Have you ever left a conversation with a colleague, immediately been drawn into a meeting, then thrust into a customer call – only to find yourself trying to sift through the massive amounts of information you just received? Even if you’re listening intently and taking notes – it’s possible that something got lost in the mix and you felt a bit like Boo from Monster’s Inc. below:
We’re all human and the same happens with our customers. While we can have a great conversation on the phone, be present, provide training on a new feature, and follow up with a helpful email with what to do next – there still may be a disconnect because of other circumstances impacting their day. You may even have been that third call and the timing was simply off.
There is another channel beyond phone and email that we can empower Customer Success Managers to use in our mission to help our customers adopt the solution, find a better and faster path to their desired outcome, to reiterate the value it brings to their organization, and introduce new features or events coming up. It’s called the in-app announcement – an underutilized and extremely valuable tool to put in the hands your team and used properly.
So, what exactly are the benefits to our customers and to us as Customer Success professionals?
Assume for a moment that you had a conversation with a customer surrounding your new feature set. They said they loved it and they’re excited to use it – you know it is a bit more work than a simple click of the button and you’re hopeful they’ll navigate to your self-help portal or call if they need help. If you’ve been in the industry for even a few days – you know that’s not always the case.
Instead, what if you could immediately present your customer with a video on how to use the solution when they try brand-new feature for the first time? It would be much more relevant at that time and extremely helpful for your customer to have the resources such as a guide and tutorial video at their fingertips.
Make it Easy
Popping up a timely message is great but they may have been jumping into the solution to accomplish a different task at that time and may not necessarily time to learn that new helpful feature set right now. They may have have even dismissed their pop-up since they’re on a mission to get something done.
Using in-app communication allows you to provide a running record of communications such as NPS survey requests, relevant videos, helpful blog posts, and more. Giving your customers an easy way to access the information and materials that will most likely lead to their success with your solution. It’s important to tailor these conversations
- ChurnZero Partners: Take this a step further and set an alert to trigger when they go to use the brand-new feature for the first time – giving you the ability to be proactive and follow up with them that day or the next and see how their experience was, whether they need help, and ensure they’re using it in a way that helps them get to the outcome they desire.
As Customer Success folks, the last thing we want to hear is that our application has an issue plaguing our customers – even if for a few moments. This immediately puts us into a firefighting stance and hinders both our day and floods the support department (if you don’t handle both). This is obviously frustrating for your customers as well.
Use the tools in your Customer Success Software or other application that maybe marketing owns. In-App announcements allow you and your team to deliver these types of time-sensitive messages within the application itself for those that are using right now, allow for a heads up for those that have yet to log in during the plague period.
Another benefit to putting critical announcements such as this in-app is that it allows you to add a layer of transparency that will continue to build trust and respect between you and your customer.
Getting in Touch
How many times have you seen an email only to say, “I’ll get back to it in a moment” and file it away only to never see it again? My bet is quite a few times.
Your customers may have the best of intentions but with the rise of the smart phone making us hyper-connected and information getting dumped in front of us at an unbelievable rate – it’s hard to break through to our customers sometimes. They’re busy and if you’re not calling to add value – then they may even be avoiding your communications. (Learn how you can call to add value and stop “Checking In” here.)
In-app communication allows for yet another opportunity to connect with our customers. By delivering some variation of your messaging within the application – it allows you to reinforce how your solution will help them, what actions they need to take to reach their desired outcomes, and reminds them that they have an advocate at your organization (you, the Customer Success Manager) to help them succeed.
- ChurnZero Partners: A creative way beyond sending a one-to-one message to your customer via text is to craft a quick 30 second video to say hello and let them know why you’re looking to contact them. It let’s them know how closely you’re paying attention to their needs, following their journey, and how much you want them to succeed.
These are just a few ways that in-app announcements and communication can make an impact on not only your customers but you as a Customer Success professional as well by providing timely communications, making it easy for customers to access information, displaying critical announcements to build trust, and to reconnect with hard-to-reach customers.
Customer Success Around the Web
- Customer Success: The Third Growth Engine of Business: Growth is getting harder. Customers have never had more options — from toothpaste brands to business software. Humans have never had more demands for our attention — between Facebook, podcasts, Audible, and the latest Netflix show. Entrepreneurs have never found it so easy to create a new product or service to meet a niche demand. We’ve never seen such an explosion of information, options, and possibilities. Finish this 6 minute read over on the HubSpot blog.
- Why Aligning Sales and Customer Success is Crucial: The goal of Customer Success for your company is to get customers to stay longer, buy more, and advocate for you. So it’s critical to remember that Customer Success begins at the first interaction with prospects by your sales team, continues across their entire lifecycle, and is required for scalable, repeatable Account Expansion. Read on at Sixteen Ventures.
- Customer Success Tactics that Lead to Hyper Growth: It’s easy to get lost in the fluff and talk about general concepts but, when it comes to customer success, it’s important to have a clear strategy in mind and put in place effective measures that actually have an impact on the customer journey. A well defined customer success playbook is in fact vital in order to guarantee a constant customer success driven growth. Read on to get more tactics that help facilitate growth.
Word to the Wise
CustomerThink interviewed Beth Berg, a customer experience research, at this year’s CXPA insight Exchange where she talked about bringing the voice of the customer into CX Design.
“Expose your leadership to the voice of the customer—it really makes a difference. I invite our executives to listen into the phone interviews I conduct—some are very interested and make it a point to attend as many sessions as possible, others prefer to read the reports afterward. For those who do listen in, I think it makes a huge difference. It’s easier to empathize with customers when you’ve heard their individual stories.” – Beth Berg