A Guide To Implementing Customer Success

A few years ago, while I was moving, I went to Ikea to purchase a few decorative items. Knowing that their items come with instructions, I was convinced that I would have to put them together myself until I was asked if I would like their team’s delivery and assembly services. 

Just like I was happy with the fact that Ikea thought about my needs in advance and anticipated the easiest route to my goal, I’m sure your customers would be pleased if your company did that too. For that reason, I’ve put together a guide to implementing customer success like a pro: 

What is Customer Success?

Customer success is a business approach that focuses on proactively making sure that your customers achieve success in their purchases. It is all about showing, to your customers, your company’s and your service’s value.

How To Implement Customer Success

To implement customer success in your business, whether small or not, there’s a few steps that you should follow to do it effectively: 

Get To Know Your Customers 

Before anything else, get to know your customers. Study data analytics, conduct customer surveys and work in unison with your customer support team to determine what type of customer usually requires their support. 

From there, build your buyer persona based on all the data and information that you gathered. 

You can’t possibly guide people to success without understanding them to their core. This step gives you a clear image of who you are working with and who your team needs to be to guide them to their goal. 

Identify Your Customers’ Goals 

Your customers have a motive when they go to purchase your product or services. There’s something that they aim to achieve with it or through it, which means that they have been successful. For that reason, learning what the goal is an essential step when guiding them to success.

To find out your customers’ goals, follow the same route you followed to learn more about them. All the data you gathered at that first phase, especially when combined with your own knowledge of your product and its functionalities, will guide you to your customers’ goals.

Get Together A Customer Success Team 

Having a team that’s dedicated to guaranteeing customer success is indispensable when implementing a customer success plan. Beyond making your customers feel special because they know they have people to count on to achieve their objective, it makes the job easier for you and your team. 

If you already have a customer support team, you can turn them into a customer success team after a little bit of training since they already know how to deal with your customers and already understand the types of issues your customers need assistance with. 

However, make sure that they don’t confuse customer success for customer support. The latter is rather reactive to the customers’ requests and dilemmas and doesn’t require much of an ability to anticipate the customers’ needs. 

Choose The Right Tools

Depending on how big your business is, there are many tools that you can choose from to help conduct your customer success plan. From manual tools that make more sense for small businesses for financial reasons yet require a lot more energy and time investment; to automated tools, usually softwares that aren’t as time-consuming but require some financial investment. 

Choosing the right tool is key, as it will determine your team’s work rhythm and expand or limit their options of connecting to your customer. 

List of the best customer success tools and softwares of 2021, according to Userpilot. 

Build A Customer Journey Map 

Before putting your customer success plan into action, you need to have a clear image of your customers’ journey. Building a customer journey map will allow you to identify which points in the journey would customer success strategies fit best. 

Read my guide to creating a customer journey map and my article on the benefits of customer journey mapping.

Choose The Right Metrics 

Like any strategy, implementing it is just the first part of the equation. After that stage comes the one where you need to go back and check if your strategy has borne any fruit and what type of fruit it did bear. 

Keeping this in mind, choose the metrics you will use to measure your strategy’s success before you progress to actually implementing your customer success strategy. 

Read this article on customer success metrics and how to use them. 

Implement And Iterate 

Implement your customer success plan,  observe how it’s going, through your metrics, and think about what needs to change to make it better. 

Being the first time doing it, the likelihood of it needing adjustments is enormous. So if you notice that you need to rethink and change a few things in your strategy, don’t hesitate in doing it, as that will only value your business more. 

Knowing how to implement a customer success plan isn’t the only route to follow to see results from it. After identifying your customer goals, you can reassess your own goals and think of customer success strategies that you can implement to bring even more satisfaction to your customers.   

Customer Success Strategies

A few (popular) customer success strategies that might benefit your business are: 

  1. Customer Retention And Acquisition Strategy 

You can focus your customer success plan on retaining your customers or even on gaining new customers. 

For the first goal (customer retention), customer success can be really helpful. Feeling seen and heard and reaching the desired outcome will motivate your customers to keep doing business with you (and recommend you to potential new customers).

When adopting this strategy, work with your marketing and sales team. For customer retention, reassess what you’ve been doing and identify exactly where your team can jump in and be useful for your already existing clients. Also, think of ways to keep in contact with them and offer support through voice calls and emails. 

For customer acquisition, be ready and useful when a new prospect is about to purchase from your brand. Prepare your sales team, teach them the importance of recognizing your customers’ necessities, even before they communicate them. Encourage them to make in-tune suggestions and offers that will aid your customers in achieving their goals.

  1. Customer Education  

Another way of guiding your customers to their goals and, therefore, success is by educating them on how to use your product. 

The advantage of this strategy is that it makes your customer feel good about themselves for having been able to navigate the ground you’ve laid for them in the direction of their goal. It also saves them time and trouble when they are faced with adversity. 

Educating your customers also helps them explore more of your product and make discoveries that go beyond the initial goal. I can’t stress enough how learning more about a product and about new ways of using it has given it more value in my mind. 

You can educate them by putting out tutorials, blog posts, workshops, or even sending educational emails on how to use your product or particular features from your product that they might not know about. 

  1. Brand Awareness 

A brand awareness strategy is focused on letting people know about your brand. For this strategy to work, it would be helpful to have already happy and successful customers, as their testimony is critical content used to bring awareness. 

Another way of implementing this strategy is to have your marketing team on board and recognize prospect customers that fit your buyer persona. That way, you can show them how helpful your product or service can be before they make their mind about you. 

  1. Mindful Onboarding 

Onboarding or customer onboarding is a strategy that focuses on capturing new customers from the moment of their first interactions with the brand. 

The strategy is all about investing in an onboarding process that regards your customer’s needs. This can be done by having a team ready to assist new customers and by truly understanding your prospects, to the point of quickly adjusting your service and product to their needs. 

  1. Upsell or Cross-sell 

This strategy works mainly for businesses whose products can better reach maximum functionality when combined with other products. 

Say you own a tech company, when selling a computer or a new cellphone, you can maximize the chances of your customer reaching success by suggesting a nice case or a good screen protector to make sure that the product stays new and conserved. Or even good earbuds or headphones that work amazing with the product, if they seem to be especially into music. 

This approach not only adds value to your product and your brand in their eyes, but it’s also very good for your brand’s profits. 

Customer success strategies are incredibly beneficial to any business. A customer success approach can help your business in many areas. 

Why is Customer Success Important 

Some customer success benefits include: 

Customer Retention: 

It maximizes the chances of your customers reaching their goals and contributes to customer satisfaction, therefore motivating your customers to stay loyal.

Results in more Referrals

Successful and satisfied customers will efficiently promote your brand, even without meaning to. 

Increase In Sales And Revenue: 

It gives you both opportunities to generally sell your products and upsell and to do amazing deals,increasing your sales and revenue. Especially being that the number of customer interactions seems to double after implementing a customer success plan, according to a Mainstay study. 

Provides Valuable Data:

Implementing this plan gives you access to valuable information about your customers and your business. 

Reduces Churn:

All the data and information you gather when implementing your plan helps you have a deep understanding of all customers. That allows you to predict their behavior, including signs that they might churn. In addition, that gives you more space to take action to prevent it. 

Differentiates Your Company: 

Your ability to guide people to success through a focus on customer success is a great asset in the business world, as it puts your company above companies whose services don’t match yours. 

Examples of Customer Success 

I’ve separated a few good examples of customer success focused actions, from my own experience: 

  • Worten 

I’ve noticed that Worten collaborators always take the opportunity to upsell in an intelligent way that makes sense and adjusts to their customers’ needs. 

In all the times that I went there to buy electronics, I’ve had suggestions of how to best use my product to reach my goal and how the whole process can be made more enjoyable or safe by acquiring additional things that I can combine with my product. 

  • Zara, Bershka (and most retail stores now)

One thing I love about most retail stores now is that their websites are designed in a way that anticipates the customers’ next logical move. 

When you click on an article styled in a certain way in the picture, at the end of the page, you have suggestions of the other pieces that complete the outfit and suggestions of similar pieces or pieces that customers who’ve bought it have also bought. 

Sum Up! 

Customer success is the new best way of showing up for your customers without waiting for their request. It makes your customers’ experience more enjoyable, and it’s very beneficial for their and your end goal. 

Investing in this approach might be the decision that takes your business to the next level. Are you ready for that step?

Further Readings 

Customer Success: The Most Effective Strategy To Reduce Churn. SUPEROFFICE 

10 Companies Mastering Customer Success. TENFOLD 

Emidio Amadebai

For the past 2 years, I have been working as the head of Customer Experience, Sales, Marketing, and Customer Finance at an international pay as you go solar home system company working in rural areas in Africa. After my previous 7 years working in B2B, IT&Telecoms industry, as a Service Delivery and Project Manager, having worked with Vodacom, Huawei, and other multinational companies. My job is to make sure we improve the lives of thousands of families, with access to electricity, utilities (radio, TV, lights), doing our very best so that they get the best-in-class customer experience, and succeed in acquiring the products for themselves.

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