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Guest Post: How to Design a Customer Success Program That Works

How to Design a Customer Success Program That Works

This week, we feature an article by Devin Pickell, Growth Marketing practitioner and head publisher of Do I Need SEO. He writes about designing a compelling customer experience process and training your team to implement it.

The bar for providing a top-notch customer experience (CX) seems to be rising year after year, regardless of whether you operate in B2B or B2C.

Companies that are able to meet these expectations will be able to retain more customers and increase satisfaction, which can ultimately lead to more revenue growth. In fact, in a three-year study, companies that implemented a well-designed customer success program saw a 91% return on investment and more productive CX teams.

So, how does your CX team rise to the occasion? What does a “well-designed customer success program” even look like? You’ll primarily need:

  1. Time for training new CX processes.
  2. A dedicated CX leader to guide strategy.
  3. A customer success platform for managing interactions in a single space.

How to train new CX processes

Refining your current CX processes and training your team is crucial for developing a more customer-centric team culture and building a well-oiled machine. Here are some ways to approach new processes.

Customer onboarding

Conduct role-playing sessions where teams act as both the customer and the onboarding specialist. Provide them with checklists, guides, and best practices. Regularly update training materials based on customer feedback.

Account management

Offer workshops on relationship-building, active listening, and consultative selling for identifying upsell or cross-sell opportunities. Encourage shadowing experienced account managers who can disseminate their best tips and tricks.

Customer health monitoring

Train your team on the tools and analytics platforms you use to monitor customer health. Provide guidelines on interpreting data and taking proactive measures before minor issues become churn risks. We’ll get into the specifics of customer success platforms later in this guide.

Feedback collection and analysis

Teach your team how to conduct surveys and interviews with customers. Emphasize the importance of collecting and acting on feedback, as well as sharing results with product, sales, and marketing teams.

Support and troubleshooting

Offer technical training sessions role-playing for support scenarios, and provide a knowledge base or internal FAQ for common issues. Emphasize empathy and transparent communication with customers.

Renewal and retention

Train your team on renewal processes, negotiation techniques, and how to address common objections. Partnering with your sales team here can help. Provide insights into the value proposition and ROI to communicate to customers who are at risk of churning.

How to find the right CX leader

You have the processes in place, now you need someone to guide your CX team. Here are some ways to vet the right CX leader for your organization.

Strategic vision around CX

Your ideal CX leader should be able to articulate a clear vision for the future of customer success in your organization and have a strategic mindset to align the CS goals with the company’s broader objectives.

Customer-centric mindset

This leader should genuinely care about customers’ success and be able to understand their needs, pain points, and aspirations. And this doesn’t just come from a place of intuition and experience, but also drawing insights upon real data within the business. Assess how they’re going to harness analytics to make the right decisions.

Operational excellence

The right leader will have experience in setting up processes, tools, and systems that scale and can drive operational efficiency in the customer success function.

Stakeholder collaboration

This person should be adept at collaborating with other departments like sales, marketing, product, and support to ensure a seamless customer experience.

How to select a Customer Success Platform

With the proper processes and team leader in place, you now need to bring it all together with a customer success platform (CSP). These platforms help businesses manage customer relationships, collect customer data, and provide tools for onboarding, analyzing behavior, collecting feedback, and educating customers.

When looking for a platform, take all of this into consideration.

Integration capabilities

You want to be able to bring all of your customer data together seamlessly, which is why it’s important to find a CSP that integrates with your existing CRM, support ticketing system, marketing automation tools, and other essential software. Integrations can be a dealbreaker for some organizations.

360-degree view

This platform should be able to consolidate customer data from various sources to provide a holistic view of each customer’s journey, interactions, and health.

Health scoring

In order to assist your CX team in making proactive decisions, your CSP should have comprehensive customer health scoring based on metrics like product usage, support tickets, feedback, and more.

Task and workflow automation

The great thing about CSPs is they’re able to vastly improve the productivity of your CX team. Find a platform with collaboration features, knowledge-sharing, automated renewals and account updates, and other features that speed up your CX workflow.

Scalability

The platform you choose should scale with your business as you acquire more customers and as your team grows. Pricing and plans should be flexible to accommodate your growing business. Don’t get locked into unfavorable terms!

Customer success is three steps away

Building out a scalable customer success program takes training, leadership, and the right tools to empower your team. By investing in these foundational elements, your company will not only meet but exceed customer expectations. Now is the time to turn more satisfied customers into success stories.

Devin Pickell is a Growth Marketing practitioner with vast experience collaborating with content, product, and customer success teams to grow website traffic and demand. He is also the head publisher of Do I Need SEO.

Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: What In The Heck Is ChatGPT?

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