The Ultimate Guide to Customer Success
Customer Success has been one of the most popular areas of growth over the last decade. When I started my Customer Success career in 2013, I hadn't heard of it before. None of my friends understood what I did at work and even worse, neither did the clients nor the sales and marketing teams of the company I worked for. It took a number of years for people to really understand what our role was and see the value we added to our clients. Now, more than ever Customer Success is popping up but it is also opening up into many new industries.
Reason being: Customer Success adds value. Adding value means clients will continue their relationship with you instead of moving between competitors due to pricing differences and because of a lack of loyalty.
As an aside, you may have read my article Customer or clients? Is there a difference? and in my opinion, since we are working to gain loyal clients with continual ongoing renewals, we should be talking about clients rather than customers - Client Success rather than Customer Success and so on. For that reason, I will use the term 'client' throughout this blog post.
Let's dig deeper.
What is Client Success?
Client Success is working with your clients to understand their needs and requirements. To anticipate the issues that may arise and provide solutions before it gets to this point. Client Success is about being proactive. By continually working with your client and providing solutions, updates and feedback you are building the relationship. Your clients become loyal, happy to give positive referrals and in turn, even better, recurring revenue naturally happens!
What is the mission of the Client Success team?
The Client Success team are here to help your clients succeed. If you think about it, your clients don't really want to pay for your product or service, they don't want to have to think about it. What they do want is to achieve success for their business and it is your product or service that supports them to this success.
It is their mission to support their client. To add value. To build the relationship into a long standing partnership.
I recently read an article which started with the question "What would happen if you no longer brought in any new business? Would you business succeed?" and I think this is a really interesting question!
If the Client Success team is set up correctly, there will be price increases, upsells and if applicable, add ons. Client Success generates an enormous amount of revenue, done correctly.
Therefore, in answer to the above question, of course you want to continue bringing in new business but for whatever reason (a pandemic may occur, you never know ;-) ) if Client Success is being successful, yes your business should succeed without new business.
On the client side, Client Success is all about increasing efficiency, saving them money and supporting them in growing and scaling their business.
Account Managers vs Client Success Managers
Finally, I wanted to take a quick look at Account Managers vs Client Success Managers.
Account Management is the old model used. You will find a lot of Account Managers have transitioned as I did, into Client Success Managers but it’s not as simple as changing the title in order to get this right.
Account Managers are always ready for their client call and ready to support the client in renewals, upsells and add ons. They may not know the detail about the client. They are a more reactive role.
I mentioned already, Client Success is about being proactive. Client Success Managers are with their client every step of the way from onboarding to usage to advocacy. Client Success Managers are anticipating their clients needs in order to resolve any issues before they are an issue!
Look out for the blog article on Account Managers vs Client Success coming soon.
So to close, Client Success is all about being there for your client throughout their journey. Adding value and ensuring a positive experience. In doing so, you build the relationship and gain loyal clients. Clients that are happy to speak positively about your product and service and clients who are happy to continue with their renewal each year.