Modern businesses rely on a vastly different methodology for creating revenue than their past counterparts. While the basic tenets of acquiring new customers, perfecting product and ensuring customer experience still remain true, the relationship with your customer means more today than it ever has. This is due to the change in many business models into subscription-based transactions. In order to retain and grow your existing customer revenue, (based on subscription) it is imperative that companies begin revolutionizing their organizations into Customer Success businesses.
Seemingly simple, the transition from account-based management into a true relationship-oriented sales cycle can be tricky and it’s important to build a transition plan based on results-driven best practices. After you have set up such an organization, there are several tools which you can leverage in order to optimize your CSM team’s performance. One of these tools is leveraging true customer feedback. As we have previously wrote about in Allison Picken’s (VP of Customer Success) article “How to Segment Customers and make Tough tradeoffs”, it is imperative to understand your customer’s value to your company. This can be broken down into terms of expansion, retention and advocacy. But a true customer success organization needs to rethink this equation from their customer’s perspective. How can your company deliver the utmost value to the customer?
Customer Success gives companies an entirely new channel of quality customer feedback that can help their organizations much more successful. You can think of the customer success team as a switchboard, with tons of incoming and outgoing messages, how is the team supposed to prioritize the information and route it accordingly? If you are letting qualitative customer feedback fall through the cracks, then you are missing out on some of the richest information your company has. It’s critical for Customer Success team to understand and standardize processes around getting feedback to support, representing customer needs to product and engineering teams, and informing company strategy from the top down. After all, the Customer Success org likely knows the customer’s problems, needs, and desires better than anyone in your company. Finding a way to harness that information and put it to work is key to having a scalable and valuable customer success program.
In order to find the best answer to those questions, Gainsight has called upon Eigenworks, a leader is customer feedback and user stories, to develop a model of customer feedback that is unique to customer success. To personify the customer’s journey, Eigenworks has placed the customer as a hero in their daring journey of success. This journey begins with your customer making a transaction with your company. After their decision to purchase, their walk down the yellow brick road begins. From Implementation to eventual renewal, the Customer Success Manager’s job is to act as a guide or companion for the customer along their journey.
Similarly to the fairy godmother guiding Dorothy to the city of OZ, the CSM is responsible for directing, supporting and safeguarding their customer’s through-out their relationship with your company. There are many different tools the CSM can deploy in order to ensure a successful journey. From nailing the handoffs, tracking (and reacting to) the right metrics, to making sure you collect the right amount of feedback directly from the customer. Utilizing these tools and improving how you implement them will consistently give you the edge against your competitors.
Just like any hero’s story, the journey itself dictates the success of their quest. This is why it’s so important that you are truly listening to your customers and acting on their needs. After you understand the baseline of specific customer needs, It’s imperative that you streamline the processes for acting on those needs. This will drive the highest amount of value in the shortest amount of time. Every company is different and has a unique model, over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more information on building your customer success feedback model into your customer success playbook.