During the second world war, a young soldier from Lille attended a dance for servicemen about to be deployed. One woman caught his eye, and eventually, he worked up the nerve to ask her to dance.
Thinking that he would ask again – as most of the other young men would – she politely declined. The young soldier was shy, though, and took her refusal at face value. Not knowing her name or if he would even return, the young soldier went off to war.
Nearly a century later, their granddaughter – my very closest friend for all of three days – told me the story as we drove through the French countryside between Lille and Arras.
We love stories like that – the romance of chance encounters, unintended separations, and reunions that could only be an act of fate. Maybe it’s having an answer to the so-often unanswered question What might have been? that’s the thing that really resonates. Personally, I’m just really nosy and I like stories.
While most of us have some variation of “a friend of a friend’s second cousin’s grandmother was reunited with her first love by total accident,” the truth is, we rarely experience these reconnections without some sort of deliberate effort by one or both parties.
But we lose touch with people all the time. High school best friend. University mentor. Pick-up game buddy. Customer whose payment didn’t go through and involuntarily canceled their subscription to your service because they didn’t realize it.
Happens all the frickin time. But there is no missed connections column for lost customers. If you want them back, you’re going to have to be proactive. Fortunately, not only am I good with stories, but I’m pretty good at solving problems, too. (Or, at least, nagging our CS and Ops Team Manager, Blake Bailey, until he spills all his secrets.)
Either way, in this Process Street post, I’ll share the 5 things you need to know to put some life back into those ghost customers haunting your MRR.
Customer success is vital to a company’s growth because customers are the ones that bring revenue. Although more popular in high-tech sectors, like SaaS product development or cloud services, the customer success manager (CSM) role is gaining more and more popularity in other businesses as well.
But you may be asking, what does a customer success manager even do?
A CSM’s role revolves around making sure customers get their desired outcomes while using the service/product, thus prolonging their life cycles.
In this Process Street article, I will walk you through a customer success manager’s tasks, from onboarding and training the customers, to reducing churn, dealing with critical events, getting and analyzing feedback from customers, and so on.
Read on to get a full 360-view of what the CSM role entails and why it’s so important for a company:
It was known as the email incident. A customer success operations catastrophe that caused an astronomical uproar throughout the office.
Names shall not be mentioned, but before Process Street I worked as a technical service advisor for an environmental testing laboratory. It was our job to deal with customer queries and complaints, to answer questions, and to make sure the service we provided met the customer’s needs.
The email incident: My colleague forwarded a customer complaint email to our manager, adding an inappropriate comment to display his frustrations with that said customer.
Unfortunately, this email ended up in the customer’s inbox too…
Think about it, you’ll have optimized processes for production, sales, marketing, etc. But to effectively scale and grow, you’ll need to build repeatable processes for your customer success department too.
For many companies (72% to be exact, according to data obtained by Forrester), customer success is a top priority. This is because it’s well known that investing in a new customer is 5-25x more expensive than retaining existing ones – as expressed by the Harvard Business Review.
Make customer success operations your top priority by building and optimizing repeatable processes. And in this article, you’ll learn precisely how to do that.
Click on the relevant subheader below to get started. Alternatively, scroll down to read all we have to say regarding customer success.
This is a guest post from Olivia Harp, whose easy-reading, approachable pieces help bring important business and negotiation skill-building content to new audiences in an accessible way. With a degree in linguistics, Olivia excels in creating her own engaging content.
Sustaining customer satisfaction can be challenging in business. However, there are several ways to improve your sales and customer satisfaction at the same time. Improving your sales negotiation skills is an overlooked low-hanging fruit route to making a positive impact on your customer relations.
Through sales negotiation training, you can learn how to identify your customer needs better. Understanding your customers puts you in a position to offer better services. By improving your customer relations, you may be able to attract and retain more customers.
This article outlines practical negotiation tips to increase your customers’ satisfaction.
While your blog is the external face and voice of your company, your support team is the internal one, which is why you need an effective customer support process in place. According to Jason Lemkin of SaaStr, SaaS companies — especially startups — should be using their company’s product, even if the teams don’t strictly ‘need’ to.
In Jason’s article, he recounts how PayPal president David Marcus ranted ‘use our app or quit‘ to his employees. While it could be argued that David Marcus is being an angry egotist and going a little too far for an app that everyone may not have a use for, he says that the reason he wants everyone using it regularly is so that PayPal can ‘get better, and better’.
That brings up an interesting issue — by putting every single employee on support in some capacity, you’re tackling several problems at once. You’re lightening the load of the dedicated support teams in busier times, teaching employees about the product they may well be advertising or marketing and gathering vital data from users on how the product could be improved.
Customer health index is a crucial metric to look at.
The customer’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) was in the highest percentile, yet I found myself closing the account. How did we miss this churning customer? Were there early warning signs we’d failed to notice?
I used to work as a technical customer service representative for an environmental testing laboratory. It was my job to keep an eye on the accounts I handled. I needed to make sure the customers were happy and meeting their goals with us. For this, we relied heavily on NPS scoring, but this measure was failing us.
NPS scoring could be failing you, too.
The problem is that NPS metrics give reactive, snapshot values. Plus there are other aspects to an account’s health beyond customer satisfaction. For instance, you need to understand your customer’s goals and whether they’re on track to meeting those goals.
According to McKinsey and Company, perfecting account health scoring can improve client retention by up to 95%. If I knew this, I could have prevented that one account from churning.
In this Process Street article, we introduce a more comprehensive and proactive means of determining the health of your accounts: the customer health index (CHI).
To excel at customer success, you need to understand your customer health score. According to a study by Gartner, 88% of Account Managers (CSMs) think they can grow by delivering a great service, which is reflected in your customer health score measures.
A customer health score is a metric used to determine whether customers are healthy or at-risk of dropping off. Customers with high health scores are high-value, repeat customers – this comes hand-in-hand with business growth.
In this Process Street article, we give you 7 vital indicators you need for determining customer health. We then explain how you can use these indicators to calculate customer health score values, before looking at examples of customer health scoring in practice.
Click on the relevant subheader to jump to your section of choice, alternatively scroll down to read all we have to say.
When thinking of the world’s most popular brands, which ones come to mind? In Forbes’ annual list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and (META) Facebook are identified as some of the top-performing companies, with earnings being a key indicator of their success.
But while revenue may be a significant proof point of industry viability, how you approach your customer experience is another metric that gauges the future prosperity of a business. And one that has an equally significant say in how your business fares in the future.
In Aircall’s report, Putting Your Customer First, we found that more than 50% of customers stopped supporting a business after a poor customer experience. This shows just how impactful a negative customer experience can be, undoing potentially years of customer loyalty in a single interaction.
On the flip side, though, a positive customer experience can make a profound impression on people and go a long way to securing brand loyalty in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Either way, customer experience and going all out to impress your audience is one area you cannot afford to neglect.
To make sure your strategy is as impactful as possible, this Process Street post will cover these five tried-and-tested ways to improve your customer experience below:
Since 2015, Nahla Davies has been working with enterprise clients around the world developing RegTech protocols and best practices. She’s also worked with both enterprise and sovereign governments as a key contributor for notable public projects like DCOM.
If the pandemic has shown the world anything, it’s that business professionals and, specifically, marketers can still meaningfully engage customers in an increasingly digital world. It’s undoubtedly challenging for marketers to continue providing a seamless customer experience across different digital channels such as social media.
Thankfully, though, factors such as artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics can make multi-channel customer experiences engaging across the entire customer journey — from product consideration all the way to purchase.
Businesses have proven themselves both capable and willing to remain adaptable amidst the tumultuous COVID pandemic in order to understand business problems and subsequent opportunities. The process of actually understanding these problems and opportunities, however, isn’t exactly straightforward.
Analytics, data, and artificial intelligence have the potential to enrich marketers’ understanding of their customers’ experiences in order to deliver meaningful, relevant experiences in the future. To that end, let’s quickly take a look at how data and analytics can be invaluable for marketers interested in enhancing the complete customer journey that they provide across different digital channels.