The selling process has changed. It’s now powered by information, not action.
For marketers and sales teams, that means no more cold calling or direct mail and more blogging and ebook generation. Marketers are now busier than ever, generating leads. Done correctly, this process grows businesses, fast!
The marketing and sales duo has been the growth driver of businesses for years, but this too is changing. Consumers have higher expectations than they ever have and can easily get services or products elsewhere if they are not treated the way they want to be. When they don’t get the support they need to achieve their goals, customers move on.
In order to serve the modern customer, you not only need to provide them with the product or service they need, you have to help them use it to the best of their ability and dedicate staff to helping them succeed.
The buzzword “customer success” is beginning to pop up in businesses around the globe. Customer success is a strategy that helps companies retain their clients and make them advocates for their brand. Ideally, customer success results in customers recommending your company to their friends, ultimately growing your business by word of mouth.
In this blog, we’ll explore customer success including:
- Customer success roles and responsibilities
- How customer success grows your business
- Customer service versus customer success
Customer Success Roles and Responsibilities
Customer success roles can vary to include everything from Customer Success Managers to Customer Success Advocates and Customer Happiness Manager to whatever else you want it to be called, as long as it’s a role completely dedicated to the client's success.
In B2B companies, these are relatively new positions created to address the gap in customer service that occurs between sales and marketing, or even throughout projects.
Quickly growing companies are losing clients by not putting the client first. Customer success advocates help to reverse the problem and retain those customers through organizational methods, communication and data. They make sure the client is happy by explaining processes and managing expectations as a consistent partner throughout their entire journey with your company. Hopefully, it's a long one.
How Customer Success can Grow Your Business
Guess what? The contract phase of client relationships has changed as well. There are so many businesses providing the same service that clients get scared of contracts, resulting in the term “life clients” nearly disappearing.
So, if long-term business relationships and renewal clients power businesses, how can you continue to push renewals in this age of contract anxiety? You guessed, it customer success!
Throughout your client agreements or contracts, a customer success advocate makes sure the client has everything they need to reach their goals. This relationship grows stronger with time, becoming the sole reason that this role generates more business via referral than nearly any other.
At Impulse Creative, we’re lucky to have many referral clients, nearly all of which we can attribute to our dedication to customer success.
Customer Service Versus Customer Success
Be careful not to confuse customer service with the customer success role. Although they should be working together, the two are drastically different.
The customer success team should be proactively making sure the client is succeeding, staying in constant communication with the client throughout the buying cycle. On the flipside, the customer service team may have a more reactive role, putting out fires through customer service tickets or working through issues with customers that reach out to them, before moving onto the next issue and customer.
HubSpot made this fancy infographic so my designer didn't have to help explain the differences between the two further! Thank you, HubSpot!
Customer success is a hot, new role that companies are beginning to lean on, not only to keep retention but to fuel growth. As the marketing and sales processes continue to evolve, the customer success position will help your business to fill the gaps and protect what's most important, the client.