another important part of the customer sales and success partnership is the opportunity to up-sell and cross-sell products. When your customer finds success with one of your products, you can then offer other products that fulfill their needs.
The customer sales team shapes that need, and the customer success team shows people why they need it in relation to the products they purchased in the past. Not only does this increase retention, but it also establishes customer loyalty. To put it in plain language, they’re going to be around for a long time because you’ve given them one thing: value.
#4 Builds Brand Awareness
In customer success, one of the metrics you can measure is the net promoter score (NPS). This metric shows you the number of customers who would recommend your business to others.
Customers can rate your business on a scale of 0 to 10 (e.g. “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a colleague?”). Those who rate you 9 and 10 are the ones who’ll go out of their way to rave about your business — these are also called “promoters”. On the other hand, those who rate you 6 or lower will probably talk badly about your business.
To ensure that you get a good rating, focus on customer success and satisfaction. If your customers love your business, they’ll love talking about you even more. They’re committed to your business because you’ve shown them many times that you care about their success. In turn, you’ll be able to build brand awareness on loyalty alone.
The Bottom Line
Your business’s success should be based on your customer’s success. If you don’t focus on customer success, you will not only lose your customers’ loyalty, but you’ll also build a bad reputation, lose opportunities to up-sell and cross-sell, and more.
Remember that your customer base can make or break your business — if you don’t give them what they want in the way they wanted it, your business will never be able to find success.