Lessons Learned #7: Deliver, Support, and Customer Success

In lesson #7 - "Deliver, Support, and Customer Success" - we are going to discuss what you need to do to retain customers. In order to retain customers and maintain your growth, you need to keep your churn rate low (typical values for SaaS startups are between 5-7% annually).

In order to accomplish this you need to:

1. Deliver - give your customers the best possible experience

2. Support - care about your customer and give amazing customer support

3. Customer Success - happy customers will help you close new customers

1. Deliver

Do everything you can to deliver the best possible product/experience. Your main priority should be making your new customers as happy as possible by delivering what you promised in the previous steps of your sales process. Some best practices are:

  • Have a good and detailed onboarding process in place. Your customers are not familiar with your product, provide the 3 most important tips that they should use to get the most out of it.
  • Align your incentives and your customers' expectations. Help your customers define what “success” looks like and help them achieve it.
  • Collect feedback regularly. You should touch base on a weekly basis to make sure your customer feels like you are involved in the project and working hard to meet the objectives.
  • Be available, amicable and care about your customers' success.

2. Support

Customers value human relationships, especially when they are reaching out to ask for help. Set up a customer support process that feels personalized and human. Your team should have information about a customer's history with your service, stats, results, and other relevant information. Make sure you have this information well organized and easily accessible.

You should diversify the number of platforms your customers can use to reach out to you: live chat, email, social media, phone etc... You have to be where your customers are. This might sound difficult to manage, but there are some tricks that can ease the process of providing support. Divide the problems into two categories - the "self-solvable problems" and the more "complex problems" that need a more hands-on approach to be solved.

  • Self-solvable problems: you should have a FAQ section - a collection of the most common questions regarding your product/service with the appropriate answers.
  • Complex problems: you must have a direct channel where you can have a conversation with your clients - a live chat, SMS, email support - backed up with a CRM where you can retrieve your clients' history.

3. Customer Success

The cost of retaining existing customers is lower than the cost of acquiring new ones. Satisfied customers are loyal, and loyal customers not only buy on repeat but also refer your services to their friends. You should invest in keeping your customer satisfaction at its maximum.

You should create a safe channel for your customers to express what they feel and think of your product/service. The most common way of doing this is by creating a customer satisfaction survey in order to gain insights into your weaknesses and strengths.

Feedback - be it good or bad - is a valuable asset:

  • Bad feedback can be seen as an opportunity to improve your product and show your customers that you care about them.

  • Good feedback can be used to create testimonials that can help with brand awareness and lead generation. Good reviews are great to improve conversions.

The other upside of customer success surveys is the fact that the customers like to feel that their opinion counts and that they are being heard. So this type of surveys contributes to your customer satisfaction and helps build customer trust.

One of the most common Customer Surveys is the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS measures not only customer satisfaction but also customer loyalty and it helps you segment your responses into three categories: Detractors, Neutrals and Promoters. Your NPS is calculated by NPS = % Promoters - % Detractors.

Use these results to boost your customer retention and increase your promoters percentage.

Once you identify your Promoters you can:

  • Ask them if they know anyone else that could be interested in working with you.
  • Identify relevant connections on LinkedIn and ask them for introductions.

A good customer success process will produce net-negative churn because your existing customers will help you drive growth.

Summing up:
  • You need to align expectations with reality and deliver exactly what you said you would.
  • Customer satisfaction is a reflection of how customers feel towards your product, service and brand and it is usually measured through surveys.
  • The feedback is usually the source of new ideas to improve your business and testimonials that may feed your communication and lead generation efforts.
  • A good customer success process will help reduce churn and drive new inbound leads thanks to customer referrals.

In the next lessons, we are going to discuss referrals. Stay tuned for the next lesson: Ask for Referrals! Referral Marketing!

Beatriz

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