Success in the eyes of customers

The way business designs its service experiences start with the customers―and they should! Without the appropriate CS strategy, customers’ experience will be meaningless.

Before orchestrating any business strategy, organizations should know (or develop mutual understanding) what kind of relationship customers consider healthy and meaningful. What creates (or makes) a successful partnership?

Understanding (your) customers will help you build and invest in well-established relationships. The more you know about them and their needs, the easier it will be to identify opportunities. Having this top-down alignment allows you to create compelling services that customers can appreciate and think fit.

Customer expectations are rising and changing significantly. They must have a clear understanding of what the product or service can do for them. They expect nothing less, but once they use the solution, they will be better off than they were before.

Businesses must keep in mind that the only thing that matters to customers is the kind of relationship they can grow, endure, and be successful. Customers require the companies [they partner] to deliver the value they seek, expect, and can achieve.

There is no other way around. We can not champion our customers if we do not know the kind of success they want to achieve, its impact on their organization, and the outcomes they need to be aware (of). Be precise and honest with your customers.

Building a CS team

Startup companies tend to move things quickly. When hiring CSMs, Jeff recommends, they need to find very adaptable and flexible individuals that will join their CS organization, considering that they do not have the tools and processes in place yet.

They should look for people with problem-solving skills, a thirst for learning, natural curiosity, high AQ (adversity quotient, self-reliant), and EQ (emotional quotient, understanding customer behavior).

These people will help CS organizations scale. As they progress or mature, the process and tools become more important. In conjunction with these changes, Jeff suggests changing the hiring profile for their potential candidates.

As sales often talked about ICP, organizations will benefit well if they follow this process of attracting talents based on the Ideal Hiring Profile for their particular growth stage.

Investing in customers growth

Investing in customer success consists of listening to customers and improving their experience as they go along. Jeff observed, one of the challenges in CS organization is managing change.

It is not enough to prescribe the change and expect it to happen. Creating change within an organization requires commitment, support from everyone, continued effort, and an understanding of what must happen for change to occur.

One of the impediments to the CS organization is getting all the parts of the organization aligned. CS organizations need to establish good relationships with internal and external teams so that when changes need to make, there is no push back.

Consequently, organizations should know when to improve the business process or when it should change. Jeff says the difference between a sales conversation and a relationship conversation is what an organization thinks what they can do (sales conversation) than what they want their customers to become (relationship conversation).

From the customer perspective: if they truly believe in your platform and the relationship you have built and established, you are not flustering them. You are doing them a favor. 

Summary

✓ Serving customers is a long term commitment.
✓ You need to establish and invest in a healthy relationship. Without the people who will support your customers, you risk losing them to your competitors.
✓ Organizations should look for talents with high problem-solving skills, a thirst for learning, natural curiosity, AQ (adversity quotient, self-awareness), and EQ (emotional quotient, understanding customer behavior). These people will help CS organizations scale as they progress or mature.
✓ It is not enough to prescribe the change and expect it to happen. Creating change within an organization requires commitment, support from everyone, continued effort, and an understanding of what must happen for change to occur.
✓ Show customers the growth and expansion value (what they have achieved) in partnering with you.

This article was originally published here

Vincent Manlapaz, is a Customer Success Advocate at Strikedeck. He is passionate about Customer Success and is always willing to learn more! Vincent Manlapaz

Customer Success, Strikedeck, a Medallia company