Give me an ‘S’!
Give me a U!
Give me a C!
You can guess where I am going with this, and it ultimately spells "success"! Customer Success is one of the hottest new jobs in the technology industry. With this new position comes a new realm of responsibilities that have been overlooked for some time, such as customer retention, increasing deal size, and building brand advocates. With this new Customer Success role comes a whole lot of questions: What is success? How do you define it? What do you do to make customers successful?
All of these vary depending on the business that you are in, and the business your customer is running. My answers to those questions vary in each and every onboarding session that I do. What works for one customer may not work for the next.
I cannot tell you how to define “success." I cannot say what would work for you and your company. But what I CAN do is share with you some companies that are using this new Customer Success role to its fullest. In doing so, they are allowing users to not only use the product or platform effectively, but to help grow their business, become that brand advocate we all love to see, and ultimately become so knowledgeable about the product they may even be able to teach others how to use it!
Here’s a list of 3 companies that I believe are really helping their customers succeed on a daily basis, and how they are doing it.
What they do to help customers
Email communication, onboarding sessions, goal planning meetings, monthly check-ins from a dedicated account representative, built-in training modules and certifications, and updates about new features delivered directly to you inside their platform.
How they do it
I have personally experienced HubSpot customer success. At my previous employer, I was placed in charge of managing our HubSpot account. Being completely new to the platform, I was introduced to my new Account Manager C.E. (to prevent his inbox from being flooded, I’m using his initials). During our time together, C.E. taught me so much about the platform that by the time I had finished our first 3 sessions, I had received the status of Inbound Certified, and I knew my way around the platform enough to complete my daily tasks. I felt great, and C.E. was with me the entire way. This is not where our story ends though.
Fast forward two months. I still had not completed some tasks that were set before me by C.E., I received an email saying that he wanted to have a call with a few more members of his team and get my company set up with all the bells and whistles of their platform. During this particular session, I learned so much and more about what HubSpot can do from buyer personas, social metrics, and competitor analyses.
Without C.E. guiding me through this process, I would have been lost and probably churned to an “easier” system. With his consistent communication and his drive to make me successful, I grew to understand the platform to its fullest and was able to do my job better. HubSpot is a great company and their people really know their stuff (check out the #INBOUND14 hashtag on Twitter for the latest from HubSpot’s INBOUND conference in Boston right now).
What they do to help customers
Solve customer cases, feature requests, training sessions, data analysis, and short response times.
How they do it
There's a familiar trend appearing with our first 2 companies, and that is communication. Unbounce is leading the way with their amazing Customer Success blog. Now this is not just your regular blog about helping customers be successful, or how to reduce churn. These are blog posts that focus around the customer and what is happening inside of Unbounce.
In their monthly blog posts about updates from the Customer Success team and what’s new with Unbounce, you’ll find detailed metrics concerning the amount of cases they've solved, what type of cases they are, and the average reply time. Now some companies may shy away from publishing these metrics. Not Unbounce. By making their customer success process accessible, they allow their users and non-users alike to find out what they are doing, how they are doing it, and most importantly, what's working!
Being transparent with your customers and allowing them to see what is happening inside of your team is a great way to build trust and rapport, and hit the overall metrics that have been set out for Customer Success teams across the world (retention, upsell, and overall customer happiness).
What we do to help customers
Onboarding sessions for new clients, continual training, consistent communication, personalized support, and short response times.
How we do it
Now, I know what you are thinking — great, a shameless plug! Well, that’s not the case (or at least not totally the case). Prior to becoming an employee at Uberflip, I had the pleasure of being part of this process on both the customer and admin side. So I can tell you what customer success is like around here — from both ends of the relationship!
We use a bunch of different forms of communication with our clients. We use Intercom on a regular basis to have automated messages sent to users once they log into the site. These messages are determined based on a set of rules that we define.
For example, if a new user has yet to create a CTA, we will message them saying, “We noticed you have not used your CTA yet, do you want some help setting this up?” This shows the customer that we care and know what needs to be done for them to be successful with our product. We also use drip campaigns through marketing automation to ensure that we are promoting our new releases, and giving users the chance to speak to one of our team members about the upgrades.
The most important part is the onboarding sessions. With these sessions, we go through the full platform and showcase all the features within it. We also customize each session around the person we are working with. You will never hear the same onboarding session twice in our office, because we know each customer has different wants and needs, and we focus on how we can achieve their personal business goals.
What do these companies have in common?
You may have noticed that all of these companies have at least one thing in common, and it’s that they all want to find out more about their clients and their needs. There’s only one way to do that: communication!
Communication is key when it comes to ensuring the success of your customers. It is one thing to offer a 1-hour session to chat, it is another thing to continually check in, address specific pain points, and focus on areas that can be improved. By doing so, you not only help the customer, you start to build a rapport with them. That way, you can effectively ensure that you are reducing churn risks, and continually helping your customers succeed — two major aspects of most Customer Success role.
I normally don’t like to end my posts with a quote, but it is something that we have used as our "quote of the week" many times in the office, and I believe it holds true across many facets of business:
“People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.”