We know that customer success (CS) has become a vital part of any business. The numbers don’t lie:
- 80% of future profits will come from 20% of your customers.
- It costs 5% more to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one.
- A 5% increase in retention can boost profits by upwards of 95%.
- 68% of customers churn because they think the brand doesn’t care about them.
- 60-70% of customers will stick with a brand who handles customer service well, even if that means the customer doesn’t get their way.
This is just a small statistical snapshot of the realities which have made CS an essential part of the modern business world. The numbers make it clear that the best thing a business can do for itself is to focus on helping the customer succeed.
While this may not be exactly breaking news, have we ever stopped and thought about how we justify CS from the customer’s perspective?
How much does the average customer know about CS? Are they the slightest bit impressed that your organization has invested a whack load of time and money into it?
I have no doubt your customers can indirectly pick up on your commitment to CS, but I’m willing to venture that they haven’t a clue what CS means or how it impacts them.
And that right there, my friends, is the biggest thing you (and they) are missing about CS.
Moving Customer Success into your Unique Value Proposition
Whether we’re talking about business, dodgeball or your church’s annual chili cook-off, winning is all about setting yourself apart from - and getting ahead of - the crowd.
Hence the power and necessity of the unique value proposition. The concept is so innate to doing business, that I'm almost embarrassed to even mention it.
But mention it we must.
A unique value proposition, in the simplest terms, is that set of goods and services that only you can offer to a marketplace. More than that, it includes the the whole experience you provide around said goods and services.
Ironically, everyone’s unique value proposition typically includes something like ‘fantastic customer service’... as well it should.
But how do you convince prospective clients that your commitment to serving them is more than just a standard tagline? How will you go that extra mile?
Have you guessed the answer yet? Customer success!
Consider your average B2B setup.
Company A hires Company B to assist them with inventory management, employee training, information technology infrastructure, etc. What’s the first thing Company B does? Assign an account manager.
And what does that account manager do?
- Provides a point of contact for selling/upselling.
- Doles out product knowledge, but again for the sake of sales.
- Gives product support –when asked– geared towards specific issues.
- Connects customers with other departments for further support.
- Focuses on maximizing renewals.
The best account managers know how to do all this while providing genuine value to the customer. Even so, by assigning an account manager to a new client, you’re effectively saying: "We're going to appoint one of our people to consistently upsell you on our product. If you need a little help, just ask them and they'll see what they can do.” Yes, that’s really what it means.
CS, on the other hand, completely changes that dynamic. Instead of appointing a dedicated salesperson, you provide your new customer a dedicated consultant—an advocate whose job it is to put the customer first and help them succeed at all costs.
A good CS person…
- doesn’t just sell, but actively works with the customer to ensure they’re getting the most out of the products and services they already have.
- doesn’t give the customer knowledge to make a sale, but instead, keeps his finger on the pulse of the industry so that he or she can both influence product development and show the customer how to get ahead.
- doesn’t just provide support when asked, but proactively seeks out the customer , diagnosing problems, anticipating issues, offering guidance—all without having to be asked.
- doesn’t just pawn the customer off on another department when they have a problem, but wields his or her resources and connections within the organization to personally see to it that the problem gets resolved quickly.
- doesn’t just focus on upsells and renewals but genuine success. When the customer succeeds, the CS representative succeeds. It’s as simple as that.
So what does all of this mean for the customer?
It means they get something more than an account manager. They get a dedicated success professional who’ll work with them to personally ensure they have the best experience possible with their product.
If you’re reading this post, then I’m sure you already provide this level of CS touch. But do your potential customers know this? Are you telling them?
If your prospects don't know what you're ready to do for them and why that sets you apart from the competition, then you’re missing out on one of the biggest benefits CS has to offer.