Are you about to invest in your customer success team? Great! In doing so, you are investing in the long-term health (and growth) of your business. But what exactly does “customer success” mean, and how is it different than “customer support”?
A marketing team is employed to develop new leads. A sales team is employed to close new customers. The purpose of a customer success team is to ensure your business retains those customers and keeps them happy. Your customer success team should make your customers your Number 1 priority and become the voice of your customer inside your organization.
Below we’ve listed our top 5 actionable steps for developing a solid customer success team. Read on!
1. Talk to your customers!
This sounds simplistic we know, but customer success begins with determining who your target market is. Start by creating two lists. Create one for customers who have reported success using your service or product, and the other for those who have either given negative feedback, or cancelled. Creating these two lists makes your task so much clearer.
Now it’s time to talk to your customers! Your aim is to speak with your customers and ask for their sentiments behind their decisions. Write meticulous notes, and highlight the trends for both happy and unhappy customers. Yes, this may be time-consuming, but don’t leave this step out because it’s the first important part of your persona development. The success of your business is determined by customers buying your product or service, but without the right customers it’s always going to be an uphill battle.
2. Determine customer satisfaction
The easiest way to determine customer satisfaction is to create separate surveys for each stage of your customers’ life-cycle. Now that you have started growing your customer base you need to develop an effective feedback mechanism to evaluate customer satisfaction. The most common way of surveying customers today is to use a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. An NPS survey will be used to measure whether your customers are likely to recommend your business to a friend. The higher the score, the happier your customers are with your product.
We suggest a survey be sent after onboarding a new customer, and another at the point of cancellation. By continuously gathering information via a regular survey system you’ll be better situated to understand your customers and assist them should they be considering cancelling. Understanding your customers by using an NPS survey will help in retaining customers in the future.
3. Become the voice of your customers
Since your customer team is working directly with customers every day, they are in the best position to represent their “voice” to the rest of your organization. We suggest that each week, your customer success team should meet with representatives from your engineering and product development teams to discuss both positive and negative customer feedback.
We also suggest that each week you compile customer feedback by penning an article titled: “The pros and cons of being a customer at (your business)”.
The point of this weekly article is to describe both the highlights and negative feedback from the point of view of your customers. This article should be distributed throughout your company via email or Slack.
4. Develop a Knowledge Base
When customers are using your product, or planning to use your product, it’s imperative that they have access to quick and easy-to-understand answers to their questions. And how do they look for these answers today? They go online! Create a knowledge base and make a note of commonly asked questions. With this information you can ensure online customers receive the information they need.
The resources you offer your customers may be in the form of a webinar, video explainer, an up-to-date blog, how-to articles, or a Q&A section on your website. And you’ll know what to include in these resources because the information will have come directly from your customers! Keep in mind that your customer resources need to be simple and concise, and they must be updated as your products and services change. When customers can quickly access information online they’re more likely to purchase, whereas frustrated customers won’t hesitate to look elsewhere.
5. Use customer success report cards
Meeting organizational objectives is every company’s objective, and that’s where key performance indicators (KPIs) play a very important role. Also known as strategic measures, KPIs are used to monitor a company’s progress towards meeting their goals or objectives. Basically, a KPI is a strategic tracking tool for measuring how your organization is doing when it comes to meeting its goals, including defining and tracking the numbers you want to hit.
Distributing a weekly customer success report card ensures that all teams are on the same page. Make sure it goes to every department in your company.
Your report card might include data such as relevant KPIs (including NPS and other survey results), relevant product changes, team process updates, customer narratives, and so on. This information ensures that everyone within your company is fully aware of what’s occurring on the front lines.
Besides communicating metrics, these report cards should also include qualitative feedback, which is valuable information for any business. Negative feedback, when taken on-board, can assist your team in learning from past mistakes, while positive feedback can be used to build on.