Customer success has changed the way we look at the customer lifecycle and how we engage with customers. The adoption of the concept in software companies has opened a floodgate of opportunities for leaders to build best-in-class customer support, nurture their customers at critical points in their lifecycle, and evangelize their products. But the reality is that many companies don’t have the slightest clue about what a successful customer success strategy looks like.
Here are 8 powerful lessons on customer success from other software companies around the world that you can use as a source of inspiration:
1) Customer success has to start with an accurate definition. This might seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: before you can get started on your customer success strategy, you need to know exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish. This means defining your target audience and understanding what they expect from your product or service.
2) Customer success involves a team approach and cross-functional organizational integration. Customer success isn’t something that can be done by one department or person—it requires an integrated effort across the organization so that everyone can contribute their expertise towards achieving this goal.
3) Customer success isn’t about onboarding—it’s about retention. The sooner you can figure out what your customers need and deliver it to them, the better your chances are of retaining them as long-term customers. If you want to keep your customers happy and engaged over time, then don’t focus on getting them into your product or service for the first time—focus on keeping them there.
4) Customer success is about customer education—it’s about taking your customers on an educational journey that starts with their first purchase and continues throughout their relationship with your brand.
5) A customer-focused company should be constantly looking for ways to improve the experience they provide customers, so they can keep them coming back for more. It’s not enough to wait for customers to reach out; you have to be proactive in finding ways to improve their experience with your brand.
6) Customer success is about real relationships. At the heart of customer success lies one goal: building relationships with real people who are invested in your brand because they believe in what it stands for and what it can do for them. The best way to do this is by making sure each interaction with those people feels personal and authentic—like it’s coming from someone.
7) Customers are often the ones who know best how things are going with your brand—and what kind of improvements need to be made along the way. Most software companies don’t ask enough questions when talking with customers, which means they’re missing out on valuable information that could help them improve their products or services even further.
The customer success journey may vary from company to company, but some guiding principles remain constant. Those that invest the time and energy into building successful programs will realize lasting gains for their business. Moreover, successful customer success initiatives require both an investment of resources and a certain “change of heart,” an overarching willingness to see customers as individuals and act accordingly.