Our definition of success is based on two components: customer satisfaction and sincerity. It might sound too simplistic, but in reality, the company is undergoing serious changes to achieve them. In practical terms, it means a set of rules and practices we will discuss further on.2. Building Pillars
Customer success is transformative, but tricky, we won’t lie. So, how to make the hard work easier? Choose the right players. Quite frankly, everything we’ve talked about makes no difference at all without people who are eager to help others and able to learn how.
On a paper, a customer success hire of your dreams should have at least a couple of years of experience in customer-facing departments, and possess a set of both sales and post-sale skills. Besides customer-centric, their mindset should also be analytical and process-oriented. Ideally, they should be emphatic and persuasive, enthusiastic and driven, all at the same time.
It may be a lot to ask for, but hey, you’re playing in the big leagues now. The best advice we can give you is this – keep it in the family. The people you employ should know your customers by heart, understand your product better than those who’ve made it, and most importantly, share your unique vision of success. If you can’t find them in your own midst, you can’t find them anywhere.4. Allocating Wisely
When you have a dream team (we’re proud to say we do), determining who’s the best for which part of the job is pretty easy. The members’ unique set of expertise will certainly help you to wisely allocate different responsibilities, but at the end of the day, customer success is up to everyone. The support should engage and educate, the engagement should educate and support, the education should support and engage, and round and round it goes.5. Training for Success
Besides initial obligatory training, our customer success team regularly participates in cross-training with other departments, they share experiences and their best and worst practices. It helps us fine-tune the processes and make all necessary changes at a very early stage.
Finally, since we assembled our first customer success team, we regularly assess the level of their customer-centric approach. We hope that the right mindset, trainings and regular assessment will help our team to succeed.
6. Identifying Guidelines
Customer success is a proactive approach. What this means for our team is that the answers have to be prepared and given even before the question is asked. Sure, this is possible only by building almost personal relationships with customers, and getting to know the product inside out. Customer-centricity exists on actionable data, and so does customer success.
Every other practical guideline is a derivative of this approach. We use canned responses and regularly update our helpdesk. What’s more, we try to improve the communication style of our team so that it reflects our eagerness to help and solve.
Another guideline we all try to follow is sincerity. We don’t make promises we cannot keep. Supervisors check the responses of the customer success team to be sure that they provide sincere and relevant information.7. Choosing Top Tools
Your stellar team will need stellar tools to make their difficult job a little bit easier. So far, Bitrix24 has been the number one choice of the Bitrix24 customer success team, and will hopefully continue to be so for quite some time in the future. Just kidding, of course it will. Here’s how we use it.
Our team communicates through Social Intranet. It’s like Facebook really, only more exclusive. We’re allocating tasks and managing workflow with Kanban boards and Gantt charts. We’re video chatting in HD and comparing customer notes on Bitrix24’s drive. And that’s only in-house.
When it comes to being proactive, our customer success team relies on our CRM, Open Channels and Ticketing and Helpdesk. Together, these three modules of Bitrix24 help us learn about our customers, approach them wherever they are, and help them successfully reach their goals.8. Identifying KPIs
If you want something changed, you need to measure it. Enveloping a huge range of CSM and CRM tasks, customer success can never be gauged with a single metric. What you need is a system of them, a slightly more complex calculation that will include LTV, NPS and churn.
Internally, what it all comes down to is every person’s individual contribution to customer success. That’s why we’ve identified KPIs not only for the members of the success team, but for all of the other customer-focused departments. Their impact is important, so measure that too.
9. Measuring the Success of Success
To be absolutely certain that everything goes as it should, take everything into account. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is still the best indicator of customer success though, and if followed up by actual feedback, it can tell you whether or not you have to improve, along with why you’ve underachieved and how to be better in the future.In case you’re unfamiliar with the concept, NPS asks no more than one quantitative question: “How likely are you to recommend this business to a friend or colleague?” It’s effective because it’s simple – while not all dissatisfied customers will come around to actually churn, a huge number of them will be glad to rate their overall experience on a scale from 0 to 10.
We are just at the very beginning of the long path to customer success and many things have to be done or improved. Lao Tzu said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" and we are happy to say that we have made ours.
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