As an integral part of customer relationship management, customer success is a vital part of your company’s growth on almost every front. Investing in and ensuring customer satisfaction over the long term will help you build a more powerful brand and brand advocates, boost your word of mouth, shorten sales cycles, improve upselling, and maximise your customer lifetime value.
But that’s, of course, just the tip of the iceberg. The truth is that investing in customer success management is a crucial part of long-term business growth, while at the same time achieving more while investing less time, money, and effort on customer acquisition. After all, happy customers tend to drum up new business all on their own.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a close look at customer success management and why it’s so important for growth-oriented businesses. We’ll go over the best practices you should use to ensure high customer success in 2023 and take your business forward as a whole.
Let's dive in.
- Defining your customer success KPIs
- The importance of customer success software
- Focus on better internal resource management
- Use email marketing to grow customer loyalty
- Ensuring customer success in your physical store
- Win customers over with better shipping
- Inspire user-generated content
- Take personalisation to the next level
1. Defining your customer success KPIs
Every customer success journey, and every winning customer success strategy, is founded on relevant key performance indicators. KPIs are a crucial piece of the puzzle because they give your teams the insights and the data they need to make smart decisions, put their plans into action, and most importantly, optimise their approach for the future.
That said, you need to choose the KPIs that are relevant to your business, your goals, and what your customers are trying to achieve relative to their engagement with your brand. In other words, don’t saturate your customer success strategy with irrelevant data, because it will throw your team off course.
Instead, focus on the tried and tested KPIs for customer success teams that are relevant in any industry, both in B2B and B2C. These KPIs include:
- Net promoter score (NPS)
- Customer churn
- Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
- Customer lifetime value (CLV)
- Recurring revenue from returning customers
- Customer support tickets
- Brand sentiment and perception
- First contact resolution rate (FCR)
To measure and track these KPIs seamlessly and without manual work, you need a comprehensive customer success system.
2. The importance of customer success software
It should go without saying that your business needs to deliver a customer experience worth remembering to stand out from the competition, incentivise repeat purchases, and set the stage for brand loyalty. In our modern, oversaturated, overly competitive business world, achieving these goals without the right tools can be an insurmountable challenge.
Simply put, there is too much data, too many channels, and too many signals for your customer success team to capture and process manually. And that’s without mentioning all the other aspects of customer success such as prompt ticketing and customer support, customer care and service, and personalisation.
Customer success teams have a lot on their hands, which is why it’s more important than ever before to use the right customer success software that will automate repetitive tasks, collect data automatically, generate reports and insights, and allow your team to do their best work. Depending on the industry you’re in and the size of your operation, you will need to choose a customer success platform that has the features you need, so a little trial and error is required.
Fortunately, every piece of software nowadays has a free trial period, so test them out until you find the right tool for you.
3. Focus on better internal resource management
The better you manage your resources internally, the better your customer-facing teams will perform. The better they perform, the more satisfied your customers will be.
Internal resources in terms of customer success include the data you collect in your CRM and customer success systems, but also the resources your team uses to create better customer experiences. These include time, money, and effort, all of which need to be managed properly to empower your team members to achieve better results.
Managing these resources properly in your resource management software will minimise financial waste and allow you to allocate resources towards important tasks. This process is crucial for new projects, when you’re developing new customer success strategies, and when you’re working on turning new customers into lifelong brand advocates — all of which can consume a lot of resources if not handled properly.
4. Use email marketing to grow customer loyalty
Speaking of lifelong advocacy and customer loyalty, it’s important to note that loyalty is one of the strongest indicators of customer happiness and long-term success. There are many ways to build customer loyalty over time, but the key pillars will always be:
- Having a recognisable brand
- Delivering a positive brand experience
- Resolving customer issues quickly
- Engaging and communicating with customers on all channels
- Nurturing customers with personalised messaging
- Nurturing with personalised offers, gifts, and incentives
- Including customers in a dedicated loyalty program
- Rewarding customers for their dedication to the brand
- Including customers in your causes, values, and charities
Every company will have slightly different strategies to build customer loyalty, but if you focus on these pillars, you will achieve great results. That said, the most important takeaway from this list is to always communicate with the customers.
You can grow customer loyalty through email marketing as well as direct communication on social channels, but you can also do it more publicly by replying to reviews and turning any negative feedback into success stories. Communicate and engage with customers on all relevant channels, and you will stay relevant in their lives.
5. Ensuring customer success in your physical store
With all this talk about digital channels, we need to focus on your physical stores and offices. If you have a physical presence, then you know how important it is to delight your customers and inspire them to become a part of your brand.
In-store customer success starts with safety and security, seamless shopping, a pleasant environment, and a supportive staff. Installing a commercial security camera and having friendly security staff will make people feel at ease in your store or office, while paying special attention to the layout of the space will allow them to have a seamless shopping experience.
The lighting, colour scheme, and background music are psychological cues that can have a positive or a negative impact on customer experience. In the end, you always want to involve your customers in a special promotion, loyalty program, or a giveaway before they leave.
6. Win customers over with better shipping
In the age of seamless online shopping, Ecommerce businesses need to go above and beyond to please their customers and stand out from the competition. If there is one pain point that has persisted over the years that has hindered Ecommerce performance, it’s shipping.
Shipping costs can oftentimes be a sore point for Ecommerce leaders because it’s the point at which many customers decide to abandon their carts. It’s important to develop a better shipping strategy to make shipping a selling point rather than an exit point for your customers.
Building a better shipping strategy requires you to understand your customers and their needs, to work with reliable shipping partners, and to use the right shipping software to avoid errors, returns, and negative feedback.
7. Inspire user-generated content
Customers trust other customers, and they want to see that their peers have already had a great experience with your brand in order to make a purchase themselves. This is called social proof, and building social proof around your brand will convince potential customers to put their trust in your brand like so many already have done.
To achieve this, you might want to inspire some user-generated content. These can include reviews and testimonials, photos and videos. You can even use motion graphics and animation templates to make your user-generated videos stand out by adding branded visuals and creative effects for your social reels and posts.
The possibilities for creative and impactful UGC are endless nowadays, so make sure to offer a small incentive for people to create some inspirational content about your products and brand, and share it with the online world. This will not only make your existing customers feel valued and heard, it will inspire potential customers to make the right decision.
8. Take personalisation to the next level
Lastly, everything we talked about in this article works to help you personalise your approach to the customer and their needs. Personalisation is an integral part of customer success; every customer is unique even though they may share common traits with others.
If you’re in manufacturing, for example, you will use your 3D printing software not to create templates for a group of customers, but to create personalised solutions, project concepts, and new ideas that will delight high-paying customers and incentivise them to keep working with you.
The same approach applies for any business and sector, as you want to take the time to get to know the customer and their needs, and then come up with a product or a solution that helps them achieve their unique goals.
Over to you
Focusing on making your customers happier in 2023, fulfilling their needs and helping them achieve their goals, is an important part of your success strategy. Now that you know the benefits that customer success management brings to the table and how to approach this challenge, go ahead and invest in these best practices to take your business to new heights of success.
About the author
Nikola Sekulic is a seasoned brand developer, writer, and storyteller. Over the last decade, he’s worked on various marketing, branding, and copywriting projects – crafting plans and strategies, writing creative online and offline content, and making ideas happen. When he is not working for clients around the world, he is exploring new topics and developing fresh ideas to turn into engaging stories for the online community.