Great companies have always cared about their customers. When a customer pays for a service or offering, it’s up to the company to make sure what they paid for meets their needs.
In the past, this may have meant a follow-up call or two, and then the company moved on. However, as the B2B customer experience evolved, a single phone call is no longer good enough. Now, companies have entire “customer success” teams that focus solely on ensuring the customer is happy and remains that way.
Are you new to the concept of customer success or still building your team? Here’s what you need to know about B2B customer success to beat your competition:
Customer success is NOT an extension of customer support – While their names may be similar, the roles of customer success and customer support are quite different. A support team is there when a customer has a problem with your offering or solution and is fully equipped to resolve that issue. Sure, if a customer brings a mission critical problem to a success specialist they’ll help, but it’s not their everyday expertise. To put it simply, customer support is the department that spends most of their day working directly on resolving issues. That’s not the purpose of a customer success team.
Success is more than just asking customers “Are you OK?” – Before customer success, some B2B companies had “account management” teams. They would check-in with a customer every few months and ask them general questions about how everything is going. One of the main reasons these teams evolved into customer success groups is that there’s now more information available about customers. This data can be leveraged to ensure customers continue to be successful with your business. Customer success can now use business development data such as NPS scores and support data including customer distress and health ratings (obtained via customer support software) to approach conversations with more intelligence than ever before. Instead of asking customers “Are you OK?”, success teams can take a data-driven approach to the conversation by saying “I see this is a problem, how can we help?”.
Offering customer success isn’t a necessity of doing business – For many years, customer-facing roles including support and account management were thought of as a cost center. They were an unavoidable expense of doing business. However, this perception has started to change with the emergence of B2B customer success. When a success team can accurately and proactively identify problems as well as address them quickly, it builds trust and a positive relationship with customers. Over time, this can be leveraged to help your business not only retain more customers but also participate in new upselling opportunities. Businesses want to work with companies they already have an established relationship with. Because of this, it’s common to get a chance to win additional contracts and opportunities once that trust is established.
Getting ahead of your competition when it comes to B2B customer success can have an immediate impact and strong long-term value. Not only can the success team strengthen customer satisfaction right away by acting on relevant data, but they can build upon these positive interactions over time to create trusting relationships. Customer success is becoming more important than ever, and more businesses are realizing that this “buzz word” is here to stay.