Up until now, Customer Success (CS) strategies have primarily lived in the software and technology fields. As a leading provider of Customer Success software, we’re always looking for new ways that Customer Success strategies can be integrated into any company’s existing customer relationship systems.
In this article, we’ll examine the different ways that service-based companies such as marketing agencies, along with product-based businesses can utilize the scientific theories and ideas of Customer Success to keep their clients happy, while also fostering the growth of their customers to increase profits in the long run.
The Theories Behind Customer Success
For those new to the Customer Success world, here is a quick overview of CS:
The primary goal of implementing a Customer Success software system is to ensure the long-term success of the customer. Traditionally, salespeople were instructed to manage accounts simply to keep the customer, and nothing more. With innovations in Key Account Management systems like Kapta, the goal is now to ensure that the client is more profitable with the ability to thrive in the long-run.
If the client is profitable, the service provider is profitable. Customer Success entails going out of your way to ensure that the client is happy while providing them with a quality service that sets them up for long-term success.
The CS Process for SaaS Vendors
The structure of Customer Success varies from company to company, but traditionally it follows these steps:
- Customer Success is Launched – typically within an hour after a free-trial of software is secured or payment is made. It’s vital to be “on the ball” in a sense and to be proactive in your approach.
- Requirements Gathering – A salesperson will contact the client, preferably by phone, and have a brief conversation to determine which problems the client is trying to solve. These issues are collected and saved in a file with the account.
- Finding the Decision-Makers – the decision-maker for the company won’t always be the person that purchases the software. Finding the key decision-makers of the client’s organization will help the software spread throughout the company which equals more sales and a stronger connection.
- What Are They Doing Now? – Referencing the problems identified in step two, it’s important to know how the client is currently solving their problems to determine how your company can be of help to them.
- Help them Learn the Software – this involves sending any training material to them so they can get the most out of the software, additionally scheduling webinar training if possible.
- Keep in Touch – checking-in with the client regularly from the start of the relationship will ensure that 1) they are getting the most out of the software and 2) let them know that you care about them and it adds a personal touch.
- Survey – typically, SaaS companies will send an NPS survey to evaluate their satisfaction with the service so far and any issues that need to be corrected. It also keeps the door open for future contact.
Using These Steps in Your Service-Based Company
A lot of these steps may seem exclusive to SaaS companies, but they can easily be transferred over to just about any company that wants to implement a Customer Success platform in their sales and account management processes.
Instead of contacting them after they’ve purchase software, here you would reach out after you’ve landed a new client in your marketing agency or other service company. As soon as they have started working with you, you want to be in contact with them immediately.
Not much has changed from the traditional SaaS approach in this stage. Here you’ll talk to the client and determine the problems they need help with. They may need to increase their social media engagement, boost their website’s SEO, etc. It’s all about identifying their needs and proposing your company’s solutions.
Finding the decision-makers may be easier as a service-based company because your clients may very well be small businesses simply looking to bring in more customers and more times than not, your initial contact may be the decision-maker. This will vary from client to client, so adjust your techniques accordingly.
This is identical to any company whether providing services or products. Identifying the customer’s needs is the root of the selling process and determining how your product or services can individually solve their problems will seal the deal for your clients.
While you are not selling them a software tool, there is still information that you can give your client. If you are selling a product, provide them with the manual or suggested uses packet. If it’s a service, for example, a marketing agency, provide them with case studies from your most successful projects with real, tangible facts to show how good you are at what you do.
This will be the same for all companies as staying in touch with your new clients is essential to building a healthy and long-lasting relationship with them.
Finally, you should provide them with some form of a follow-up to see how they are enjoying your service or product and keeping the door open for the future.
Automate the Customer Success Process
While a personal touch is nice, wherever you can automate your processes, you should. Kapta features tools for Customer Success including Templates to help streamline the account planning process for your company. Kapta also offers organizational tools, so every client and the key decision-makers are kept in order along with any notes about the specific account.
The goal isn’t to replace your account managers; instead, the goal is to make the process more seamless and efficient so your account managers can spend more time communicating with clients and building a relationship instead of trapped in spreadsheets all day, trying to stay organized.
Putting customer’s success as priority number one pays off in the long-run and implementing a CS system into your enterprise will help your company and clients achieve long-term success. Feel free to read some of our other articles on our website and download a free trial of Kapta today.