Your online reputation depends on the experiences of your customers, which is largely determined by your customers’ success. How easily were they able to use your product or service?
In general, your business should have a customer care plan. Usually businesses are keen on making sure they have customer support or service. But adding Customer Cuccess makes the whole experience with your business much better. A better customer experience naturally creates an improved online reputation.
First, we’ll define Customer Success, then we’ll take a look at how it works for new and existing customers. Finally, we’ll outline how you can start your own Customer Success department.
What is Customer Success?
Customer Success is the team that ensures your customers start off with your product or service on the right foot. It’s proactive in comparison to the reactive quality of customer support. Basically, it’s your first line of offense and defense for your business.
The recipe for a good Customer Success Team includes a little support, some sales, lots of outreach, a fair bit of customer cheerleading, a smidgen of hand-holding, heaps of training, and kindness mixed throughout. Of course, a dusting of humor goes a long way, too. It’s the casserole department for any business.
I like to think of us as the concierge desk. Many customers do fine on their own but some need direction while others need a little more guidance. Like any good concierge, your Customer Success department is always at the ready, knowledgeable, visible, and highly accessible. They help answer questions for people seeking information about your products or services. Customer Success also helps your new and existing customers.
Customer Success and New Customers
The true benefit of having a Customer Success Team is working with new customers. These customers are often excited about your products and services. They also may consider themselves unequipped to use your offerings. This is where your Customer Success Team shines. Structuring a good onboarding process for new clients will acclimate them to using whatever they just purchased. It makes them feel more secure in their abilities and builds a relationship with your company.
Good onboarding looks different for every business, but the main tenets of it are always similar. It should go through a timeline that will include the following:
- Presales conversations/demonstrations
- Outreach and welcome (phone and email)
- Resources email (may be included in #3)
As a business, your first interactions with a customer can make or break your relationship with them. Your Customer Success Team should be comprised of people who are cheerful, helpful, and display an appropriate sense of humor. Above all, they should love working with people. As the team who will be a part of the relationship equation throughout the life cycle of the customer, assembling the right players is important.
New customers are usually the ones who both read your reviews and leave new reviews. Making sure that their experiences are stellar helps drive better reviews and bigger sales.
Customer Success and Ongoing Customers
No matter what your product or service is, staying accessible and in touch with your customers is the Customer Success team’s responsibility. Many of your team members may interact with customers on a regular basis throughout their life cycle. Managing that relationship is a huge part of the customer’s opinion of the business and the product or service that you offer.
The Customer Success Team should perform regular outreach for ongoing customers. Outreach includes checking in to make sure they’re still happy and answering any questions they may have.
When it comes to managing your reputation online, the Customer Success Team helps pull it all together. By being available and approachable to your customers, your reputation grows. Within the first month of Impress.org implementing a Customer Success strategy, we called every new customer we could reach. The feedback was amazing. We still frequently hear surprise and praise that “no one else does this” or “wow…I was just trying to figure out how to do ____” and “I don’t think I need anything now, but I’ll keep your number!”
The very first day we implemented calling, one of our customers tweeted about it:
Implementing Customer Success
No two businesses implement Customer Success in the same way, but there are some common themes throughout. It should always include onboarding, outreach, and training.
Here are some additional important things to consider:
- Calling and/or emailing new customers within one business day of their purchase
- Onboarding including providing contact information and online resource links
- Periodic check-ins with customers to make sure they are happy with the product/service and answering any questions they may have
- Quick replies to issues and refund requests
- Training opportunities (in person, online, or with videos)
- Surveys for anonymous feedback
By taking control of the customer relationship, guiding it, nurturing it, and reaching out, you will have a much better opportunity to grow your business through word-of-mouth marketing. Customer success makes reputation management easier through positive online reviews.