Starting Down the Pathway to Customer Success
Every company wants to optimize their customers’ experience. But with products and services becoming more complex, customers require a lot of help to understand how to best utilize all the features and functionalities a product has to offer. This, as a result, creates a situation where businesses must maintain constant "touch" with their customers in order to proactively educate and ensure adoption. Here are a few initial steps that every customer support organization should take to transition to Customer Success.
Structure for Success
Create a culture of "success" by shifting away from a transactional and reactive "customer service" model. The focus of every customer interaction should on teaching customers how to use your product or service better. This involves predicting downstream issues, sharing best practices, and inspiring customers to tackle new projects that will put them on a learning pathway towards product expertise. To achieve this, you might want to consider restructuring your customer-facing organization into distinct teams, such as:
- Customer Support
- Onboarding & Training
- Relationships & Renewals
Understand Your Customers
Gather the information you need to gain clarity on your customer’s usage, results, subscription, support, and feedback across each lifecycle stage. Create a customer retention strategy. Know what help content your customers are searching for, and whether they are finding it or getting stuck. By taking such steps, your team will be able to uncover hidden signals of risk and opportunity.
Provide an Authoritative Source of Information
Businesses need a destination full of robust content where customers can learn about the products and platform, become experts, or simply find answers to their questions. Navigation and searchability are critical. In our society as a whole, and especially in the world of software, customers expect information to be easily searchable and at their fingertips. If it takes more than a few clicks to find the right answer, they experience frustration, and worse, lose faith in your brand. To avoid this pitfall:
- Make sure your customers see a clear ROI from using your product.
- Make learning how to use your product as frustration-free as possible.
- Guide your customers on a learning pathway and ensure that they're constantly getting smarter and achieving results.
Of course, there are many twists and turns on the pathway to Customer Success, but you can point yourself in the right starting direction by creating the mindset and structure, collecting the data and knowledge, and building a resource repository for your customers.
Hsin-Ju Chuang is Marketing Program Manager at MindTouch, a customer success content management platform that enables companies to provide exceptional help experiences to create smarter customers and accelerate sales.
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