How to proactively work with your clients to steer them towards success
Contributed by John Maxwell,
SnapEngage Client Success Manager
While Client Success is all the rage in the SaaS industry these days, establishing a position in your company in charge of ensuring that your customers are happy and successful with your product can be applied to any business. The client success role fits nicely in between your sales, support, development, and even marketing teams. To put it simply: we are advocates for the customer.
“Hold on there…” you might be thinking. “I have a customer support team on phones, ticketing systems, live chat. I even send surveys to my customers all the time to get feedback on our product or service.”
Awesome. Perhaps you even use your sales team to communicate with prospective clients to relay the latest product demand from the front lines. All of this is a great start! But when you toss Client Success Managers into the mix, you supercharge your communication flow between your customer base and product team for the better. Why?
It’s all about the dedicated account review.
By focusing on proactive (instead of reactive) communication with customers, Client Success teams take the initiative by searching for feedback, rather than anxiously waiting for it to come to you like a traditional support team would do. Proactively communicating with customers is the best way to identify pain points, feature requests, and advocate product usage. This can give your business a better roadmap of what your customers are actually doing with your product instead of what you think they are. Furthermore, it allows you to establish a more personal relationship with your customers, so they don’t have to feel like they are simply “Ticket No. 4724”. This also works both ways, simultaneously humanizing your company so that your customers feel like they have real people they can talk with about their needs. Ultimately, it leads to an increase in retention. Customers feel loyal not just to your product, but in your ability to represent them in the meeting room!
At SnapEngage, we’ve recently revamped the account review process with our Enterprise live chat clients with great success. In the very first account review call, it is important to have the customer in the call retell the story of their decision making process that ultimately led them to finding you. From this, you will want to establish the desired outcome of the customer. At SnapEngage, we’ve narrowed that down to these three questions:
- What are you looking to achieve with live chat?
- How are you currently measuring that?
- What can we do to help you get there?
The idea is to get the customer to think. Many will be prepared for Question #1, but if you quickly follow up with Question #2, this often leads to those bottom lip protruding, eyebrow raising, head nodding thoughts, such as:
- “Well, we’re not really sure….”
- “That’s a good question….”
- “Well I guess what we’re trying to do is…”
While some will have set definitions tied to their goals, you’ll be surprised that many customers haven’t thought deeply in regards to how they measure success with your product. “What can we do to help…” will help establish actionable follow-up in the event that there are perceived impediments to the customer’s desired outcome (bugs, feature requests, staffing). The Client Success team can then record and relay these impediments to the appropriate team.
Even if you do not have the resources to create a dedicated Client Success team to oversee the process, asking these sorts of questions should be essential to your support or sales processes. No one can indicate the sorts of directions and focus your company should be taking better than your own customers. By proactively gathering their feedback through account reviews, your company will be able to adapt quicker, communicate more efficiently, and best of all, add a human aspect to your company that no survey tool can accomplish.