Customer success is a tricky thing.
It’s hard to pin down, and it’s hard to measure. That’s why we’re here to tell you that customer success isn’t black and white. We can help you find the gray in customer success, so you can understand what makes your customers tick. One of the biggest mistakes companies make when it comes to understanding customer success is thinking about it in terms of a single measure. But there are so many different ways your customers can be successful—and even more ways for you to help them achieve their goals.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your customer retention rate, or if you’re wondering how much revenue each new customer brings in, we’ve got some ideas for how we can help.
The importance of customer success
Customer success is an extremely multifaceted, complex idea, and there are all kinds of ways you can interpret it. It is an umbrella term that refers to all the actions you take to make sure your customers are happy with your product or service. That means providing good support and teaching them how-to videos or other helpful resources when it comes time for them to put their new purchase into practice.
Black & white thinking
Customer success is about building relationships. It’s about being there for your customers when they need you most.
It’s not like you can just look at the number of customers who are happy and say, “Yup, mission accomplished.” It’s about making sure they get the most out of their experience with your products and services so that they’ll continue using them for years to come.
Embrace the gray
Customer success means looking at your product or service as something that helps people accomplish their goals—whatever those goals may be. And then you can define success for each goal as it applies to your customers’ lives and businesses.
One way to do this is by using personas: creating profiles of different kinds of customers based on their needs, goals, and challenges so that you can tailor your approach to each persona’s needs and priorities.
Another way is by setting up surveys and asking customers questions about how they use your product or service in their daily lives, what they hope to accomplish with it, what obstacles they face in using it—and how well it could serve them if there were some tweaks made along the way.
No single measure of success
Customers come in all shapes and sizes, with varying needs and expectations. They may even want different things at different times in the relationship. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that there’s one right way to handle every situation—but that’s just not the case.
Instead, think of customer success as a spectrum: There isn’t a single measure of success, but rather a range of possibilities. Instead of trying to define what “success” looks like for every customer, focus on providing value and solving problems for each person who walks through your door.
In the end, companies should tailor their approach to customer success to fit the needs of each user. Your customers might have different needs, different ideas about what companies should do for them, and different reasons for using your service. The smartest companies will recognize this difference and respond accordingly. That’s why it’s so important to recognize the value of every customer—and learn how to help them reach their goals.