Author: Alexander Weihmann
Fostering a ‘Customer Success First’ Attitude Across Your Organization
The success of your customers no longer lies squarely on one team or department. In today’s hyper-customer-oriented environment, the success of your customers is no longer limited to the responsibility of your Customer Success or Support teams. Instead, every part of your organization must be aligned with the needs, desires and wants of today’s ever-evolving customers.
Whether you are a CEO or an Associate, every member of your organization has a stake in Customer Success. It’s no longer enough to isolate CS as a separate business function. The mindset of Customer Success should saturate across every role at your company.
Customers are willing to pay a premium price for great customer experience. More than two-thirds of customers are raising their standards of what constitutes good CX, and the stakes have never been higher!
Are you curious how you can foster a ‘Customer Success First’ attitude across your entire company? Read on to discover three ways your team can drive customer-oriented thinking, from the boardroom to the sales floor.
Share Customer Victories, Failures and Processes Company Wide
Many organizations struggle with ‘over-compartmentalization’ of their business functions. Put simply, this limits the flow of information about customers across different teams and departments. A lack of customer understanding can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
It’s important for all employees to understand that Customer Success and churn are company-wide issues. Everyone has a stake in customer relationships. Customer Success is not just a single department – you must develop an overarching organizational commitment to customer excellence.
So how can you get everyone in your organization to embrace a customer-first attitude? Consider the following tactics:
For Your Sales Team:
- Encourage members of your Sales team to shadow their counterparts on the Customer Success team. Not only can this help Account Executives understand the role and responsibilities of Customer Success, but it can show them how sales ‘inputs’ impact the rest of the customer lifecycle. As many CS professionals attest, aligning CS and Sales is essential to any successful customer implementation.
For Your Executive Team:
- Have members of your executive team reach out to recently churned accounts to figure out what went wrong. This can be an uncomfortable conversation but is always insightful. The objective is not to win back a customer – but rather to listen and learn about what went wrong. Not only will your churned customer respect you, but you’ll uncover applicable lessons for your next customer.
- Consider assigning non-CS executives to a strategic customer accounts. While they’ll be hands off when it comes to the day-to-day CS functions, this provides your executive team with real-time insights and better understanding of the entire customer lifecycle. Read only user licenses for a Customer Success platform are one such way executives can stay abreast of the latest account developments.
For Your Entire Organization:
- Devote a few minutes of company-wide meetings to review customer victories and failures. Your goal is to explain how everyone in the organization contributed to these wins or shortcomings. Every employee should be aware of how they fit into the success of your customers.
- Weekly email or Slack posts, known internally at ChurnZero as ‘Feel Good Fridays’, provide a valuable way to highlight customer victories. These not only keep the entire company aware of the latest customer developments but help recognize the relevant teams and contributors.
By sharing customer successes and failures with every member of your organization, everyone will be better in tune with your customer needs. No matter your approach, ensure that customer information can easily flow between all units of your company.
Put Customer Data Within Reach
Sharing both customer successes as well as failures on a regular basis is a great way to cement a customer-first culture within your organization. But as any customer-facing professional knows, a lot can change on a weekly basis. So how do you ensure real-time customer data is always within reach?
Consider using tools that provide seamless access to customer information in your existing workspaces.
ChatBots and Similar Tools
- With instant messaging becoming more common in the workplace, consider tools like Slackbot integrations that can unlock customer insights in a few clicks. Tools exist that can not only pull relevant account and contact data but can notify you of changes in Health Scores or upcoming renewals.
Dashboards for Executive Users
- Consider creating easy-to-use dashboards within your CRM or CS platform. Dashboards containing information regarding health scores and high-risk or ‘stuck’ customers provide actionable data for both your CS and executive teams. Best of all this data can be augmented with custom alerts that help manage customer escalations.
Above all remember: you must be able to measure your customer data in order to make use of it!
Create a Customer Centric Foundation
Culture is the foundation for any customer-centric organization. Customer Success can’t just be a priority for the CS team. Sales, Marketing and even frontline staff need to know how their role plays into the broader mission of CS. When everyone on the team is aware of the significance of their role in Customer Success, they will be more invested in generating successful outcomes.
Clearly explain the impact of Customer Success on both corporate growth and your own internal goals. Furthermore, find ways to develop accountability and KPIs that align with other parts of your organization. Ensuring that every member of your organization is invested in Customer Success can make all the difference.
Make sure every member of your organization understands that:
- Customers must be set up for success from the beginning. You must constantly identify shortcomings, situations that lead to unmet expectations and eliminate opportunities for over promising. This starts with the beginning of the customer cycle and includes Sales and Marketing teams.
- Complex implementations require communication and properly set expectations. Projects that start on the wrong path are very difficult to correct. Whether on the contracts team or an implementation manager, everyone must understand what success means to the customer.
- Appropriately handling customer issues is great – but this should not be the end goal. Preventing customer issues in the first place should be your biggest priority. Both your customers and your support team will thank you!
Now That You Know
Fostering a ‘Customer Success First’ attitude in your organization is easier said than done. In fact, it can be a major obstacle for any SaaS organization that is looking to grow. Thankfully an abundance of tools – like Slack, Customer Success platforms and approaches – like company-wide meetings – can aid in establishing a customer-oriented foundation.
Curious to learn how ChurnZero drive Customer Success thinking across your organization? Schedule a demo today.
Rethinking Customer Onboarding to Accelerate Success
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT
Speaker: Jason Whitehead
Increasingly, Customer Success teams talk about helping customers successfully achieve their desired business outcomes, yet they do very little during onboarding to help customers achieve the results they require. Instead, many onboarding efforts are ineffective and often are narrowly focused on the technology itself.
Many of your customers lack the internal knowledge, expertise and infrastructure they need to successfully achieve their business goals using your (or any) software! It is time to boldly revamp your onboarding process to instead focus where your customers struggle the most – developing the capacity to drive internal success on their own.
This webinar presents a proven model that you can use to help customers quickly shift their approach and build their capacity to drive their own internal success with your software.
Join the webinar to learn:
- Why most onboarding efforts are ineffective and do not set your customers up for success with your software
- Why your customer struggle to achieve their goals and how you can to help them create their own internal success team
- Specific tactics you can use to quickly improve your onboarding approach to be a force multiplier in driving customers success, while reduce the workload on your CS team
Customer Success Around the Web
- What To Do When A Customer Doesn’t Pay– Find out what you should do as you begin to scale and you encounter more and more drama with “bad” customers.
- New Client Onboarding Questionnaire You’ll Want to Send to Your Customers– Learn how to keep new customers engaged with your business in an effective onboarding process.
- 3 Ways to Ensure Customer Success– See three ways you can improve the odds of Customer Success for your audience
Fighting Churn is a newsletter of inspiration, ideas and news on customer success, churn, renewal and other stuff and is curated by ChurnZero.