Understanding Customer Success: Role Description
Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Customer success is underrated. Even though it's gaining more traction in the business world every day, many people have little to no idea what it is. Customer success is working with customers to improve not only their experience but the customer experience for every client. A better customer experience means more repeat business and accelerated growth.
A business has to have marketing, sales, and operations to survive, but customer success is a growth accelerator that is commonly undervalued. When misfortune falls on a business, instead of creating a new marketing campaign, they should focus on strengthening the relationships they already have with customer success.
Solving problems is the epicenter of customer success. This can be done through real-time communication or tweaking/creating a new strategy.
Real-time communication can be anything from conflict resolution and conveying bad news, to upselling and demonstrating value. Customer service IS a part of customer success. There will be unhappy buyers that you have to appease. Some problems are much harder to resolve than others. In that case, you have to roll with the punches and do everything you can to accommodate that particular customer. Some problems are virtually unsolvable with the resources at hand, nevertheless, customer success helps the customer understand the positives of every situation.
The more progressive side of real-time communication is when the customer is initially successful with the product. This is where a customer success rep has the opportunity to upsell. Whether or not the next level of a product is sold, a carefully planned follow-up reinforces the buyer-seller relationship. If the follow-up of a happy customer is solely based on upselling, it will hurt the company image or create a loss of business. The point of follow-up, is to gauge what can be done to further help the customer; if that happens to include the use of another product, it's a win-win situation.
Behind the scenes, customer success is taking the insights from direct customer contact, and mixing it with as much related data as possible to create a customer success strategy. Some common areas this strategy covers are CRM software, product development, customer portfolios, acquisition/retention techniques, brand awareness, and a standard of communication within the company. A company's departments work together so customer success can formulate a strategy that is consistent and effective with every customer.
This role is about strengthening relationships. Buyer to seller and business to business. Customer success done right, means lower churn rates, retention costs, and acquisition costs. Beyond that, it means a more refined customer base of loyal brand consumers which eventually leads to more revenue.