Times are changing, but the adage “customer is king” remains unwavering. That’s because customer success is crucial to business growth, no matter how much the world changes.
In today’s continually changing environment, customer focus isn’t a nice-to-have feature, but an expectation. You must continuously deliver value to keep customers engaged, build relationships, and foster loyalty to your brand.
Customer success: Benefits and importance for you and your customer
There are countless benefits for both you and your customer when your organization is focused on customer success.
- Your customers will reap greater rewards
- You’ll generate additional revenue via repeated renewals, upsells, and cross-sells
In fact, many organizations are embracing a land-and-expand mindset, realizing they can exponentially increase profitability by increasing customer lifetime value.
If you shine, I shine: The role of customer success teams
Customer success teams focus on the continued delivery of customer satisfaction, inspiring loyalty and building mutually beneficial customer lifetime value. Through repeatable, personalized actions, the enterprise nurtures customer growth in anticipation of continued renewal and upsells, like a farmer nurturing an orchard of trees to repeatedly bear fruit.
While not all organizations have formal teams dedicated to this, the same organizations are focused on supporting customer relationships. Oftentimes activities related to the success of customers are spread out over existing departments like account management, sales, or marketing.
By breaking these activities out and creating a dedicated customer success team, focus can be given to accelerating growth from existing customers.
Staying constantly engaged with customers throughout their product journey allows these dedicated teams to proactively intervene with and improve the customer experience.
Monitoring key metrics such as product usage and license utilization equips the team with personalized data that informs future engagements. Aberdeen notes that ”data-driven CX leaders not only retain their clientele but increase their spending over time. This is reflected through the 84% greater annual growth in customer lifetime value observed by these firms (9.2% vs. 5.0%).”
A proactive approach helps you to retain customers long-term. This is beneficial when it comes to maximizing return on investment. Aberdeen continues to say “Data shows that firms with [CSM] capability improve (decrease) service costs by 5.1x more year-over-year, compared to those without it (23.9% vs. 4.7%).” Companies can realize additional cost savings by reducing their budget to acquire new customers which can cost up to 25 times more to acquire than existing customers are to retain.
The customer journey
Customer success teams constantly monitor customer progress and product use over the customer lifetime. There’s no endgame to this process—unless you encounter churn—but rather a cycle of recurring engagement and growth.
This cycle continues across the five pillars of the customer journey:
- Retention & Renewal
- Loyalty & Advocacy
These pillars of customer success are ways of managing the customer journey. At each phase, the teams devoted to the success of customers work to create a responsive customer experience that will ultimately deliver recurring revenue.
Using a customer success platform
Since taking good care of all your customers is critical, it’s worth investing in software that will streamline the process. For instance, you could monitor customer product use and automate key actions using customer success software.
This type of platform helps your entire business take a customer-centric approach. It contains both customer data and best practice engagement models, thereby benefiting both your company and your customers.
By combining the information held within, you can generate an accurate and ever-changing summary of the customer experience called a customer health score. The customer health score is a way of keeping track of a customer’s progress so that the customer success team can proactively and successfully provide value at any point along the journey. It will also alert you of notable events. For instance, if a customer isn’t fully adopting certain features, the platform can alert your team so that you can take action to engage and educate the customer before they reach out or, worse, decide to churn.
Inspire loyalty with a customer-centric approach
The customer success team is a vital component of any customer-centric enterprise: You need to acknowledge that the value of customer engagement is now spread over repeated subscription renewals and not contained within a single sales transaction.
To maximize customer lifetime value, enterprises must inspire loyalty that generates long-term commitment. The only way to make a customer relationship endure for years is to continually engage the customer and help them realize value.