Yesterday’s buyer is now Buyer 2.0. Abundant information provides customers with more buying power. There’s more temptation to switch providers than ever before. Companies need a new approach to win and keep this new kind of customer, and customer success must be an integral part of business. Here are five best practices to get your organization in the customer success mindset.
The sooner businesses realize the customer is their number one asset; the quicker they will pave the road to success. This demands a shift from customer satisfaction and customer service to customer success. It’s a subtle—but crucial—shift. It’s the key to renewal.
Customer satisfaction, traditionally known as customer service, happens when sellers successfully answer a buyer’s questions. Customer success results from a partnership that achieves a customer’s ongoing goals. For companies, it might mean account renewal.
A business may have many satisfied their customers, however, that does not always translate to loyalty. To become a truly customer-focused organization, which feeds and grows off its own success, a company needs its customers to be successful—not just satisfied.
According to Gallup Consulting, organizations that optimize customer engagement outperform competitors by 26% in gross margin and 85% in sales growth. Their customers buy more, spend more, return more often and stay longer.
When a customer succeeds because of your product, a viral effect occurs. In our experience, the credibility of a peer company recommending a solution to a prospect outweighs the best lead generation efforts by 100 to 1.
The focus on customer success needs to be part of an organization’s culture. Satisfaction equals contentment. Success breeds loyalty and referrals.
The big question: “Does my company deliver customer success?” If not, you may be missing out on high growth and customers for life.
Bernie Kassar, Chief Customer Officer, Xactly Corporation