Customer success is a methodology that entails predicting customers’ problems and questions that might occur and providing solutions to them. The approach aims at leading consumers towards the success and achievement of their end goals. It helps companies drive customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

In this article, we’ll get to know the importance of customer success, how it works, and figure out how to build a customer success program. We’ll also review customer success roles and responsibilities, compare customer success and customer service and explore key metrics.

Why is customer success important?

Today, the majority of successful brands pay great attention to customer success. They strive to understand the needs and desires of customers and anticipate future problems and questions. Companies help consumers attain their goals, resulting in a positive reputation, customer loyalty, high customer retention, and profitability. According to statistics, 72% of companies report that customer success is one of their main priorities and keys to progress, and that’s why they focus on its improvement.

Assisting clients and taking part in their success means a lot for your customers. As a result, you’ll drive customer happiness, satisfaction and reduce churn. If people are satisfied with your company, they will sincerely recommend it to others. Good experience and achievement of the goals are excellent reasons to recommend the company and refer friends. Remember, customers can help you increase your customer base when they are happy and satisfied. Your revenue will grow. That’s why you should manage your clients’ inquiries, analyze customer portfolios to improve their experience and help achieve their goals.

Now that you know the main reasons to implement customer success, it’s time to find out how it works to manage the process properly.

How does customer success work?

If you want to apply customer success effectively, you need to ensure the presence of 3 main elements: a tool, a team, and a strategy.

  1. Select a tool or software. Choose the most suitable solution to attain healthy relationships and seamless communication with customers. You need to determine the software or tool to fit your customer success team. Search for your perfect software to communicate with clients when they need help and lead them to success. As a result, you’ll get happy customers who stay loyal.
  2. Assemble a team of professionals. To lead customers toward success and assist them during the most crucial steps, you’ll need a team. Look for people who understand the features and importance of this work for the company. These professionals should be friendly and supportive. Your team should react fast and provide solutions. Once you have a team, conduct training to ensure that your success reps know all the peculiarities. It’s essential to select a sufficient number of professionals depending on the size of your business. Once your company starts to grow, increase the number of employees of the customer success team.
  3. Develop a strategy. You can use different customer success strategies. The choice falls on the solution you offer and customers’ needs. Yet, you still need to gather a team, select tools, define customers’ goals and the company’s expectations. Make sure that every team member is aware of each step of your customer success strategy.

It’s time to jump into the next section to explore the multiple duties excellent customer success reps should perform.

Customer Success Roles and Responsibilities

Answering emails and managing tickets aren’t the only responsibilities of customer success managers. Since customers’ needs and goals are a priority for any company, there’s a necessity in creating a team of professionals who will manage these points effectively. Customer success representatives are responsible for making a company and a customer gain value. Let’s review more roles of these managers:

  • onboard new customers;
  • call clients and assist them whenever they need help;
  • provide training to clients so that they can get most of the product;
  • build healthy, strong relationships with customers;
  • check the compliance of a product with customers’ needs;
  • implement innovations to bring customers to success and ensure value;
  • establish trust, transparency, and credibility;
  • pay attention to customer feedback to eliminate problems and improve customer experience;
  • act as a mediator between a customer and a company;
  • offer clients to upgrade their plans;
  • track clients whose plans are about to end and suggest purchasing the product again.

Now that you understand customer success team responsibilities better, it’s time to proceed to the difference between customer success and service. These two terms are often used interchangeably, yet they have distinct differences and help reach different targets.

Customer Success vs Customer Service

People often confuse such terms as customer success and customer service. What are they, and how do they differ? Let’s take a look at the description of each in more detail to figure it out.

Customer success is a proactive process. It means that reps prevent customers from facing any problems that might arise. Customer success teams bring value to clients and strive to help them reach their main goals. To do it, team members collect data about customers and develop specific strategies. The main aim of these strategies is to lead customers towards achieving their goals. Customer success teams focus on delivering value, increasing satisfaction, achievement of goals, and providing a seamless experience.

Customer service is a reactive process. It indicates that customer support takes action only when the problem arises. Once some issues appear, customer support reps search for solutions to help their customers. However, they don’t prevent problems. Customer service entails solving some technical issues and assisting with processes that might be confusing for clients.

In a nutshell, customer success is about preventing customers from having any issues with a product in the future and reaching success, whereas customer service is about solving a problem once it arises at a specific moment.

The difference is clear now, so let’s have a look at the process of creating a customer success program. It’ll help you make a plan more efficiently.

How to build a customer success program?

There’s a bunch of reasons to create a customer success program. They include a low number of customers who churn out, the opportunity to upsell, higher profitability, and more loyal clients. If you are interested in making your business more profitable and efficient, consider the following steps to create your plan.

  1. Define customers’ goals. Understanding the ultimate goals of buyers is the key to your team’s success. Thus, you should learn what success means to your customers to create an effective program. Ensure that you have a well-developed sales process that will help find out clients’ goals and align them with your product. Once the expectations of your leads are met, they become customers. After this happens, the customer success team tracks and assists your new consumers.
  2. Identify the key metrics. Besides customers’ goals, pay attention to the essential metrics. With their help, you’ll be able to know the health of each account. The metrics you choose to assess each account depend on the product you provide to people.
  3. Train your customer success team. Remember, a strong team of professionals can do wonders with your business. Since interactions between the company’s reps and customers play an essential role in the growth of your brand, choose your employees carefully. Friendly and empathic customer success managers can bring in new clients, but cold and stroppy ones can scare customers away.
  4. Ensure consistency in product and customer teams. Product and customer teams should work in hand to develop a product people will appreciate and benefit from. It’s necessary to reach consistency throughout communication with customers. Since they often have different intentions and ideas, it can cause several problems. That’s why you should be ready to prevent such issues and ensure seamless communication between product and customer teams. Share the company’s goals with them and use tools that suit both departments.
  5. Search for the right tool. Customer success is a popular methodology among different businesses, so you can find multiple solutions. They will help you keep an eye on customer success. There are many customer success tools that will meet your key purpose. They include ChurnZero, Planhat, Whatfix, and many more. You only need to select the platform that will help you attain your goals.
  6. Gather customer feedback. This step is mandatory since you’ll be able to get a clear picture of customer satisfaction with your product and company in general. For example, the net promoter score will help you assess whether your customers will recommend your brand to other people. This way, you’ll have insights into your future steps.

Now that you know the steps, let’s walk you through the key metrics. These indicators will allow you to evaluate the performance of your customer success managers.

5 Key Customer Success Metrics

To find out whether your customer success strategy is effective, you need to be aware of the main metrics that help measure it. We’ve prepared several points for you to consider.

  • Customer health score. The measure helps determine whether customers are healthy or likely to churn. To find out whether a customer is healthy, you need to evaluate the frequency of product usage, how many users from one account apply the product, and the features they prefer to use. A customer who logs in often is a healthy account. Yet, if only a few users are using the product, it means that this account is at risk. This indicates that the customer doesn’t receive enough value to achieve key goals. So, your team should always be aware of the frequency people use the product, how many of them really need it, and the features clients usually use.
  • Customer churn rate. This metric helps instantly point out customer representatives who establish strong and trusting relationships with clients and those who don’t. A good rep will have a lower churn rate. Building healthy relationships play a great role in excellent customer success. As a result, more people stay loyal to a specific brand.
  • Net promoter score. Ask your customers about the likelihood of recommending your company to their friends to get the measure. However, before doing it, make sure that your company ensures the best customer experience. Check whether your clients are satisfied with your product and feel content about your customer support. Remember, relationships and communication with your brand’s reps will influence their responses. If customers are happy with your company, they will tell their friends about your product.
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV). This indicator helps you estimate the revenue you can earn from one customer. Brands use it to determine the value of each client. Once the value increases, your business grows and brings you higher profits. Check out the formula to calculate CLV for your business.
  • Monthly recurring revenue. It allows you to find out how much money your customers spend on your products each month. You can compare your revenue each month and determine whether it increases. This will give you an understanding of the usefulness of your product. If the value increases, it means that it helps customers succeed and they continue purchasing it.

You know a lot about customer success now, so it’s time to take measures and improve your business. Track the metrics to figure out whether your product helps customers thrive and succeed.

References:

  1. This article defines the term and unveils the mission and responsibilities of customer success managers.
  2. In this article, you’ll find 16 customer success metrics.
  3. This article provides readers with information about customer success manager responsibilities.
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