We often talk to business owners who are unsure about the best way to grow their business through their existing customers. On that topic, lets talk about customer success, which is part of our series on Business Growth for Automotive companies...
Customer success is more important than ever. It’s key to ensuring you have a successful business.
Achieving Customer Success
To achieve customer success in the Automotive industry, the following 3 points are key:
- Provide a world class service to your customers
- Maintain a friendly relationship with your customers
- Account management
To elaborate further:
Customer success is about being proactive.
Customers need to be reassured that what they purchase achieves their desired outcome and the customer should receive continued value from their purchase over time.
This can be achieved by exceeding the customers expectations and going the extra mile.
As an Automotive business, you need to plan in advance and avoid difficult situations before they arise to ensure that your customers are receiving the best experience.
Focus on exceptional communication. Make sure you keep regular contact with your customer throughout the experience. The better the relationship, the easier it is to conduct business and generate revenue.
Customer success is about loyalty and keeping your customer happy.
Measuring Customer Success
It is important to measure Customer success to strengthen and maintain your relationship.
The top customer success metrics and KPI’s to measure are:
- Customer Churn % - The percentage of customers who quit in a given period of time
- Customer satisfaction - Knowing how your customer feels
- Expansion revenue - What percentage of your new revenue is coming from your existing customers?
Having a customer success team is extremely important. Like any team it needs to justify its existence with data. So you need to have customer success metrics in place that help you evaluate your progress.
The definition of customer success
Customer success is when your customers achieve their desired outcome through their interactions with your company. A customer that has not yet achieved their desired outcome with your product can technically still be classified as a satisfied customer.
But, don’t be fooled by customer satisfaction
Just because your product or service has met your customers expectations, it doesn’t mean that they have achieved their desired outcome with it yet. Satisfied customers are not always successful customers.
There are different degrees of satisfaction and success. The goal of your customer success strategy should be to help as many of your customers as possible reach a high level of satisfaction and success with your products or services. See below for different degrees of customer satisfaction and success.
To achieve customer success
Experience begins before they buy from you and continues all the way until your customer achieves the result they want.
Customer success should be owned company wide. It should involve all departments, even though you may have a Customer Success Team in your organisation. Everyone owns the success of the customers!
This means hiring the right people. Determine who are the right people you need to have on your team based on the skills that are needed for the role.
Providing good, professional customer service should be a key objective for your company.
Customer success is a discipline designed to increase the value of your business by making your customers more successful with your products and services.
The expertise you bring to the table with respect to your products and services capabilities is a valuable body of knowledge.
You need to keep in mind that what you see as selling the product to the customers, they see as investing. It makes a huge difference when you look at it from your customers perspective.
What makes a great Customer Success process?
You need to be sure that customers are happy with the service and assistance you provide and will recommend you to others. You should never underestimate the power of recommendation as it remains one of the most successful sales channel.
Every successful partnership has at least two willing participants who have the same goal and are committed to success. If you or your customer can't agree upon the goal and you both don't own the outcome, your plan has an increased likelihood of failure. You both need to be at the table in the creation of your plan, own the outcomes, and the plan needs to be mutual.
Unless your customer is already an expert, all customer success plans should include a form of learning. Educate your client with online content, whitepapers, blog posts, emails, videos, and one-to-one support. There is no set amount of education but every sales plan should include some.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your customer plan if you need to. Business is ever-changing and so your plans should be. Change your plans as your customer's needs evolve.
A good customer success plan should have clearly defined goals that are measurable.
If you and your customer invest the time with each other to build a mutual and dynamic success plan that enables you both to become smarter with your products and services, you are well on your way to being successful.
5 signs you’re doing it well
- If you’re doing a good job as a Customer Success Manager, the product team respect your position and can help you better fulfill your role and produce successful customers.
- You understand your client’s goals and can identify their needs. You work with them around the clock and make sure the case is fully taken care of.
- Customer Service Managers will deal with clients who have unattainable expectations. A persuasive CSM can show the client that there are other ways to solve the particular issue at hand.
- You prioritise listening over providing false answers to clients, which is key when confronting difficult discussions.
- You know you’re doing a good job when other people on your team turn to you for support, guidance, and advice.
The secret to customer success is to treat your customers as if your world revolves around them!
To learn more about Business growth, start with How Sales and Marketing works when you use The Tree Group + HubSpot.
You can find previous posts in our series on business growth on our blog, at iTunes and Soundcloud, or on YouTube.