Category Archives: Customer Experience
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.
We talk about Customer Experience in general, but do we know the basics of delivering a solid and consistent experience?
If we re-calibrate our thinking about customers from a basic needs standpoint, we will see their needs are not consumer needs only, but human.
Consider your own needs as a person when you think of what a customer is expecting from you:
Look At Me
Smile At Me
Listen To Me
Talk To Me
You and your team don’t have to excel at all points, but just simply being there fully engaged with customers will communicate to them that they matter to you.
Once customers know this, their experience is enhanced. When their experience is enhanced your brand grows. When your brand grows, sales typically follow.
Spend a day each week getting your team to focus on one of the basic customer needs. A simple little effort can make a bigger difference than an intricate strategic marketing plan.
The oft-quoted (and also mis-quoted) proverb “You can’t save your way to prosperity” has a much more pertinent meaning for business.
Many companies, small business as well as large corporations, have struggled when they focus so much on the bottom line that they forget how to move forward and drive top-line revenues.
A Forbes article last month detailed how an entrepreneur’s previous startup consumed him because of the fear of financial losses. Worried too much about pinching pennies consumed him even though the company had millions in revenue.
He discovered that focusing solely on the bottom line was no way to run a business, let alone give himself any peace or lasting satisfaction. Once he discovered what he was doing wrong, he stepped back and formulated his next start up with a focus on driving revenue and creating value.
I often say that the problem with most floundering businesses is that they changed their game plan and started playing defense penny-wise when they should be more on the offense in building value for their customers. Simply stated, by having a vision towards building loyal customers and a complete value in everything you do will help get a company moving forward and not restrained by decisions on what to spend or not spend.
Penny pinching and bottom line focus shortens an organization’s vision and take the eyes off of most everything else, particularly your company values and mission statement. Granted, profitability should be a goal; however, having the right internal systems should ensure profitability flows down through from the top line revenues.
And yet, sales is not the be-all-and-end-all. Many companies are great at getting the sale or driving revenue, but create little lasting value that builds trust or commitment form their customers.
Creating value comes not only between your customers and your organization, but also a holistic synergy within your company that transcends the inner workings and augments that trust and commitment from your customers.
When a customer sees that your company will follow through to make things right for them, or that your team works in alignment with your core values which in turn prove your organization is what it says it is, you create a value that enhances the transaction-based part of the relationship. This creates more intrinsic value beyond what you bring to your customers, a value that you can never build focusing on the bottom line and pinching pennies en route to success.
Running a business with the majority of your focus on the bottom line is “penny-wise and pound foolish”. The best success comes by creating not just sales, but value beyond the transaction. Spend your efforts on value.