Understanding Customer Success: Growth Driven by the Customer-Centered Economy
In the old days, growing your business was easy. Tell people about your business, get them in the store, sell them things, then look for more customers. But that was before the internet made it possible to deliver highly customized items. Now, drones can deliver items purchased on Amazon to your door. You can order dresses from eShakti, customized down to the neckline, sleeve and length, all with a few taps on a screen. Setting foot in a physical store has become completely optional.
Businesses need a new strategy for growth. In order for your enterprise to survive this shift to a customer-centered market, it must become customer-centered, too. A customer-centered approach makes customer satisfaction a top priority both before, during, and after the sale. Rather than focusing on just the initial transaction, this method emphasizes continued customer success growth to foster customer loyalty and stable profits for years to come.
Elements that Drive Customer Success Growth
The new customer-centered economy favors recurring revenue business models for B2B markets and partial ownership, or subscription models, for B2C ones. Most products now have a digital component, making it easier to monitor and understand product use. And customers have raised their expectations, demanding products and services that can be customized to meet their specific desires.
So, what are the most important elements that create customer success growth in this new economy? Let’s take a look.
Increase Customer Retention
In order to retain customers, you need to change your focus from hunting up new customers to keeping the ones you have. Much like an apple orchard, customers must be cultivated. A farmer carefully nurtures each tree, paying attention to its progress and its needs on a daily basis. Think of your customers as being like apple trees that require time and attention in order to yield a harvest.
Retain customers by providing support whenever they’re having trouble with your product or service. Resolving escalations quickly will ensure they continue to receive your product’s value and demonstrate that you care. Never give a customer who’s missed a payment downgraded service, as they may not notice they have lost a functionality or may even learn to do without it. Instead, put their subscription on hold. When they are ready to activate their subscription, make sure it’s as easy as clicking “accept” or entering a new credit card number.
If you are working with customers who are ready to churn due to price, an option is to offer them discounts. In the future, you may be able to offer them an upsell. And if a customer does cancel, find out why. Customer success software can generate a ticket that your team can follow-up on in order to retain the customer with some good old-fashioned customer service.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
You can quantify customer satisfaction into a score that will help you track progress. Start by implementing a customer feedback program to gather important data and identify unhappy customers. Compiling this information will enable you to spot trends and answer questions. For example, it can help you learn if your nurturing programs are succeeding in improving customer satisfaction. Customer success software makes managing this data and monitoring customer satisfaction scores easier and more organized. Remember to check on a customer’s satisfaction score at key moments along the customer’s journey, such as after onboarding. This will give you an early warning if churn may be on the horizon.
While some attrition can’t be avoided, your company can still reduce churn rates with a few improvements. The key is to offer a product that creates value and to show the customer that they are receiving that value. After customers initially see the value of your product, monitor their usage to be sure that they continue to make the most of it as time goes on. If they are not engaging with certain functionalities, be sure to educate the customer about them. Customers need data that is contextual, intelligent, and comprehensive in order to get the most from your product or service. By making sure customers have a solid understanding of how your product makes a positive difference in their lives, you can prevent customers from ever wanting to churn.
Nurture Relationships and Watch Customer Success Growth Blossom
It may be tempting to maximize your harvest in one season; that is, to focus on short-term rewards, such as one highly profitable quarter. But in the long-run, this can be counterproductive; not only will it potentially make your business seem less appealing to shareholders and investors, but customer habits are constantly changing in today’s economy so they require continuous attention. The goal is to nurture customers with care so you can be sure they will spend money at your business for years to come. So, don’t nickel-and-dime them today. Nothing will make a customer churn faster.
It’s best to focus on nurturing the customer relationship over the long-term because having more customer success also means increased revenue. This strategy will ensure you succeed in today’s competitive customer-centered economy.
At Totango, we specialize in driving customer success growth. Our products can help you master the most important elements of customer success. Request a demo or explore Spark and we’ll show you how to effectively foster long-term growth in the new customer-centered economy.