Why Your Small Business Needs Customer Success
Growing your small business is not limited by sales or marketing efforts. Taking care of your existing customers is just as important, if not more.
What is customer success?
A series of practices that focus on retaining happy customers and reducing churn. Although this concept is commonly seen in businesses that rely on recurring revenue, such as SaaS, customer success can be applied to any kind of business.
Many small companies don't have a customer success strategy in place and limit their efforts to customer service, which is good, but not enough. Customer service in small businesses is a passive strategy, you solve customers' problems. Customer success is a proactive approach, you anticipate future needs.
What are the benefits of customer success?
There are three main benefits to implementing a customer success strategy:
- Reducing churn. By anticipating customer needs and not just solving problems when they arise, you get to keep customers happy with the service or product.
- Increased ROI. The investment you made on acquiring will yield a higher return the longer you can keep a customer. Not only is it cheaper to retain a current customer, but you will also get opportunities to cross-sell or upsell.
- Creates new revenue channels. A happy customer can be a money-making machine, they will review you positively and more importantly refer you to their network. This can have a positive snowball effect.
How to implement customer success?
We have condensed our 4 best tips on how you can implement a customer success strategy.
1. Start early
The earlier you implement customer success into your business workflow, the best. This way it will gradually grow with your team and it won't be a foreign concept that people need to adapt to.
If your company is too small to hire a dedicated customer success manager, try doing it yourself or delegate to someone in customer service. But always keep a clear distinction between these two activities. Once your venture is a little big bigger, hire someone just for this role.
2. Invest in quality onboarding
Great! You have convinced someone to use your product or service. Make sure you make it simple as possible for the customer to start getting value as soon as possible.
If you're a small company and can't create an automated onboarding process, try doing it manually. Set up brief calls, upload video tutorials, create written guides, etc. Once you get the opportunity, invest in a robust, fully automated onboarding process that will help you scale your business.
3. Figure out what success means to your customers
Do you know what success means for your customers? In other words, are customers achieving easily what they set out to do by using your product or service?
The only way to know this is by talking to customers. You could set up video calls, send feedback surveys, host information webinars.
4. Don't lock-in customers
We don't believe users should be locked-in to a service. So make it easy for customers to part ways without creating extra headaches for them. You never know, maybe they'll see how good your product is and come back.
If your business model is so fragile that you make it really hard for people to leave, then you have a problem. Let them cancel with the click of a button, offer data export features, etc.
Customer success as a differentiator
There's a high level of competition nowadays and companies offer comparable high-quality products. Customers are nowadays won by the quality of the interactions and overall satisfaction with a company.
By implementing a customer success strategy you should be able to increase the customer lifetime value and augment the return on investment. Both crucial aspects in the life of a small business.