Failing on Customer Success? Learn From These Mistakes

7 minute read

February 11, 2020

Failing on Customer Success? Learn From These Mistakes

The worst thing that can happen to any business is not just experiencing a decline on the graph, but also the inability to determine  the root cause of the problem. Over time, this can take you closer to the red line and if you don’t make the effort to find out then you can say bye-bye to your business for sure!

But on the brighter side, most of these problems are avoidable, and one of the greatest of such problems is a failure in customer success. Customer success is simply identifying the desires of your customers and making sure to tackle it to the letter. This means every expectation of your customer is dealt with, before exchanging a “nice doing business with you” handshake.

Many companies and organizations fail at customer success. This is because some customer success mistakes, which, if not addressed immediately, can ultimately impede the growth and expansion of the business.

In this blog, we will be pointing out some not-too-obvious customer success mistakes that can eat up the soul of a business and the most effective ways to tackle them.

1. Focusing More on Sales & Less on The Customer

This is the biggest mistake most managers make; you want to achieve your dream score without being concerned about what your customers want. The truth is that any business that is not customer-centric crashes noiselessly like a company that never existed.

There is no business without active and steady customers, and the earlier you understand this, the better it is for you and your business. 

Let’s say that you want to sell product A. Now you’ve always preferred to have a target of producing 1000 a month maybe because:

  • you have more resources for it 

  • Its production costs are easier to manage 

However, it appears that your product B sells faster than A, and it happens so often that the demand for it exceeds your stock.

You may indeed prefer A, but in any business customer is the king. And being in your comfort zone in this case can backfire so it makes sense to amp up the production of product B and let the sales soar.

SOLUTION: It is simple and straightforward; ensure you are customer-centric. Focus more on your customers; because they matter more, not you.

Compare two products and see which one sells better, observe the trend, create a survey to get a quantitative value, and embrace the new path to successful sales.

2. Lack of Focus on Individual Required Outcomes

As a customer success manager, you wish to see a customer’s journey shaping up the way you imagine it. Some even try to bring in factors that allow them to shape the journey of a customer such as:

  • market trends, 

  • technological innovations, 

  • social influence, 

  • availability of information

And so on.

Unfortunately, not all your customers think alike. Well, if they did, then it would have been a piece of cake. But it would be a mistake to think that all journeys would be easy to manipulate.

And once the customer gets to know that they aren’t getting any unique treatment, they’ll take their choices to another organization. In a nutshell, it would be better to avoid such practices and make sure that your agents help you focus on individual customer outcomes.

SOLUTION: The key to retain and increase your customer base is to focus on individual customer needs and outcomes. That’s precisely what keeps a customer hooked to a business.

While managing customers, make sure your agents do not provide generic treatment or responses to customers. This practice can upset them. Customers like a personal touch to their journey. It makes them feel cherished and prompts them to keep coming back with more business to an organization.

3. Lack of Defined Outcomes or KPIs

Customer success managers tend to make a few mistakes, and missing out or losing site of their KPIs is one of them. No doubt, CS managers come up with great customer success strategies that are sure to bring in more business for the brand. But there are times when they are merely ticking off the milestones from their list to achieve that month’s, quarter’s or year’s goals.

And as they end up doing this, they lose track of how customers end up in a relationship with the business. They even somehow lose track of the fact that customers are strictly here to solve the problems that help them meet their clear goals. Ultimately, this results in the loss of customers.

SOLUTION: With too much to tackle, it’s easy to lose track of the KPIs or reach the defined outcomes for complete customer success. That’s why it is important to learn how to define your KPIs. And, this needs to be done for individual team members rather than for the entire team. 

As a customer success manager, you should also prompt your team members to ask the question “Why”. It will help you understand the intent behind a certain activity.

Once you have your KPIs defined, you can easily achieve desired outcomes like retaining more customers and acquiring new ones.

Enabling customer success with community building

4. Inability to Identify Your Customers

It is strange but true that many business owners do not even know who their customers are. Anybody can indeed be considered a prospect, but not everyone will need and want what you are selling.

This problem is foundational, and any structure without a strong foundation will collapse before the most eloquent man pronounces “Jack Robinson.” This way, you keep finding that your business is attracting the wrong people. If you aim to serve everyone, you may end up serving no one.

SOLUTION: This is a no-brainer because all you have to do is identify your customers. Find those who will go to any length to buy your products and employ your services. Do not produce north and sell it to those in the South. Rather look for that one person, who has a power of influence over some other group of people, who will go to any length to buy your services. Find them, using any method or strategy, to ensure you locate them as this is the only solution to your problem. 

5. Lack Of Delightful Customer Experience Via Effective Communication

Imagine a business in this age without a good customer service help desk software and well-informed customer support—how will they survive? No business will thrive without effective communication with their customers. 

No one wants to feel irrelevant, and needless to say, there are tons of competitors who are eagerly waiting to take your customers into their warm embrace. The moment you begin to slack at communicating with your client, you are beginning to crash your own business.

Customers will always have questions. The actual test of an interested customer is his or her ability to ask questions. The moment your customers go in and out of your business life without asking questions, then, you should begin suspecting some errors somewhere. 

SOLUTION: This problem is more like the easiest to tackle, especially in this generation, where customers are increasingly looking towards platforms where they can get peer reviews and insights from others to make their purchase decisions. All you have to do is create an online community for your customers to engage them, provide support and earn their loyalty in return.

In addition, never think of keeping any customer care executive who has no idea about what you do. Ensure you train your employees often, giving them the essential customer service tips and even exposing them to advanced courses. After all, there is no point in keeping them if they cannot provide solutions.

6. Confusing Silence With Success

67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn, but only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain.

It’s quite evident from this stat that after having a bad experience with a brand, very few customers actually raise a complaint. But that doesn’t mean that they are satisfied with your brand. If anything, they are ready to take their business to your competitor.

One of the biggest misconceptions that leads to a bigger mistake is customer silence. It misfires if you perceive a customer’s silence with success. Many customer support tools do help you understand what’s on the customer’s mind; but, you can’t wait for your customers to approach you every time they face a problem. 

SOLUTION: Be proactive; be there when needed. Your customers don’t need to reach out to you whenever they face an issue. That’s when you need a customer support team that remains proactive and spots a problem before a customer finds it. For that, you need to assess the customer journey; find out the areas where they exit your website. 

Other than that, find out the frequently faced problems and get them rectified. This way, you can lower the complaints. Also, get your communication game back on track. Add a live chat software on your website to communicate with your customers in real-time. This will allow you to understand the customer’s pain points and get them rectified instantly. In short, you need to keep your customers talking so that you do not confuse their silence as a success.

#7: Lack of Understanding the Root Issues

Do you know that 47% of consumers have made a choice to switch to a different brand due to bad customer service within the last year?

As shocking this number looks, it only seems to increase every year. That’s because many businesses fail to reach the root cause of the problem. And this alone leads to the following issues:

  • Attrition

  • Increased churn rate

  • Lost revenue for the business

SOLUTION: Spot the underlying reason for recurring churn rate rather than just patching up the loopholes of your customer success strategy. For this, you need to follow a system.

  • One, sit with your teams. Understand their concerns about the existing strategies and take their opinions to find existing loopholes.

  • Two, learn about the areas that lead to loss of revenue. It isn’t just about finding loopholes but also understanding the areas where your team needs improvement. Is it their interaction with leads that does not match up the customers’ expectations? Or is it the solution they offer that lacks effectiveness? 

  • Three, create processes that assure customer success. Once you identify the issues, make sure they don’t happen again. For that, you’ll need a tool like CRM that helps you document the experience of a customer, understand what solutions they came looking for, and what solutions they were offered at that time. This will allow you to train your teams to work upon the solution better.

Concluding Thought

The success of any business is hinged on the customer success strategy. The moment you follow the wrong approach, be sure to get the wrong result, and vice versa. Your business can live up to your vision, provided you identify the problem and resolve it immediately.

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Dwayne Charrington

Written by Dwayne Charrington

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