Back in the summer, our head of customer success, Lee Senior, revealed some important advancements in the way we look after our people. In his latest blog, he shares six tips to help any software organisation shape their own customer success strategy, so that continually improving standards of excellence become the norm.
1. Assemble your customer success champions
In other words, as obvious as it may sound, you can’t build a customer success programme without a customer success team! Some colleagues will have obvious related responsibilities, but other people within the business may have relevant skill sets to bring to the table.
Essentially, you’re looking for individuals with empathy, a wealth of company-specific knowledge and problem-solving abilities – among other things – who put the customer at the heart of everything, no matter what.
Forming this team doesn’t just form the cornerstone of the programme – it also signifies to customers just how seriously you are taking your success strategy.
2. Identify your customer’s goals and objectives
While certain goals and objectives may be common throughout your entire customer base, try to treat every organisation as unique. For example, we know that each of our clients has invested in our marketing automation platform for slightly different reasons. So, we take time to understand what they’re trying to achieve and where we fit into the equation.
3. Develop a roadmap for success
When you’ve uncovered opportunities to make an impact, set measurable goals that keep everyone on track and moving in the right direction. At Force24, we ensure we’re clear on the desired outcome at each step in the customer’s journey, and how we can add maximum value along the way.
Crucially, we want to know the good, the bad and the ugly too. If customers are unhappy at any point in time, we need to know why. Is there a disconnect when it comes to agreements and expectations, is additional training required, or is our product falling short?
Often, a seemingly simple tech iteration could reap phenomenally improved results – for all customers, not just one – so we’re an important ‘bridge’ between customers and our dev team.
4. Establish your metrics
Transparent methods for measuring customer success, are crucial. From qualitative 1-2-1 dialogue and product usage monitoring, through to more formal NPS surveys and KPIs, for instance, there are multiple ways to better understand the effectiveness of the customer success programme. Data is key, but data blindness is also a significant risk. So, agree on the metrics that matter, together, at the earliest possible opportunity.
5. Identify gaps
Never rest on your laurels. Proactively look for missing pieces of the jigsaw, when it comes to the information that isn’t being collected. Otherwise, it’s difficult to determine whether or not there is a mismatch between what you provide, and what a customer is looking for – which will always be to the detriment of success.
6. Make changes one at a time
Even if you have dozens of new ideas you’d like to implement, try to introduce one at a time, so you can clearly measure the impact of each. Sequential changes are likely to be less overwhelming from the customer’s perspective, too.