Are You Failing At Customer Success?

Customer success means ensuring your customers achieve their desired outcome while using your product or service. It rises as one of the biggest growth opportunities in business. Companies that dedicate a team toward customer success, or CS for short, appear to have a leg up on the competition. However, that's not always the case. Sometimes, a company's customer success efforts end up resulting in pain points for the customer.

Paul LaRue, an author, blogger and speaker, says organizations must review what it means to have a customer success program. They might be committing some errors that are hurting their customers rather than helping them succeed. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss LaRue's thoughts on how to tell if your customer success efforts aren't bringing your customers success at all.

Customers aren't the real focus. If your CS department is geared simply toward hitting metrics, then the customer isn't the top priority. Instead, the focus of success becomes that of the team as they work toward achieving KPIs. LaRue encourages sales leaders to make customers the top priority.

Those outside the team don't support success. If someone in another team hears about a customer issue and says, "That's not my job," then your organization isn't succeeding at customer success. If your entire organization isn't dedicated to customer success, then the entire culture will struggle to support customers.

The customer gets caught up in bureaucracy. To combat the silos that sometimes exist in organizations, LaRue encourages sales leaders to examine processes and systems currently in place. Does your company make it hard for customers to find success or get quick resolutions? When a customer interacts with your organization, do they come away feeling negative about the experience? Ensure all touchpoints in the relationship are smooth and beneficial.

Your CS team only addresses symptoms, not the causes. Does your team only resolve surface issues without exploring the root cause? You might be great at onboarding customers but poor at providing continued support. LaRue says it's important to review every issue and track trends to ensure underlying causes are identified and rectified to create a smoother experience for the customer.

There's no attempt to build relationships. Due to the increasingly digital workforce, your CS team is often detached from customers. This makes it all the more important to nurture customers and bridge the gap by adding value. LaRue says CS teams must develop a culture of making each customer feel connected. When customers feel valued, they're less likely to leave and more committed to working with you to achieve success.

Your CS team doesn't qualify customers to determine fit. LaRue follows the saying, "We want every customer, but we don't need every customer." Keep in mind that not every client is a great fit. Customers may not be successful due to their own internal issues. This puts a strain on your resources and your ability to guide them. When you qualify the type of customer that's best suited for your products and services, you can ensure more resources to help your customers succeed.

When you consider companies such as Zappos, you'll see that customer success is a holistic, cultural approach that can't be done in a silo. You need all your people to be completely committed to bringing the customer success.

Source: Paul LaRue is an author, writer, blogger and speaker. His first book, Leadership LIFT , outlines the ways each one of us can bring our influence to the next level. LaRue is also an instigator for Lead Change Group, a global leadership community dedicated to instigating a character-based leadership revolution.

filed under April 2019
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