When Customer Success Isn’t
Any organization that dedicates a team towards customer success (CS) sounds like they have a competitive edge in the marketplace.
But when “customer success” results in pain points for the customer, it may be time to review what it means to have a said “success” program.
Here are some of the common errors that many companies commit in their pursuit of having a team for customer success.
- Customers are not the real focus. If your department is geared simply towards hitting KPIs, CRM management or other processes or metrics, then the customer has been relegated to a lower priority. The focus of success then becomes that of the team instead. Making the customer at all times to focal point will make the team successful every time.
- Those outside the team don’t support success. The person in other department who is told about a customer issue then says “it’s not my job“ and moved onto their focus. The salesperson who got their sale and met their metric then did nothing above and beyond when customer success faltered. If the entire organization is not dedicated to CS, then the entire organizational culture will struggle to support customers in the future.
- The customer gets held up in bureaucracy. Most of this stems from the silos from non-CS team members. But if your processes and systems bog down quick success or resolutions and leave the customer with a negative experience, you will need to refine them to ensure all touchpoints in the relationship are smooth and beneficial.
- They only address symptoms, not causes of the issues. “Customer has an issue? Click this. Submit that. Done. Next.” You may be great at on-boarding, yet poor at continued support. If your team and systems only resolve surface issues without delving into the root causes to prevent further instances, then true success cannot be achieved. Review every issue and track trends to ensure underlying causes are identified and rectified to create a smoother experience for the customer.
- There is no building relationship or customer experience. Due to our digital workplaces, many of these folks are regional, remote and detached from the customer. No one attempts to bridge the gap by adding any value. CS teams need to develop a culture of making each and every customer feel connected. When customers feel valued they’re be less likely to churn, and more committed to working with you towards their success as well.
- Not qualifying customers to determine fit. I have a saying “We want every customer, but we don’t need every customer”. Not every client that’s brought on is the right fit. Customers may not be successful due to their own internal issues and this puts a strain on your resources and ability to guide them. By better qualifying what type of customer is best suited to be successful in using your services, you can ensure more resources to ensure your other customers succeed.
Customer success, such as displayed by industry leaders like Zappos, is a holistic, cultural approach. It cannot be done in a silo. It requires all or your people to have a complete commitment towards that vision and bringing this value proposition to life.
Make your customers succeed at all costs.