We are living in the subscription economy. Or as I like to call it, the Customer Economy!
The ability to provide a great customer experience while delivering desired outcomes is the very essence of Customer Success. It’s also the foundation of every business that is striving to stay ahead in the Customer Economy.
As Dana Niv, Strategic Customer Success Manager at WalkMe says, “Today’s B2B customers feel empowered. They demand a whole new level of customer focus, expecting companies to know them personally, recognize their challenges, and cater to their needs.”
In other words, your customers know they have the power. It’s no longer a secret.
If you’re still with me, allow me to share three tips that I believe are essential to staying ahead in the Customer Economy.
Customer Success is a Company Mindset, not just a Department
In a recent interview, Dan Steinman talked about the exciting and promising future of Customer Success. He talked about how important it is for the Product team and the Customer Success team to be on the same page.
“The only real scalable thing in your company is your product.” He said, “If you’re going to scale Customer Success, it has to start by doing things within your product. Nothing is as impactful than delivering on something in your product that makes a difference with regards to user adoption and clear ROI.”
When Product Success and Customer Success come together, world’s collide. In a great and scalable way!
Dan went on to talk about the relationship between sales and CS.
“If Customer Success is not a slide in your sales deck, you’re not doing it well enough.”
I’ll give you a minute to take that in…
Prospects these days aren’t only thinking about your product and what it can do for them. They are also thinking about what your company can provide as far as service and client experience. This can only be accomplished well if the CS team is on the same page with sales, product, marketing, and other departments.
The customer journey involves all departments to some extent. Make sure all of them know what they need to do to provide a legendary experience.
Full interview can be found here:
Track the Health and Success of your Customers
One of my favorite books on CS is The Startup’s Guide to Customer Success by Jennifer Chiang. You can’t find a more detailed book regarding what you need to do to become a successful startup.
In the book she quotes Jeff Cann, Senior Director of Client Experience at Sysomos. Here is what he had to say about tracking customer success metrics:
“There is an incredible amount to learn from customers outside of that 1:1 opportunity that you have a responsibility to know. Product usage behaviors, areas of your application customers may have challenges with, NPS, the frequency of support requests. All of this information is critical to understanding the health and success of your customers and you owe it to them to be diligent with how you not only learn from it but act on it.”
Understanding the health and success of your customers is vital. Some metrics are quantitative and others are qualitative. Both are important when determining how your customer is performing with your product or service.
ClientSuccess goes into detail about these metrics and how you can best use them. See what they have to say here: https://www.clientsuccess.com/blog/6-metrics-help-calculate-customers-health-successscore/
Be Ready and Willing to Adapt
As JFK said, “Ask not what your customer can do for you, ask what you and your product can do for your customer!”
I may have misquoted slightly but you get the idea.
Customers understand that the software and technology landscape is constantly changing and evolving. If they get the feeling that your company isn’t one step ahead of the game and not willing to adapt, they will shop around for a new vendor.
One of the first career lessons I learned is when I was still in college. I was working for the student housing office and they were rolling out a lot of new policies and initiatives. Many of these initiatives didn’t make a lot of sense to me. So I asked my direct manager why we were doing all of this extra work that, to me, just added a lot of unnecessary tasks for us.
He told me that any business that isn’t constantly innovating is not moving forward. He explained how vital it is, even for a student housing office for a university, to always be thinking of ways to innovate and adapt to inevitable changes. This lesson has stuck with me ever since.
Irit Eizips, CEO and CCO of CSM Practice, spoke with Nick Mehta, CEO of Gainsight, about the importance of Customer Success in today’s business ecosystem. Listen to their conversation here.
What are your thoughts? In today’s customer-centric world, what are some ways businesses can stay ahead and really ensure their putting their customers first?