This is a guest blog entry by Rita Theologi — Growth Agent at 24sessions ⚡ winter addict 💙 professional people watcher 🧐.
The other day I was in a meeting with our Customer Success team and the big question popped:
“How will we become indispensable for our customers?”
When it comes to Customer Success, your product is the means for your customers to achieve their desired outcome. The means, not the reason. What they need from you is to provide them with everything necessary to be successful and achieve this outcome.
Even though we did not reach to a solid answer – also I guess it’s different for every case anyway – there were lots of insights from all team members so I thought it might be interesting to share my thoughts and start a discussion. 😊When it comes to Customer Success, your product is the means for your customers to achieve their desired outcome. The means, not the reason. Click To Tweet
Related resource: Nichole talks about Desired Outcome in depth in her Everyone Hates Marketers podcast on 4 Vital Things To Do Before Marketing Your New Startup:
So what does it mean to become indispensable?
We use a plethora of tools every day for different tasks and we tend to stick to certain ones. But it’s not necessarily because we can’t do without them. There are so many options for everything, after all. It’s because:
- We achieve our desired outcomes
- The product blends well with other solutions (ex: how Slack and Zapier integrate with other tools)
- The solution becomes a part of our routine
Of course this doesn’t mean we’ll use them eternally, but if a tool ticks all three it’s more likely to stick to it for longer even if a not-so-good experience comes along the way. 😊
So it’s not about becoming indispensable the traditional way but it’s more about your customers not giving up on you by choice.
How Customer Success comes into the frame
A Customer Success Manager is the mediator between product and customer and always leans a bit more on the customer’s side of things. In fact, a successful Customer Success Manager mainly focuses on how their customer will achieve what THEY, the customer, define as success. What’s more, for the latter it might be that this outcome has nothing to do with the product. The product is just a choice they make along the way. That simple.
The good news is that if your customer is successful with your tool, then they’ll become your advocates which is basically like your best salespeople, selling for you indirectly, with immediate results and no cost.
The checklist: does your product tick all three to be indispensable?
✔ Customers meet their desired outcomes
No matter how hard your try to improve your product and offer the best service out there, the real value will come from how it helps your customers achieve their goals. Does your product bring ROI? Do your customers save time and money in the long-term? Of course, building and implementing a customer success strategy is different for every company and there is no one-way road. The only thing that is the same is the end-result: it has to be what your customers use to achieve their desired outcome.
✔ It blends well with other solutions
It’s essential for your solution to combine smoothly with your customer’s other tools without sacrificing efficiency. This is where a Customer Success Manager works closely with customers to make sure there is no friction. Even though sacrificing your product’s efficiency is a no-no, you may end up offering your customers only half of the capabilities of your product just because they only need half. But no worries. Just make sure it will bring them to number one above and in the future the ground will be set for upselling and expanding your services. 😊
✔ It becomes part of a routine
The more successful your customers will get (and you want them to get as successful as they can) the more concrete their process will be. As soon as your product becomes a steady part of that process your customers will feel comfortable enough to continue using it and make it solid part of their pipeline. And that is exactly what you want. The more comfortable your customers feel with your product the more unlikely it is that they change a recipe of success.