Satisfied Customers are the essential elements for any business to sustain for the long term. Achieving Customer Success and client success is no longer just selling the products or services; there is much more to it. Customer satisfaction and retention can take any business to any desired heights. In today's competitive era, Customer Success Management is a crucial way of systematically planning and maintaining customer relationships.
What is Customer Success?
Customer success is when your customers get satisfied by aligning with you or your company for their short or long-term benefits.
What is a Customer Success Management Process (CSM)?
Customer Success Management is an upbeat strategic methodology and a win-win situation wherein a customer gains by interactions with the company, and the company achieves success by gaining the confidence of the customer, retention, and possibly building more customer networks through them. CSM is a process of systematically converting a sale to support.
What are the basic formulated ways of achieving Customer Success?
Not every customer success strategy is relevant every time or applicable to every location or person. It is a continuous process of reinventing, revising, and updating as a Customer Success Manager. Although CSM seeks to revamp every time, few basic formulated theories rarely fail. These methods can start working over some time, but worth waiting. Let us understand them.
The initial stages are where both customers and CSMs will have to struggle in their ways. Customers will have to understand the product or service's usage, and CSM must diligently understand and explain the usage to customers with patience and a lot of listening skills.
This is the stage where you connect with your customer the most, and in-person training can bring a personal touch and can turn out to be a long-term benefit.
2. Continuous Support and Check-ins
Regular checks on services or products delivered, seeking feedback, providing suggestions, and contact touch can bring major changes in customer relationships. This strategy can bring many benefits, like being updated on customer needs, being attentive to their preferences, and assurance of their loyalty.
3. Expanding the avenue in business
Once the relationship with a customer is established and built strongly, you can attract them for other opportunities and request their subscription. This can help you both retain the customers for original services and gain them for a new service.
4. Seek References
Satisfying customers will be the best source to gain more customers. You can seek more references from existing ones, and social media validation is a must now. You can also encourage existing customers to write reviews and testimonials on your website.
Apart from all these basic workarounds, you also need to be attentive to five key steps in the CSM process.
Five key steps in the CSM process
Major work in Customer Success Management is done through proper Communication with Customers and other stakeholders.
Communication should be both proactive and reactive effectively. Proactive follow-up, offering new services, Cold calling, and so on. Reactive in terms of resolving queries and concerns, empathetic listening, and patiently providing solutions. Etc.
Communication should be effective within the organization too. You should be able to communicate what you are learning from customers internally within the CSM teams, how you are influencing customers, and the value you are bringing to the company by getting customers to stay longer, buy more products or services, expand in other avenues and refer to their network of people.
Communication should be easily understood by any type of audience, effective and convincing, authentic and devoted to the company's core values
2. Market Segmentation
Any successful business has to identify its market base in the initial stages and divide it into multiple segments for effective functioning. As mentioned earlier, every customer experience need not be the same, and no permanent formula for all customer success.
You need to experiment, more precisely, with a trial-and-error method. Segmentation can be based on the similarity of customer preferences, affordability, and locality.
Segmenting your customers helps you to understand what customers exactly need and the coverage levels to do that.
3. Setting-up well-defined plans, expectations, and Implementation
It is always advisable to set expectations for your customers and detail the upcoming plans, say, for 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, etc.
Chalking out the road map and plan to your customer a list of things they are responsible for performing both in the product and outside of it, on their own – and what you can help them with so that both parties are held accountable.
The goals for customers should be attainable and easy; if they perform the activity or fail to perform both cases, the customer should win, and this can prove beneficial for you. Of course, you should be performing your activities successfully.
Too much interference in the name of customer interaction doesn't go well and may turn hostile in some cases. We can divide the intervention into multiple modes, like sending a survey email, auto-generated calls, and sometimes in-person discussions.
Every activity should have a measure to know whether the act was a success or failure. Similarly, the Customer Success Management process should be measured from both ways- from a customer perspective and one customer success manager perspective.
It has to be a win-win situation for both parties. Even if one person fails, the purpose is not achieved.
What are the tasks of a Customer Success Manager?
A Customer Success Manager, also called a Client Success Manager, is instrumental in devising plans for Customer Success and executing them effectively. As a Customer Success Manager, you will be engaging in a positive relationship with customers and clients, ensuring customer satisfaction, and using customer service data to implement customer service goals for the company.
Customer success is not for someone with a vision for short-term goal achievement or expecting magical results within a few days or months. If you are focused and aimed toward long-term sustaining growth, opt for the CSM model.