11 Things To Kick-Ass In Customer Success
The demand for customer success managers in SaaS is growing constantly. Customer expectatings have never been higher and their loyalty never more at question. Delivering highly valuable outcomes is the only way to achieve a competitive advantage that lasts. But customer success does not come easy. Do you have what it takes to help your customers excel?
1. Genuine interest in your customers' success
The intrinsic drive to help your customers excel is the most fundamental requirement for customer success. It powers the curiosity to understand your customers businesses, the empathy for their needs and the will to improve your game. If you don’t feel it, you should reconsider your choice.
2. Start new engagements with kick-off meetings
The first impression will shape your customers expectations of the future. Win their trust right away. Ask them about their business, their needs and their goals. Let them talk and make them feel heard. Trust leads to transparency and transparency will give you access to the real valuable information. Your customer relationships are your most valuable asset.
3. Treat customer success as a joint project
Your customer and you are partners. And in a partnership everybody has a saying. That means a generic eat-or-die customer success plan is off limits. Customize the onboarding process, set the timelines and work out the milestones together with your customer.
4. Take charge of communications
Schedule regular follow-up meetings and always be on top of your customers’ progress and obstacles. Don’t wait for them to reach out if they run into a problem. Eliminate any chance that your customer goes off the success path for weeks without noticing and eventually churns.
5. Develop a consulting mindset
Customer success goes way beyond your product. Because the product does not matter for your customers. It’s just a tool to solve their problems and reach their goals. You need to become an expert in solving customer problems. Put an emphasis on analytics and strategic conversations.
6. Quality first, automation later
It’s your job to ensure customers will get what they’ve been promised. You have to put in the work. Customer success software is helpful but it can’t do the human part of the job. Deliver the services your customers need to succeed and automate what’s recurring frequently.
7. Take bird's eye view
It’s easy to get lost in customer success with all the tasks, chats and metrics. Which is why it’s essential to take a step back frequently, look at everything you do and ask yourself:
- Does that add value for my customers?
- Does that help me add value for my customers?
Get rid of everything that does not fall into these categories and is not required by your company.
8. Customize your human approach
People are different. They work at different companies in a different setting. They have different problems and needs. And they learn in different ways at a different pace. Tailor the way you engage customers to their human needs.
9. Avoid bad customers
This does not mean you should run away from challenging customers. But from those who repeatedly don’t show up at scheduled meetings with no excuse. Who don’t follow your advice but put the blame on you. Customers who constantly complain. Because they will drain your energy, motivation and ultimately hurt your overall performance.
10. Build processes and systems
Constant firefighting and relying on band-aid solutions will keep your performance at a low level. Because they lack of quality and accuracy. High quality services are built on strategic solutions and repetition. Customize your process but never start from scratch in new customer engagements.
11. Let your customers talk
You should take charge of your communications but that does not mean you should actually do the talk. Ask your customers open questions and listen carefully. Understand their business and their issues. Read between the lines and understand that what and the why. This is where the real valuable intel comes from. Not from generic surveys.