Customer success is a growing trend for software companies in every sector. Driven by the rise of SaaS and subscription models, customers now expect continuous service and support throughout their ownership of a product. This has forced vendors to reconsider how they measure the success of their products and instead implement strategies that drive value for both parties. With this shift from one-time sale to long-term relationship, users now demand more than just a good product. They want to know that when they have issues or need new features, the company will be there to help them succeed with your product. This article covers everything you need to know about building a successful customer support strategy that drives value for your company and keeps customers coming back for more.
Why is Customer Success Important?
Customers who are happy with their experience are more likely to purchase from you again in the future. They’re also more likely to refer their friends, creating a powerful word-of-mouth loop that can drive exponential growth. But there’s more to it than that. Customer success is also a powerful tool for measuring the health of your business. This isn’t just about measuring customer satisfaction. It’s about understanding how users engage with your product, where they hit roadblocks, and how you can help them overcome those challenges. By investing in customer success and measuring it, you can identify opportunities to upsell existing customers, expand your pricing model, and drive more revenue from your current user base. You can also use customer success as a way to vet potential customers, only focusing on those who are likely to succeed with your product.
Defining Customer Success
It’s easy to throw around the term “customer success” without really defining what it means. To put it in context, let’s break down the components of customer success. Customer Satisfaction - This is the extent to which customers are happy with the products and services they’ve received. It’s a subjective measure of how customers feel about their experience and is usually measured through surveys. Customer Loyalty - This is how likely customers are to purchase from you again in the future. This is often measured through repeat purchases or brand equity. Customer Value - This is how much revenue a customer generates for your company. It can be calculated by multiplying the number of customers by their average spend.
What Does Good Customer Success Look Like?
Success is subjective, but you can use these metrics to gauge how well your support strategy is working. In general, you want to be investing in strategies that drive customer value. Repurchase Rate - This is the percentage of customers who purchase from you again. This is a good indicator of loyalty and is calculated by dividing the number of repeat purchases by the number of customers. Net Promoter Score - This is a measurement of how likely your customers are to refer you to others. You can calculate it by subtracting the percentage of customers who would not recommend you from the percentage who would recommend you. Customer Effort - This is the amount of effort it takes new customers to get started with your product. You can calculate it by adding the product’s ease of use and the effort required to onboard new users.
How to Measure Customer Success
One of the first steps to measuring customer success is to define what it is you’re trying to measure. Customers have a wide range of goals, from using your product to solve a problem to generating profit from their business. Once you’ve identified the metrics you’d like to track, it’s time to put a system in place for measuring those metrics. Success Metrics - This is a simple way to track customer success by aggregating the metrics you’ve outlined above. This approach is great for smaller companies that don’t have the resources to implement more advanced tracking systems. Business Intelligence - This is a wider approach to data analytics that can be used to track a wide range of metrics, including customer success metrics. It’s best used by companies with the resources to invest in robust data collection and analytics software. Customer Interaction - This is a method of tracking metrics by recording customer interactions with your company. This could be something as simple as tracking the number of incoming calls, emails, and User Interfaces (UI) to record how customers are using your product.
Brand Awareness Drives Customer Success
Engaging your existing customers has the added benefit of increasing brand awareness. Customers who are happy with their experience are more likely to talk about it, further driving new sales. There are a few ways you can engage customers to build brand awareness. Create an Ambassadors Program - Create a program that drives word-of-mouth marketing by encouraging your happiest customers to talk about your product. This could be something as simple as a recommendation program that rewards customers for referring others. Host an Annual Contest - This can be a great way to drive engagement by asking your users to solve a problem with your product. You can then use the winning submissions as content, driving brand awareness while also engaging your customers. Invest in Influencer Marketing - Influencer marketing is a great way to tap into your customers’ networks to drive brand awareness. You can identify the top influencers in your niche and work with them to create branded content that drives engagement.
User Adoption Drives Customer Success
One of the most important metrics to track is the rate at which new customers are adopting your product. This measures how easy your product is to use as well as how well your customer support team helps customers get started. You can use several strategies to improve user adoption. Create a Roadmap - A roadmap can be a great way to engage your users and help them understand the best way to get started with your product. This could be as simple as a beginner’s guide illustrating the best way to use your product. Identify Struggling Users - Use your metrics to identify customers who are struggling to get started with your product. You can then reach out to them with tailored resources, helping them achieve their goals faster and improving their experience. Host User Communities - User communities, such as Facebook groups, are great ways to engage your customers and learn more about how they’re using your product. This is a good opportunity to offer support and help those who are struggling with your product.
Helping Users Achieve Their Goals Drives Customer Success
The best way to engage and retain customers is to help them achieve their goals with your product. This can be in the form of solving a problem, increasing profit, or meeting other objectives. Map Out Success Paths - Success paths are sequences that detail the best way to achieve your customers’ goals. By mapping out paths and sharing them with your users, you’re guiding them towards achieving their goals and improving their experience. Invest in Customer Guides - Customers often have questions about the best way to use your product. You can address these questions by creating content such as guides and tutorials. The more time you spend helping users achieve their goals, the less time they’ll spend struggling with your product. Integrate Customer Success into Your Sales Approach - Your sales strategy should be focused on helping customers achieve their goals. You can do this by asking questions such as “What are you trying to achieve?” and “How can we help?”
Customer Effort Drives Customer Success
Customers are more likely to become repeat buyers if they don’t have to work so hard to get started. You can measure customer effort by reviewing your customer onboarding experience and measuring how much effort it takes for customers to get started