Customer Success: The Driving Force Behind Your Business
by Martine Niermans
Long before brands were able to use the internet, social media, video conferencing and any other form of digital communication to interact with their customers, there was the door-to-door salesman. You know the type. The overly-friendly person trying to sell a product under any means possible, with one thing in mind: sales targets.
Fast forward 50 years, and the focus has shifted from thinking you know what your customers want, to actually asking them; and, particularly in the SaaS industry, involving them in the innovation process. Nowadays, customer success shouldn’t just be a buzzword, it should be what your business model is built on.
Unlike for the traveling salesman, success is not solely determined by the amount of sales, but more by how much a company gets out of your product. Involving your customers in the evolution of a product not only gives your customers a sense of ownership, but helps companies determine the roadmap for the future.
Take roundtables, for example, a perfect opportunity to get customer feedback, hear best practices and listen to shared experiences of your product. You can no longer sit back and wait for a customer to call you, you need to be there throughout the customer journey.
Customer Success is Your Success
However, involving your customers in the innovation process of a product is a fairly new concept. In fact, the Chief Customer Officer title has only really been around since 2003; and, according to the Chief Customer Officer Council, only 10% of Fortune 500 companies have a CCO.
Don’t be fooled though, customer success is not glorified account management; although the goal is the same, the approach is different. Customers are no longer signing with a company for life, they can cancel their contracts at any time and customer loyalty is no longer a given. As Forrester’s Kate Leggett writes, “Being successful in a subscription economy requires that companies actively manage their customers during their engagement relationship to ensure that they are realizing the economic value of their purchase.”
With the onset of more and more digital communication, it’s still important to keep the salesman’s face-to-face approach - the engaging part, that is. Switching the focus from knowing what your customers want to helping them get the most out of your product will help you secure your clients and accelerate growth for the long term.
Customer success should be an integral part of your whole company’s development - not just an add-on. It is not enough to just fix a problem when it happens, but necessary to be proactive and manage the customer journey throughout.
Bynder is a branding automation and marketing solution designed to build, manage and scale brands globally.