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An introductory guide to customer success

What is customer success?

In a recent report, 80% of customers said that the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services, highlighting a maturing consumer mindset. Customer success occurs when your customers achieve their desired outcome through their interactions with your product. The strategy focuses on optimising the overall experience by proactively providing solutions and/or answers to any given situation that arises during the buy and delight phase. This premeditated approach sends all the right messages to customers, making them feel considered, nurtured and you guessed it, successful.

Why should busiesses invest in customer success?

Traditionally businesses have relied entirely on Sales and Marketing to head their growth strategy, which simply doesn’t cut it in today’s landscape. The focus, now, is pivoting to include the all-important customer. Customer acquisition is becoming increasingly challenging and expensive in today’s crowded markets, so adopting a strategy that focuses on keeping your current customers happy makes a lot of sense. While it is always important to find new prospects it’s even more important to nurture your current customer base. With this focus comes loyal customers, then brand ambassadors, and eventually entire communities. A foundation of loyal, happy customers drives repeat business, renewal and retention and minimises churn, ultimately improving your bottom line.  

How to create an optimised customer success strategy

How your customer success strategy looks will depend on three things:

  • Your customer’s needs 
  • Your product offering 
  • Your business resources 

Every strategy will need to leverage data gathered from consumers, an intuitive team to track and record consumer behaviour, and strong customer success software to collect and display the data for actionable insights. In larger organisations, you may choose to outsource or hire a customer success expert to drive the strategy and build a team to support the trajectory. For smaller, cash-conscious businesses creating a strategy may mean gathering a representative from each business function; product, sales and support to create a roadmap for customer success. 

Who is responsible for implementing customer success?

If you’re wondering whether you need a customer success strategy, the answer is probably yes. If you service customers then you should be looking into investing resources into creating a strategy that enables you, as a business, to partner with your customers. This working relationship will allow you to extract critical feedback and deliver on what the customer deems as most valuable. The task of creating, and maintaining this strategy lies with a Customer Success Manager (CSM) and their team. The CSM provides holistic leadership to the customer-facing team, while the team utilise their working relationships with customers to derive valuable, actionable feedback for the business.

No matter the size of your business, driving a customer success journey starts and ends with a customer-centric mentality, combined with a commitment to providing the best possible outcome using your product.